.....by Christine Ross in memory of Lucas Christopher Ross 1979 - 2001
It was my birthday, 2005. Robin and I went to a little Danish town about 20 miles from Lompoc, where we are staying while Robin is working here. Lompoc is "The Flower Capital of the World" or maybe nation... not sure. Anyway, there are fields just like in any farm country, but instead of crops of vegetables... there are crops of flowers. We passed many flower fields on the way to this little Danish town..... All of the flowers that we passed were ORANGE!!! It was amazing!! We did see one flower field that was GOLD. We stopped at one of the ORANGE fields to take photos and there right next to this ORANGE flower field was the HUGE PUMPKIN PATCH!!! So we took photos of that too. (Luke was born on Halloween, so pumpkins and orange are special)
As we got to the little Danish town it was very crowded and difficult to find a place to park. We drove down the street that the LUCAS AND LEWELLEN wine tasting room was on and someone was backing out of their parking place right there on the same street so we jumped at the chance to park so close. We pulled in and Robin was feeling really sad and was crying and saying he wished that Luke was here. I squeezed his hand tight and said.."Me too." Then I looked up and said.."Robin, looks like Luke IS here." I pointed to the light pole that was right next to our car... it had a huge number "179" on it. (Luke died in 01 and was born in 79). We both said..."Hey Luke."
We started walking all around this little town looking in all the shops. Then we went to the LUCAS AND LEWELLEN wine tasting room, and Robin took a photo of me standing under the big LUCAS AND LEWELLEN sign, but only getting the LUCAS part in. Then he said... "Hey look, there are ORANGE flowers blooming only under the LUCAS part."
So we went in and paid our $5 each for the tasting and placed Luke's photo on the bar. You are supposed to get 6 tastes, and believe me, that is plenty enough for me. (Luke always said..."Don't give mom more than a half a glass of wine, because she will never shut up if you do." Luke would also say..."My mom gets high on a glass of iced tea.") But the bartender remembered us and our LUKE story from last week, so she was very generous with the tastes and also gave us 10 instead of the 6. She did make a mistake and give us a taste of the same wine twice.... and wouldn't you know it, the wine she gave us twice was GOODCHILD 2001!!!!! So we said..."Hey Luke" again. We toasted Luke several times and by the 7th or 8th taste...LUKE'S MOM was also toasted...lol.
There next to our bar stool was a blanket throw with LUCAS AND LEWELLEN written big across the top. Robin said..."We didn't see that last time... I think Luke wants you to have that for a birthday present." So Robin bought it for me.
They handed us a brochure of all the OTHER wine tasting rooms on the street, but I was ONLY interested in LUCAS AND LEWELLEN...until I saw the LION'S PEAK. I told Robin..."Look Robin, the LION'S PEAK." Robin said "Yes, I have been trying to tell you about it, but you won't listen to me, it is just 2 doors down" Robin said.."Arlene said that Luke and Danny are going to be with you today." (Danny, is Arlene's son, my dear friend), and she had sent me a birthday card and in it said that Danny and Luke would be going with me on my birthday). Then I said..."Well, we've got to go taste some wine at the LION'S PEAK." Robin said..."I think you have had enough wine!"
Well by this time... I've got the continual HICCUPS. We walk out and down to the LION'S PEAK, because I told Robin..."We've got to taste some DANNY WINE." Robin is laughing at me because I can't quit hiccupping. We had put the camera back in the car. So Robin said, "you sit down right here on this brick wall in front of the LION'S PEAK and I will be right back and DON'T GO ANYWHERE." Robin came back and said..."Do you still have the hiccups." I said... "Yes..(hiccupp)." Then he starts taking a movie of me and I was talking and laughing and I hiccupped once more... and that was it." There was a group of people walking by as Robin was taping and some guy that was talking said something about someone named "DANNY". I couldn't believe it... So I said... "Hey, he just said DANNY." Then Robin said..."Look all the flowers in front of THE LION'S PEAK are GOLD, Danny's favorite color." So we said..."Hey Danny."
Then we went inside and looked at all the LION STUFF and then started our wine tasting. I asked if we got to keep the glass from the wine tasting and she said "NO". I said..."Well, at LUCAS AND LEWELLEN, they let you keep the glass." Then she said..."Well, were NOT Lucas and Lewellen." Implying that they were much more upscale. So we laughed thinking about the differences in Danny and Luke...Danny being more UPSCALE than Luke. We put Luke's photo on the counter and the lady asked if that was our child. So we told her all about Danny and Luke. Then we told her about why the LION was a symbol for DANNY. We said... "Danny died at the age of 30. When he was younger he was in the Wizard of Oz play and he played the LION. He courageously suffered from cancer for 5 years. So that is why the COURAGEOUS LION is a symbol for Danny." Then I said..."That is why I was asking about the glass, so that I could send it to Danny's Mom." The lady said..."Well, in this case we will make an exception." Then she said..."I am going to let you taste this other wine because of your story.... It is called BON COURAGE." So she poured us a taste from this bottle with a beautiful Lion on the front and the words BON COURAGE. I said...."We've got to buy a bottle of this... How much is it." Robin looked on the price list and it was $28.00. We both started laughing and Robin said..."Well, that figures... Danny would like the more expensive wine." LUCAS AND LEWELLEN was more of a casual atmosphere, and this place was more of an elegant atmosphere. Robin and I told the lady how these two places reflected the two boy's personalities and tastes. We finished up our DANNY WINE tasting and when we stood up the bartender walked around to our side of the bar and gave us both a big hug and told us how sorry she was. Then we headed back to the car with our treasures...LUCAS AND LEWELLEN GOODCHILD 2001 WINE, LUCAS AND LEWELLEN WINE GLASSES, LUCAS AND LEWELLEN THROW, LION'S PEAK WINE GLASS, AND LION'S PEAK BON COURAGE WINE..... and me with another case of the HICCUPS.