Serendipity is one of my favorite things. When good things happen out of the blue it's like the creator is handing you a special gift. So it was as we meandered down highway 51.
It had already been a memorable weekend, celebrating a friend's birthday with an exquisite meal and music and detouring off the main drag to find amazing BBQ in an unlikely Missouri town. Then after taking a left and heading northward toward home, I spied the sign. Thousand Oaks Winery. "Winery!" I shrieked. "Where?" the hubs asked, suddenly paying attention. "Right there." I pointed at the drive, having made a U-turn. We crunched over the gravel road through the forest, wondering what might await us; then we emerged from the woods into an Ozark oasis. Lake, huge patio, shady umbrellas, and as we turned the corner, an outdoor brick oven for making pizza and bread the old world way. The owner was feeding the fire. He greeted us warmly, and took us inside to taste. The wines were good, the reds will be even better with more bottle aging, and some made its way home with us. Even more impressive was the experience. The folks at Thousand Oaks are knowledgeable, neighborly and gracious. Besides a conversationally paced tasting, they took the time to show us the operation, the new wines, and the view. We talked about their upcoming music and events and my guess is that we'll be back to enjoy one.
These are the joys of the road less traveled, of life lived a little bit slower, of the beautiful serendipitous gifts given to us if we open our eyes and hearts and minds. And for these, I am eternally thankful.