This weekend I did very little work for the Department except keep a few balls rolling. After a big week chasing opportunities, recruiting, and planning for our future, I took the weekend off to be with my family.
This weekend we celebrated the life of my Uncle Lou, the patriarch of our Italian family, who many of you know he passed away last Tuesday night after 92 good years. My Uncle knew wild edible plants. Poke, dandelion, and others were things he would collect and cook. He was known for his love of sports and his Italian Hot Sausage recipe. I recorded the recipe two summers ago but I will probably never make it because I am vegetarian. What a waste of a fabulous recipe. When I was a child he always would say when I walked in his door “Hey, I have a banana for you.” I always felt special because of it. Bananas were magical exotic fruit that only Uncle Lou would buy.
My Uncles, Aunts, and Cousins have always been role models for me. I knew I would never be like any of them and yet there are traits in each of them that I resemble and love to emulate. Uncle Lou talked to everyone and treated everyone as if they were friends that he had not yet met. I know that I am like him in that regard. I only wish I had his singing voice.
One thing that struck me this weekend was how important it is to be with people that have known you for the entirety of your life. They know why you do the things you do and if you are lucky they help you to remember who you are when you forget. I am glad that I was able to visit my family in Pittsburgh more last fall than I had in the previous years. In so many ways, it is good to be close to family again.