As you can tell by the photo, my Great Grandfather Will Holder, was a sail maker. More than that, he was an innovator. He was the first to bring “sewing machines” into a sail loft.  

At the age of 95, my Great Grandfather Holder was asked his philosophy for life. His answer was simple:

“One time you’re down, another time you’re up and you’re down again and you come up again.”

What Will meant is that we need to accept the rhythms of life. Life is not a never ending ramp of continuing success. Life goes up and it goes down. It is these cycles that make life so wonderful over the long haul. The downs help us appreciate the ups that much more.  

Famous baseball player now General Manager, Derek Jeter, made a related comment recently:  

“I understand that players are going to struggle, and quite frankly I like to see players when they struggle because everyone’s going to do it. It’s just a matter of seeing how you’re going to bounce back.” 

So too – we are all living this cycle of ups and downs. We are living it both daily, weekly and monthly. There are even cycles within cycles. What I’m finding is the the important thing is to not get into a “funk” and fixate on the downs. We need to embrace both the ups and the downs as simply part of life.

The ups can be significant things in your personal and professional life. For me, they can be as simple as the beauty of the ducks on the lake in the morning, a phone call from a good friend or our amazing dog Lexi sharing her never ending love. 

My recipe this week is an EPIC UP… of an experience. It comes from the new Craft of the Cocktail by the amazing Dale Degroff. It’s called the RITZ COCKTAIL – as he writes – it’s his tribute to the Ritz cocktails of Paris and Madrid: 


  • 1 ounce VSOP Cognac
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau
  • 1/4 ounce Luxardo maraschino Liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces Champagne
  • Flamed orange zest coin for garnish (optional)


Shake the first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and fill with the champagne. Garnish with the flamed orange zest coin.