A warm, summer breeze ruffled our hair, but the sun burned our skin. Since we were half-way up the side of a bluff, I reasoned that the sun was hotter than usual because we were closer to it than when on flat land. My daughter Tammie and I had reached the middle of the vineyard. I stopped and turned to look at the grand view. I could see bluffs on the other side of the Mississippi, but they were shrouded by a curtain of blue haze. Closer, to the left, front and right of us, I counted three other tall, tree-covered bluffs. The coulee below was connected to a network of other valleys that curved around the base of each bluff.
A short way below us, bunkered into the bluff side and surrounded by these beautiful rows of grapevines, was our vacation cottage. I could see the small lawn, the electric grill, red table and chairs arranged by the back door. Greg, the owner of the property, had told us that the grapevines on the fence near the cottage were table grapes. He suggested, “You’re welcome to pick and eat them.” Next to the fence was a chiminea with dry wood stacked inside, waiting to be used.
I smiled to myself, remembering a conversation that I’d had with someone before coming here. When I told her about this place, she’d exclaimed, “Where does a person find a place like this?” It made me realize that an unusual vacation spot was truly a treasure. My daughter and I had been very fortunate to come upon it while ‘mining’ the internet one night. Continue reading