Saratogaversary – and a flurry of firsts

Hello Friends!

(Posting delayed one week)

One year ago today, February 16, 2018 we became Saratogians! We signed on the dotted lines and became the happy owners of 123 Madison Street. It’s all so vivid in my memory, and yet it feels like a lifetime ago. What a wonderful, whirlwind first year it’s been. We are so grateful for all that led us here, and all the many ways in which we’ve been so warmly welcomed to our new home, our new town, and our new lives.

As a sort of amazing way to start this anniversary day, I had the great fun of joining Rick Thompson for my second time on the “Talk Saratoga” radio show (8-9am on Saturday, 91.1 WSPN). Rick has made me feel so welcome, and I am grateful for my dad, auntie and the Maven for listening at 8am!

Tonight (well, actually 4:30, because… Happy Hour!), we’re meeting our friends Joanne and John at Chianti for a toast to our first “Saratogaversary” – excited to celebrate with this wonderful pair, as it was Joanne who made it all happen for us. Not only will I forever be grateful to Joanne as my first friend here in town, but before that, she was our awesome real estate agent… guiding and supporting us through the whole of 2017… our search, our purchase, the tree and the close. Phew! We are so thankful for Joanne! And John, her awesome hubby, will forever be loved for his positively perfect words at our post-close toast at the Brook Tavern last year. After I had spent most of our first day of new homeownership crying over the unexpected timing of our first offer on 301 Henry St, and had said that I’d just realized that “now that we had moved to the place we always went on vacation, I guess we need to find a new place to go on vacation.” He replied, without missing a beat with this perfectly calm, cool and understated comment –

“No you don’t. Living here really is like being on vacation all the time.”

John Towers

And, he nailed it. It’s true!

So now we get to start our series our firsts all over again! (Can you hear the Maven rolling his eyes?) First anniversaries, that is! And, while I love these made-up-milestones, it’s also a wonderful time to reflect on all that we’ve done over these first 12 months, and what we’ve learned, observed and are gradually feeling – as our new life seeps into our bones and our new environment starts to work it’s magic on us. We know that much of what had worn us out in Washington was the pace, the pressure, the lack of “white space” in each day. Here we have found a completely different pace, a complete lack of pressure, no traffic and so much more unstructured time… it’s amazing. As the wonder slowly fades, I’m hoping that both the Maven and I can dedicate ourselves to making the most of this gift of time. I find it strikes me in unexpected ways, for which I want to try very hard to be forever & daily grateful.

(Finishing this one week later) While I didn’t quite get this anniversary post launched on the day of the anniversary, we dove right into a bunch of moments that marked the occasion. Lovely drinks with Joanne and John, at Chianti – with the fun bonus of running into Molly & Ron, having a pre-theater bite, and also one of my treasured friends of the TRF, Eloise, having dinner with her hubby while visiting from the city. Such fun! Maven and I then moved on to the Kraverie for a bite of Korean yumminess… and besides the tasty food and great acoustic guitar (Zak Young, love him!), we ran into our friends Bob & Viviana (owners of the home we so happily rented on East Ave all those years). More fun! And then, on to the Valentine’s Dance at the Principessa Elena Club to say hi to Fran & Karianne. Fun! Fun! And, yes, it really feels like we live here.

Finishing this post with a few more firsts that we added to the list this week:

  • First excursion to Argyle Brewing Company.  Our farthest trip East from town, thru Schulerville, past the Washington County Fairgrounds, past the Hand Melon Stand – yay, found it!!, through Greenwich, and on to Cambridge). We started with a yummy brunch at Roundhouse Cafe, and then a fun visit with the best-smile-in-upstate-New York, Dave at the brewery!
  • First cold (for me). Ugh. It was looming throughout the day on Sunday… but despite a really yummy hot toddy defense, it took over and knocked me out all day on Monday & Tuesday. Bleck.
  • First visit to the office of Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, with her team at their cozy & cool office right on Spring Street. Chelsea and I had a great time introducing Carrie, Jeremy and Mark to the powerful impact of our TRF Second Chances program – and updating them on our plans for expansion in her district, with a new program in Washington County, this year! I’ll be spending the day with Carrie at the Capitol in Albany on Tuesday, and I can’t wait!
  • First Horsemen’s Social at Longfellows – memories of the first event I went to just less than a year ago, for Shelters of Saratoga. Fun to turn up and see a few familiar faces, and Maven’s first time to Longfellows. Surely won’t be his last!
  • First visit to Leon’s in Ballston Spa.. we’d been fans of the original, which was located one block from our home at 123 Madison (before we moved here). We’d place it at the top of our list of local Mexican options – it’s not a super competitive field of 4, but my chicken burrito made me happy.
  • And now, with a whole list of other things I want to write about next… I’m off to my first Saratoga Beer Summit! Volunteering with the Kiwanians, thanks to a kind invite from Rick Thompson, and looking forward to seeing all the people & the hubbub at the City Center!

A flurry of pics below from the week’s adventures. Back to more reflective topics – looking forward & looking back – as soon as I can find my next window to write! (preview – Oldfields & Lemon Squeezy on my brain!!)


Saturday AM at the Oklahoma 2.16.19
M & M with John & Joanne
Our toast a year ago 2.16.18 – as newly minted Saratogians!
Anniversary Toast #2 – Kraverie!
Argyle Brewing Company, Cambridge, NY
Hi, Dave!
My last stand…
The best buddy of a bed-ridden Magpie, the Mook.