Kevin is the Napa Valley Register's city editor. His personal column about the adventures of everyday life in Napa runs every Sunday. 

When we scheduled our four-day July “vacation,” things were deliberately left loosey-goosey. We intended to wake up each morning and make plans on the spot.

A person had better suck it up before attempting the long-haul drive from Napa to Los Angeles with minimal pit stops.

Cheryl drifted off last Saturday into the la-la world of wine tasting while I hung back and did such mundane tasks as refill the barbecue’s propane tank and whack encroaching raspberry canes.

Last weekend’s scorching temperatures, not to mention dirty air from the wildfire in Yolo County and the threat of PG&E pulling the plug, took their toll on the Courtney household.

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A year ago this month my neck locked up. Practically overnight, I lost the ability to look over my shoulders. Even changing positions at night on my pillow became painful.

This has been an unexceptional year. The Courtney family’s daily routines of 2017 continued through 2018. No changes in jobs, homes or cars. No health drama. This column managed to appear on each of 52 consecutive Sundays.

My annual moment of athletic glory, the Davis Turkey Trot, got postponed three weeks due to bad air from the Butte County megafires.

My former Napa Valley Register cohort Doug Ernst is facing a medical calamity. He was diagnosed last summer with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. By October, when he sent out emails notifying the world of his situation, he needed a power wheelchair. Now he…

I’ve never held Long Beach in high regard. It’s ranked near the bottom of places that I would want to visit on a SoCal vacation.

With a four-acre vineyard planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, I am the Lord of the Vine. From budding to harvesting, the vineyard’s growth cycle plays out under my watchful gaze.

The night before my scheduled flight to my brother’s funeral, I expected terrible insomnia, and that’s what I got. I lay awake, brain on fire, as the hours crawled by.

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