Going by most of the charts and timelines that attempt an illustration of the lines dividing one generation from the next, I’m technically a millennial [GASP!] and Sauce is a GenX-er [eye roll]. This would explain why his taste for music far exceeds my taste for noise but it is still a mystery why he is so much better at social media than I am. Somehow, someway we have managed to come together on most topics concerning world politics, we don’t argue over religion, and we have a deep respect for each others’ work ethic. So it seems that the dividing lines between generations are not as straight or narrow as one would initially assume.
Naturally, I am in favor of blurry generational lines because they allow me to extricate myself from membership in the “worst” generation. But wait, weren’t GenX-ers well-hated by the Boomers? And Boomers just being “kids these days” as their parents and grandparents wagged a finger in their direction? It is a perpetual cycle that we search for disdain – we cannot approve of the next because it makes ourselves the last. It is so hard to face the imminent arrival of our own irrelevance. And this is where I have to drag myself away from the pull of negativity, force myself to stop categorizing, and adjust my focus to see the good [deep breath] – the good in the millennials.
Lucky for me, a breath of fresh air and a change in the view are just the thing for accentuating the positive and encouraging a new perspective. And what do you know? Sauce and I found ourselves rolling through the bucolic hills and dales of the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County. Vineyards as far as the eye can see…wine tasting…Pinot Noir!…and…Dairy Cattle? [Grrr]. Sauce, this better not be one of your crazy cheese things. As we turn up the long drive bordered with white rail fencing and fringed with electric green grass my reality snaps into focus; this is not the midsummer Pinot Forum jaunt of my pre-children years. It’s January. It’s pouring rain. The seats around me are occupied by Nona, Sauce, and our toddler happily munching his second packet of fruit snacks and it’s only 10am. I just realized I’m the mom.
Stepping out into the persistent drizzle, we were greeted by Diane Bucher at Bucher Farms / Bucher Vineyards & Winery. Her wide smile was welcoming as she invited us to explore the family farm
operation and familiarize ourselves with the lay of their land. After a few layers of rain gear, a pair of rubber boots, and my brief but earnest explanation of why not to jump in the puddles next to the cows, we were off on our adventure. Simply stated, farm life is every three-year-old little boy’s dream. There are large vehicles, tall haystacks, cows that moo, and doggies that bark. I don’t think that Sauce and the mini Sauce could have been happier with the sights, sounds, and even the smells of a working Dairy. They were in their element together and only the offer of a warm & dry seat in front of a glass of Pinot could pull the Sauce from his frolic with the milk maidens of Bucher.
Back up the hill we climbed and ducked under the flying Swiss flag to find ourselves around the table with Diane & John Bucher and daughter, Hannah. John’s firm but friendly handshake was a familiar reminder of his likewise personality – we had met a number of times over tastings down the road at the Williams Selyem winery featuring the single vineyard line-up of Pinots that includes a bottling from the Bucher Vineyards that stretch out before us just beyond the panoramic window across the room. John pours us his Rosé of Pinot Noir to start with and as we taste through his line that includes an unoaked Chardonnay, the barrel fermented Rio Oro Chardonnay, and three smashing Pinot Noirs, the conversation drifts between cows, grapes, land, cheese, business, and Family.
My happy, warmed up, cow-whispering toddler is busily crayoning his next masterpiece on the broad antique living room table that Hannah Bucher has so graciously spread with layers of newspaper. My mother-in-law has a contented I just sipped amazingly creamy Chardonnay grin across her lips. There’s not a cell phone in sight (save for the dormant device in front of Sauce – discreetly set to silent mode). My pencil is down and my glass is up. There is a millennial amongst us and my aggravation meter isn’t zipping off the charts. It’s actually not even registering – my inner grouch is flatlining here folks. There is a pair of vibrant, attentive, curious eyes across the table from me and they are attached to a twenty-something that is fully engaged in a conversation about agriculture, family-owned businesses, and social media [of course].
I understand that there is a major gripe about the work ethic of millennials and I am certainly guilty of proliferating this complaint; but I’m turning a long slow corner. The further I navigate into my own journey of parenthood the more obvious it becomes that the state of the next generation [whichever generation that may be at present] is a direct product of those who came before [read: those who are griping]. The deeper I dove into the conversation at The Bucher Farm, the more inspired I was to take ownership of my parenting possibilities and to proliferate forward thinking with this next generation. Accepting responsibility for the future generation seems to be a daunting task but there is no other way unless we plan to stop time in it’s tracks. How will I make it through this? My advice to myself is this: when this task seems overwhelming I will make pit stops along the way to take in the view and adjust my focus. These diversions will include places like the vineyards of the Russian River Valley and The Bucher Farm. These backroads jaunts will lead to conversations with people like Hannah and Diane and John. And these talks will continue to bring new perspectives that drive us to seek out the good – the good people, the good wines, and the good in ourselves.
More Reads & Sites:
Get Inspired by Hannah Bucher – here’s her Bio.
Virtually Visit Bucher Vineyards
What’s that Williams Selyem wine we mentioned?
Get yourself a bottle at Falling Bright.