February 2, 2024 — A Good Whine

Jeff Powell
3 min readFeb 2, 2024
Photo by Heather Barnes on Unsplash

I’m here today to tell you a heartbreaking story. My life is dramatically — and sadly — changed, and I don’t know if I will ever recover.

The tale begins on Friday, January 26th.

As it happens, Anne was busy that evening. She was playing cello in a quintet as part of a gig raising money for a local charity. They’d been rehearsing over the preceding weeks and everything was fine. But Friday was concert night, and she had to be at the venue early for a run through before the performance. Or at least that is what her calendar entry says.

The thing is, Friday nights are special at our house. Or perhaps they used to be.

Years ago — decades, actually — we began a Friday night tradition. One of us driving home from work would stop at Nonno’s Italian, a little place in Redwood Estates, California. There we would pick up a pizza to take home and bake.

Nonno’s made their own crust — I’ve seen the giant, floor standing mixer that would tear your arms off if you got in the way — and had wonderful recipes, as well as a nicely stocked wine shop. Each week was a chance to get something different, and perhaps a bottle of wine as well. This became a habit, and we continued it right up until we moved away.

Upon arrival in Vancouver (well, technically it was Richmond) we had to figure out how to resume this practice, but there weren’t any good pizza places nearby. At some point Anne started making sourdough pizza crust herself and Friday pizza became a thing again, but now with homemade crust. And so the tradition grew.

Fast forward over six years and our Friday pizza continued to happen nearly every week. We might miss an occasional Friday — perhaps Anne is performing, as in this case — but we’d always get back to it the following week without fail.

But, I did say this is a heartbreaking story, and I’m sure you’re well ahead of me. You already know where this is going.

After missing pizza last Friday, there was the mid-week trip to a local pub, at which Anne was considering ordering a pizza, as was I. However, that fell apart when the waitress said they were all out of mozzarella cheese. Pizza was off the menu that evening.

So, sad but still not crippling. I mean, the pizza at the local pub isn’t as good as Nonno’s, let alone Anne’s homemade.

But now it’s Friday once again, and Anne has another concert to play this evening. This time it’s a with the local symphony rather than the quintet, and it’s a regular show rather than a charity fundraiser, but once again she has to get there way too early for a run though before the event. (Or at least that’s her story yet again. I am starting to wonder.)

And I’m certain you understand my pain at this point: no pizza tonight either.

Two Fridays in a row without pizza. You can see why I am upset. How will I survive?

Much like my dogs, I am a creature of habit. Friday night pizza is a staple.

So, please think of me and my deep and significant pain this evening. Perhaps raise a glass in my direction. If I don’t write next week, you know what happened.

Ciao!

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Jeff Powell

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.