A Simple American Dream Can Include Going for the Gold

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Going for Gold: My vineyard garden sunflower gold

While it is true that the living of our American dream is in itself the inspiration for my family’s wanting to be all that we can possible be out here among the several acres of vines, Douglas fir and centuries old oaks, it is great fun and further encouraging to experience other human beings performing at their Olympic best.

This week before we gather, in our cozy country home to enjoy the opening ceremonies, we were delighted with some personal bests and celebrate achievements that were so a propos to this golden, memorable summer 2012.

It was one in which my little seven-year-old son learned in one day how to ride his big boy bike all the way down the dirt road that divides some of the pinot gris and pinot noir vines, to our home’s gate and deer fence.

“I can do this mama, you can let go now.” Was how it began.  Followed by, “Make sure you’re watching, though.”

Going for Gold: My lil' champ on his way:)To say that I was a proud mama as I gleefully shouted words of praise as his biggest fan and shed tears of joy would be accurate enough, but what really made an impact was my son’s spirit.

It was his complete unwillingness to stop, even through the bumbles and baubles, spills and sweat on this hot July Willamette Valley afternoon, until he touched the gate itself that made him a true champion in my eyes and in my heart.

My wonderful son has always been so dedicated to the things he takes on in his young life.  No matter how big a feat or seemingly small a task, my Jakers will see it through to the end, with his whole heart, no reservations and until it is in his mind, complete and in his vision, perfect.

Going for Gold: Going all the way!I love this little guy.  I also admire him, and admit to still sneeking in every night to brush the dark curls back off of his angelic face while he sleeps.

My talented, winemaking husband also earned a gold and two silver medals for his delicious Riesling, “Shelliechardonnay”, and a Pinot Noir, respectively, from the Long Beach Wine Competition.  It is very gratifying to be a crafter of wine in Oregon, originally from California and win such kudos in a competition such as this, held in California and judged by some the country’s finest palates.

Going for Gold: My award-winning winemaker:)So proud, to say the very least, of my big man too.

For my brilliant Sweet Petite bookworm, eleven-year-old daughter, who is very gifted and talented in language arts and studies as well as foreign language and Egyptian studies, she set a goal to achieve all gold level certificates in our home school studies this summer.

Listening to her adorable little voice roll her R’s for Spanish, then quickly switch and know how to use a different section of her tongue to make the perfect sentence:  “Un rat ecoute la radio en mange ant du riz”  in French, both tickles and amazes me.

Within a fifteen minute home schooling study period on Wednesday, she was printing out the first of two gold awards–so far.

Going for Gold: Sweet petite with her gold award for French:)In addition to the kisses and squeezes and all out joy I have unabashedly shared with my champions this week, I also received my very own incredible gold prize in the form of my forever and ever all time favorite flower, the first one to open in my vineyard garden this year, where I have toiled in the soil for so many labor of love hours…my sunflower.

Such a sweet, sweet victory this is, as I had to replant dozens of seeds on three separate occasions due to thieving birds and other garden pests.

So it is with a particular fondness and thrill that accompanies achievements both great and small, that my family and I celebrate with our country and our world the spirit that embodies the idea of the best we can dream to be, and then getting to the business of doing it.

With love to all great Olympians, their families and from my Olympic-sized heart filled with gratitude, I wish you victories in every one of your days.

Until we meet again next Sunday.


Shellie Croft spent a year sharing her American dream stories on 8 Women Dream.  You can now find these stories on her blog Shellie’s Consumption.

  • Love the stories of winning the “gold” in your life – and big congrats on the wine awards! That always helps sales! Gorgeous sunflower – I know those take forever to bloom when the animals want to interfere.

    Hugs and congrats – H

    • Heather, sweet one:)  Thank you so much for stoppin’ by!  Yep, got my garden gold indeed.  xo

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  • Catherine

    I love the bicycling!  Such a big moment in everyone’s lives — everyone remembers when they first mastered their bike — as well as what it’s like to relive that moment through your children.   SO adorable.  Congratulations on all the “gold” in your life this week — especially the wine medals.  I cannot think of a family that deserves it more than you two.

    Love, Cath

    • Me too, Cath, thank you!  Very, very kind of you to say we are deserving of accolades.  My Bryan is so talented and works so hard. 

      Love back!