The Gudgel Family Advent Calendar, Day 11 — “Sanctuary”




There are some things that, when the stars align, make life easier and more pleasant to live, things that when they are as they should be, make it easier to deal with the everyday stresses of the holiday season or any other season. One of those things, Sonja and I agree, is having a clean house. With that in mind, we’ve enlisted some minions to do our cleaning.


“Hey, Zooey, look under the fridge!”

Sonja and I have been working to declutter our house as well as our lives. We have a sheet of paper on which we write down what we’re getting rid of. The goal is 1,000 items in the next twelve months. So far, we’re at about 150, but we’re just getting started. In addition, Sonja does a lot of cleaning around the house on little breaks during the day. I came home yesterday to her mopping under the kitchen island. Yuck! While we’re not totally on top of things at the moment, the house is cleaner than ever before and it feels good to be in it.


Last night, in addition to cooking, the mom of the year made baked pork chops and butternut squash for dinner.  It was fantastic. I decided Pinot Noir made sense.


It was my friend, Gordon, who first introduced me to the wines of Cody Wright. Purple Hands is his label, in Oregon’s infamous wine country. Cody mostly does vineyard specifics, and last night Sonja and I shared the 2015 Freedom Hill Pinot Noir. Delicate, feminine, the wine is a gorgeous deepened purple hue, with powerful aromatics suggestive of the varietal and region. On the palate, classic Oregon, with deep purple hues — black cherry, some bing, and maybe a hint of eucalyptus to compliment that classic earthy Oregonian funk, while being unfiltered makes it just a little more robust. Be careful pouring the bottle to the dregs! 13.5% ABV is just right. Made from Pommard and Wadenswil Clones (according to the label) and limited to 600 cases, this is a special wine and one I highly recommend. I believe it is available at The Winery here in Omaha.

I just put my dishes in the sink from breakfast and need to head out the door, but I know that Sonja and I will clean a little bit more tonight. In thinking of things for which I am thankful, I am thankful for our home and also that Sonja and I are learning to work together to keep it tidy. It really does make our house far easier to live in, and we can trust Titus and Zooey to chip in of course. For now, as we strive to declutter, there’s one fewer bottles of wine in our cellar!

Cheers to clean houses, and to feeling relaxed in your own home,


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