Le Bellezze della Mia Vita / by Julian Focareta

I felt the sudden urge to make sure I am consistently reflecting on the blessings of my life. Now listen, I have and always will be grateful for all the good and bad in my life.. It's what makes us the people we are today.

As millennials, it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, hustle-and-bustle of the workflow here in America. Our economy is changing, industries are evolving, and we are indefinitely growing as humans. It is easy to forget the things that make us who we we are as individuals.

Short and simple, I am lucky enough to still have all four of my grandparents alive and extremely healthy. I try to see them as much as I can, but with work and living an hour away from all my family, it gets a little tough at times. For some odd reason, last weekend I felt extremely homesick. I decided I was going to spend the weekend at home and specifically spend time visiting both sets of grandparents. (Who miraculously enough live on the same street as my parents: 'Grandma/Grandpa up the street // Grandma/Grandpa down the street - We used to say when we were kids)

I stopped for lunch the first day and our meal included: Antipasto: Fresh pickled eggplant, Capricola that was cut from pork shoulder this year instead of the butt, Grana Padano cheese/Primi: zeppole made by my grandmother the day of topped with a fresh pomodori sauce/Secondi: lentil soup with root vegetables from the garden/Washed down with 2.5 litre of our wine and one bottle of water between the three of us.

The second day, I helped my other grandfather (pictured above) move wood towards the house for the winter. (I knew I was going to have another lunch maybe twice the size so I felt like I needed to work for it) However, our grandmother fed us an antipasto at noon to hold us over so that totally made it worth it. [See below]

Our meal included: Antipasto: Capricola, Bresaola, Cortenese cheese, Roasted, Stuffed Eggplant/Primi & Secondi: Cabbage soup (Somewhat like a Minestra soup), Baby Goat roasted, and Lamb cooked in pomodori/Washed down with 3 bottles of the Homemade (San Giovese/Grenache mix this time) and 2 shots of Stock 84.

Words cannot describe how lucky I am to be able to do this in one weekend. Technically, I could do it one day and not even have to drive a car. My family is and always will be extremely of the "old-school" era. Many people my parents age understand this but it is extremely unheard of amongst people my age. 

Don't be stupid people. Do whatever you can to embrace the tradition and culture you grew up with it. It doesn't need to be foreign, it just needs to be something that turned you into the person you are today. My four grandparents have taught me how to survive in this world. I will not go into all their stories but I can assure you, the work ethic instilled upon us has derived from every single one of them. I feel the need to thank them and my parents for allowing me to realize something of this nature. Many kids nowadays neglect the beauty and love that can come from their family. It is a shame but it is life now.