Somebody thought I should study viticulture …and God agreed.
First the back story –
Taste Walla Walla arrives every year and this year was no different or at least that’s what we thought.
Steve and I go up to Seattle where winemakers, growers, and marketeers of this renown AVA gather to promote their product. Every year by God’s grace we hope to connect with the people and find some wines that he can promote in the grocery store he represents. As we sat in our hotel preparing our minds for the event, Steve was commenting about the courtesies involved in reaching out to wine folk. Sometimes in, what I can only describe as akin to speed dating, seeing people as real people and the art of common courtesy can get lost. Buried under the the volume of choices and information presented to one’s brain and the short amount of time allotted to traverse the gauntlet from one end of the room to the other are the manners we all possess in some corner of our person.
We agreed that this time would be different. I was going not just as Steve’s “plus one” but as a blogger. I reached out to the people putting on the event. I was pleasantly surprised when they actually responded. Then I responded by acting on their suggestion to reach out to Pepper Bridge, a winery in Walla Walla that has made sustainable operations its heartbeat. I decided on a few farming questions to ask when I got there and promptly forgot all about these exchanges in the flurry of trying to analyze as many wines as possible – yes, actually taste not just imbibe. 🙂
Then we got to the Pepper Bridge table and I was greeted with – “Ohh you are Christine? Jean-François told me to come get him if you came by.” She did and I talked with one of the wine-growing greats for the better part of half an hour.
Fast forward a few months and we are preparing to go to Walla Walla. It’s my 50th birthday gift from my husband. 🙂 As we’re planning, Steve brings up the Pepper Bridge invitation. “Why don’t you ask him if we can stop by?” Totally out of my comfort zone, I did. Mr. Pellet responded with welcome.
Now here’s the God-story —
I couldn’t help thinking that I should make the most of this short visit so I e-mailed Jean-François again. This time the question was, “Is there any book I can get at the library to prepare for our visit?”
He responded to that too with a vague answer about a new book posted on the UW viticulture website.
I found the book. Written by a Swiss grape-growing gentleman, Markus Keller, who is a professor at the UW. It was a costly textbook, second edition. So I got on the phone to our library who didn’t have it and refused to do a digital inter-library loan for me.
Now what do I do? Pray.
God… we don’t have the money for this. Please either convince Steve to invest the $150.00 in this textbook or please provide the funds. Help me to read the 509 pages and to be conversant in it by the time we go. I have 6 weeks to get that done plus all the other things I need to do and have already committed to! Please help me. I do not want to be put to shame and this is an incredible opportunity. Amen.
That day I got a call for a job that paid $120.00. Armed with that information I asked Steve if I could order the book and work the job. He said , “yes.”
I found the book again online only this time it was being sold for $129.00 with free shipping. Pressed the continue to checkout button and it was a done deal.
Except for the time it takes me to digest information and the extra ten bucks I needed, I was good to go.
God….., How can I tell people about this story and tell them you only provided most of the funds but not all of them? They would say it was just me making an effort to get what I want, not a God-thing. When you do things, you do them completely. When you provide, you provide completely. I need $10.00 more. Amen.
We got sick. Very sick. Not going to go to that job if I’m this sick kind of sick.
God, now I’m in a terrible fix. I can’t go to work like this. The book is ordered. Will I have to return it?! Can you do something about this please?
Then I began to stew about the study part. Those who have been given a trust must prove faithful after all… The book wouldn’t arrive for another few days.
Not so. The book arrived in record time. In fact, the ink was still wet. I know this because it smeared when I highlighted a few words. Ah, the benefits of actual ownership….
I got better. Not just well enough to work but actually all better.
I went to work. I told the story…leaving out the, ”Yeah, I almost have all the money.” bit but praising God for providing work to pay for the book.
Study was more manageable. 509 pages without the research citations turned into three hundred something. My mind is absorbing grape geekery at an amazing rate though I’m still teeter-tottering about how much information I can retain and be conversant in….Thanks God, that the book came early.
Once again I was thinking about the “almost completely paid for” situation and sent up a repeat “request” to the Most High.
Out of the blue…
Steve’s dad calls up. He has something for us. Can we please come down and get it? Steve is too sick. I have only a few minutes before I need to be at work on my second and last work day. I go visit Dad.
To my utter astonishment he hands me one $10.00 bill and ten ones. “Ten for you and ten for Steve,” he grins. “I won $100.00 in a contest and I’m sharing with you guys.”
God provides 100%
Off I go to study viticulture because somebody thought I should… and God agreed.