Preparing to Wed—Grapegrower Style

Weathersaturday I've always watched grapegrowers and their partners in crime, winemakers, with fascination when the weather threatens their well laid plans. Their regular glances into the sky, their consultation of the Farmers Almanac, their regular check-ins in with are just a few of the worried and concerned acts they perform when Mother Nature threatens their needs.

Not being a farmer I've never fully appreciated their special brand of worry.

Yesterday I checked at least 25 times, just to see if there was any update to the Napa weather this coming Saturday when I will marry Kathy—outside. Twenty-five times…at least.

Now, this hardly gets me into the Junior Farmer Program, but it does give me a little insight into the world of those who worry feverishly about things they can not control. And I've learned some things: Did you know, for example, if you worry and wring your hands just enough, there is a possibility of convincing yourself, despite the contrary being true, that your act of worrying can actually change the physical world?

It's true!!

The weather on Saturday looks like it will be "mild", another way of saying "bring a sweater"! There is also now, according to, a 10% chance of rain in Napa Valley on Saturday. This wouldn't matter if I was planning to change my life inside, instead of outside.

But the news isn't all bad. At one point, insisted that Saturday saw a 30% chance of rain. Clearly they've backed off their more dire predictions in the wake of my concern, worry and hand wringing. (Thank you,, for listening!)

Everyone attending the ceremony knows that their is a threat of untidy weather. And just about everyone has issued emails or voice calls or told us in person, "It will be beautiful, no matter what. And remember rain on your wedding day is good luck."

As long as I'm wringing my hands and determined to worry away the rain, I'm equally willing to believe that rain falling on the day of one's wedding can actually positively effect the future lives of a couple. Why not?

The upshot of all this concern about weather is that I now possess a new talent and I'm willing to use it. Come October, when the grapegrowers are looking skyward, consulting their predictive tools, checking in hopefully with and generally worrying, all in an attempt to ward off rot-inducing rain, I will use my own now well-honed worrying skills to help them ward off the rain clouds. Sort of like "group prayer". Only this is more of a "group worry."

In the end, all this worry over weather is about assuring a beautiful event for Kathy and I and for our guests. But, what's true is that come Saturday I'd promise myself to Kathy if it meant doing so standing on a wine barrell floating down Highway 29 in the midst of "a storm of the century".

Posted In: Personal


9 Responses

  1. Samantha Dugan - May 11, 2011

    My love to you both and I assure you, it’s already beautiful.

  2. Thomas Pellechia - May 11, 2011

    It will not rain, it will not rain, it will not rain…but if it does, make believe it’s rice.

  3. Kathy - May 11, 2011

    Thank you for a lovely post my sweet husband to be… I love you!

  4. Craig - May 12, 2011

    Well done Tom! Looking forward to a beautiful mild weekend! Nothing but rain and humidity here in Chicago!

  5. Marnie - May 12, 2011

    I don’t care because I know good wine and great love will be flowing.

  6. Jim Caudill - May 12, 2011

    Samantha said it best, it’s already a beautiful day, no matter what. And it makes for better wedding stories later on. Congratulations and best wishes, always.

  7. Marcia M - May 12, 2011

    Congratulations! Don’t worry. Be happy. The weather will be fabulous. (But now I’ve got that visual of you standing on a barrel, floating down 29…Oh, dear.)

  8. Clif Tinker - May 13, 2011

    Bless you both in your new life together continuing.

  9. John Lopresti - May 14, 2011

    Congratulations. And thanks for the heads-up regarding the weather, as it affects plans on the ranch where I live.
    Look for breezy Suisun bay weather for the occasion, a tradition little known, which Napa and Solano and other northbay shoreline geographies traditionally share. It’s kind of like the paradox of cool foggy summer afternoons in the east bay communities while other nearby but more landlocked and removed valleys, places apt for viticulture, bask in summer warmth.
    The winebarrel image and wassailing reminded me of two scenes from the 4-book series by JRR Tolkein written quite a few decades back.
    Here is a rendering of the wine barrel escape down a river, with the hobbit leading the dwarves:
    And, in the next volume, a rambling and wine-inspired speech by the hobbit:
    in which syntax overcomes mere thought processes, though the speech wends on.

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