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Growing up I had friends … but when I think back (shiver) I am not sure that those friendships were easy; some (many) came with emotional tariffs that left me wanting. But, really, who has time to dwell on the trivial wasteland of adolescence!? ¬†Today, I look around me and at every aspect of my life, I find friendships – easy friendships – that sustain me in such ways that I simply cannot imagine my life without them!

There is a group of women with whom I have been friends for more than 10 years (some over 15) and over the last 8 years the six of us have gathered once each month for dinner, movies, arts & crafts, games or whatever the hostess decides! We have traveled together, listened to each other, supported and loved one another. This group has brought me such immeasurable joy and perspective and laughter … oh the laughter!

Then, I look at all the amazing friends I have made through my son’s school and my heart warms at the realization of just how many wonderful, talented, thoughtful people have children at his school: people who are part of a healthy, engaged, supportive school community of which our family is so lucky to be a part!

Growing up as an only child, there were many reasons to be self-reliant and to learn how to be alone and content with the quiet. And, trust me … I still love my alone, quiet time (a lot) but I have grown so fond of embracing the many people that come into my life, welcoming them in; truly engaging with them and actively participating in the friendship. You will often hear me say, “the more the merrier” … and it’s all true. And, while some friends have entered my life at the exact time I needed them and leave (by growing apart, moving away or otherwise) when it’s time, they have all taught me something about myself.

Friendships nurture us, protect us and make us feel grounded; I feel very grounded these days, surrounded by fantastic friends!


About Dena Grunt

As President of Hwy 1 Hospitality I oversee two spectacular properties: Nick's Cove on Tomales Bay and La Condesa Napa Valley in Saint Helena. Every day I am reminded of the simple beauty that exists in nature and am grateful to be at the helm of such unique and impressive properties. I currently reside in Petaluma with my husband and son.

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