DUSTING OFF DREAMS
When's the last time you took your dreams on a play date?
“Childhood dreams are forever stuffed in our souls. Take them out and play sometimes.”
— Angie Weiland-Crosby
This picture makes me smile and causes my heart to remember. So much to discover and to do when we are young!
And you know what? There still IS.
What is your heart remembering? Mine is thinking of how I always wanted to be a wife and mother, to have my very own family and place I belonged, people I took care of and loved and that loved me back. That desire, along with the core value of "I want to make a difference in this world" have been with me for as long as I can remember anything at all.
So I have part of my childhood dream that has come true and now it is finding a new way to express itself. Never stop believing in your childhood dreams and if you're already living them, make room for a new iteration or a new dream altogether.
Dreams are powerful. They encapsulate our belief, purpose, imagination, hopes, wonder, curiosity, courage and even our very souls. Knowing that, we can't let them die. We're stewards of them and partners in bringing them out into the world. They only need our vision to keep them alive and they need only our play to manifest them for all to see.
My childlike pursuit: To invite my dreams on a play date.
HEAR THAT? SERENDIPITY IS CALLING...
We would love to help you plan your visit to the Willamette Valley and help with any recommendations for lodging, restaurants and of course the perfect wine country getaway itinerary! Here's our new contact information to start the conversation:
Put us in your phone and keep us top of mind as your number one resource for a rejuvenating day in Oregon wine country!
** SWT GIFT CERTIFICATES **
How does it work?
1. Head to the Shop page of our website and select your gift.
2. Add a Note while in your cart with your instructions and recipient info.
3. We will send the beautiful gift certificate for you.
4. You will receive MANY THANKS for your generous gift.
5. If you choose The Works, YOU receive a complimentary signature charcuterie box from Gather + Give added to your gift!
Wouldn't this be a gift you would love to receive? Let us help you spoil the ones you love. It's so fun and we just love it!
This is a space created for appreciating those who go above and beyond. It's FUN to catch people in the act of being kind!
This edition of Two Claps goes out to Shelby Brushwyler of Dinners by Shelby (and also Scentsy dealer extraordinaire). Let's just say she's one of those people who are first on your list to call if you're in a jam. Her kindness and resourcefulness and huge heart just can't be matched. I found myself in a "Scentsy emergency" a couple of weeks ago due to a dead animal smell that was in a building I was in helping out. I knew they needed immediate help as they were to have clients coming in and the landlord wouldn't be able to assist in time. I was going to purchase a Scentsy burner for them but Shelby insisted on letting me borrow one, along with a large assortment of melts for them to choose from, to help with the issue immediately while also giving them the option of seeing if they would even like this as a long term solution. Her generosity allowed me to be of service to them and I just wanted to highlight her and her amazing businesses here. She has opened a very successful local dinner service you should check out if you find yourself limited on time but still wanting home-cooked meals for your family that are surprisingly affordable and of course, convenient! It solves a problem in a delicious way. Check out her IG account as well!
A huge, heartfelt TWO CLAPS to you, Shelby! Your kindness makes a difference, fills tummies and makes the world smell better. ;)
Launching the Oregon Wine Tourism Collective ("OWTC"). Refining the purpose and scope and planning our first meet-up for April.
First annual Serendipity Business Retreat will be planned for March. The purpose of this retreat will be a combination of fun, forward-thinking, reflection and celebration. Will report on what we covered in future newsletter.
Back to monthly cadence of All Things Serendipity and possible re-vamp of format and content.
I love approaching life with curiosity. If you're like me, you may have noticed a curious item on many winery and/or restaurant menus: "charcuterie" (oh, and for those of us who struggle with just how to pronounce this word, think, shar-koo-tur-ee). There is even a board that is made specially for this fun and versatile food item. In fact, Serendipity's first swag is a charcuterie board made by Ortiz Woodworks.
I learned that even though the word itself has French roots (chair/flesh and cuit/cooked) and referred to French shops that had products made from pork, the concept can be traced back to Roman times when salted and smoked meats were a way to preserve and not waste food. Fast forward to today, in addition to cured meats, you can find an array of yummy items that are all meant to bring out the best in each other: cheeses, fruits, nuts, olives, pickles, jams & spreads, breads, crackers and even veggies and hummus can be found nowadays. The possibilities are endless!
The main draw of charcuterie in the world of wine though is its ability to accentuate all of the lovely flavors in wine, just like it does with the other items on the board.
Charcuterie has been around a long time and I think will continue to be a part of our food and wine gatherings. If you haven't already, I hope this inspires you to give it a try, either while you're out or when you're creating your own masterpiece at home!
I am honored to shine this month’s Serendipity Spotlight on Sam Parra of Parra Wine Co. I think he’s tailor made for the “Dream” subject of this e-newsletter as well. He embodies the grit, passion, work ethic and hope it takes to see dreams come to life.
It’s funny because I came with a list of questions and was fully prepared to guide the interview but instead found myself listening and willing my fingers to type fast enough to capture all the details of Sam’s story. More than that though, I want to capture the spirit.
Long Line of Dreamers
I was struck by his recollection of his grandpa pioneering their family into a new life, first through the Bracero program. I can’t imagine the courage it took to take that step, the willingness to sacrifice current comfort for the hope of a brighter future and the openness to learn and grow in “new soil.” I encourage you to read more of his story here.
One thing I want to highlight is that of their 10 children, his grandparents initially came here with one son and the three eldest daughters, one of which was his mom. They saved to get more green cards to bring family over in a legal manner. It took 10 years for the whole family to come together completely. What a huge family sacrifice. Fast forward, of the 10 siblings, two women and three men ended up in the wine business. In fact, two of Sam’s uncles own a label in Napa, Vinos Unidos (meaning the wine united us). Seems like there’s a movie in there somewhere.
Wine was always shared at family gatherings. Sam was taught about vineyards, wines and food pairings early on. (He recalls a favorite pairing of ceviche with a Sauvignon Blanc from Frog’s Leap.) He had his own journey in wine from packing wine, to traveling to Oregon for Memorial Day and Thanksgiving events, to working harvest in France. His path and connections eventually landed him here in Oregon in 2016.
A State for Dreamers
Those next steps once here in Oregon opened many doors and opportunities for him. With his dream in his back pocket, he rolled up his sleeves to help others with bottling, worked extra hours and on days off to save money and within an 18 month period, made his own first wines.
His hard work and clear vision positioned him to meet other winemakers and growers. He now buys grapes and leases space at a coop where he makes his wine.
This Dream’s Got Juice!
For a little context, in 2018, he made 3 wines: a rose, a dessert wine and a viognier set to be released in 2019. In 2019, he made another 3 wines: a rose, a dessert wine and a tempranillo, moving from 150 to 200 cases production. Then in 2020, he made 7 wines, 500 cases. Check out the full line-up here. There’s some definite momentum on this winemaking dream of his!
To close, I’ll include just one of my prepared questions for Sam.
Would you say you’re a dreamer? Yes, definitely. Oregon is the state of dreamers.
There are times we don’t just follow in other’s footsteps but we create the path ourselves. Manuel Martinez (Sam’s grandpa) did that for this family. Sam continues that legacy today. Thank you, Sam, for your courage and for showing us our dreams can come to life too.
Whether it’s Parra wine or another in your hand, let’s raise a toast to the dreamers. Cheers!