When it came to proposing to Loree all those years ago, Bob had a plan.
He was going to ask Loree’s dad for permission.
They would drive to a little, scenic spot on a lake near her parent’s home.
He would ask. She would accept. All would be right in the world.
You all already know the ending to this story – Bob and Loree would go on to get married, on October 1.
But what you may not know is that like many things in life, Bob’s proposal plan looked good on paper.
Then there was reality…and the weather.
It was a sunny spring day in March when Bob had hoped to deploy his action plan. But the day before it had snowed.
They decided to go to the lake anyway.
The journey there took them along these little one-lane winding roads, up and down hills.
Then someone in a small car ahead of them got stuck, and they realized they couldn’t make it up to the lake.
That’s when, driving back down the lake road with a ring in his pocket and thinking about alternatives for making his proposal, a song came on the radio.
Bobby’s Girl. An old, sappy, cheesy song from the 1960s.
Loree started singing it in kind of an overly exaggerated, funny, comedic and even satirical way.
I wanna be Bobby’s girl,
I wanna be Bobby’s girl.
Opportunity knocked – or sang, as it were – and Bob answered.
He pulled the ring out of his pocket, and right there in the car, asked Loree to be his girl.
The moral of the story – beyond don’t underestimate the wonder of an oldies radio station?
When you are committed to something you have to be ready for a plan B.
Sometimes you have to be willing to see what the world is throwing at you and adjust course.
Sometimes you have to be willing to lose control and understand that in the blink of an eye, your plan on paper can be erased and a new plan written…or new opportunity thrown your way.
If and when you stay committed, that is.
That may have been the story that launched Bob and Loree into life together, but it’s a theme that would follow them through life.
When it comes to plans and commitment, there are a lot of parallels for Bob and Loree over the years working in the Virginia wine business, growing grapes…and being married.
When you are committed, they’ve learned, whether to Mother Nature or to your spouse, you must be patient.
Love requires labor, and labor requires a perseverance to an end goal, one you might not see but can only imagine.
Both require creativity – for how to blend nature and love into a single beautiful bottle or two families into one.
You need patience – waiting from planting to bud break, harvest to crush, bottling to sipping – as much as you need humor – because if you can’t laugh then what’s the point?
And you need grit. Straight up dedication to the hard work.
Sure, there is some luck involved, too. What are the odds that the perfect song would come on at the perfect time in the moment that the proposal Bob had planned went awry?
But with that luck is the recognition that hard work only bolsters its benefits.
You have to – in any relationship – be able to weather the unknowns of weather, of seasons of life and of hardships. You have to be able to settle into the anxiety of the unknown and an inability to control all things, welcome sadness and frustration as part of the process, and then we ready to welcome new growth and bud breaks.
It’s then, when you welcome all these feelings and emotions in, that you come out of it all (each vintage and each passing year) inspired and optimistic about the next season – on the farm and in life.
From day one – proposal to the first vine going into the ground – commitment has been the foundation from which Bob and Loree have grown their family and their farm.
Commitment to place and growing single vineyard, single varietal wines.
Commitment to Loudon County and supporting the friends and neighbors in it.
And commitment to community and each other.
October One Vineyard. A date. A place. A love. A commitment.