I always look forward to the May Day celebrations at the Heron. It’s a great waypoint on the way to summer, as the snow thaws and the land turns green again. This year was a special year, as we celebrated the life of Alicia Passamonte, a past Heron volunteer coordinator. Though I never got to meet her, the impact that her life had on all of the Heron elders was monumental. Just as Alicia had requested, the Heron family held a candlelight vigil to light up the hill on Saturday night.
Go ahead, feel free to accuse me of collecting too many odd hobbies… But in my defense, it’s pretty fun to (safely) blow things up.
Last weekend, I participated in a training course provided by hometown pyro-gurus, Pyrotecnico of New Castle, PA. They offer this free-of-charge class to aspiring pyrotechnicians to train them on the operation and safety skills needed to handle high-explosives.
I was elected by my company to represent our product at Hannovermesse in Hannover, Germany. Siemens and other industrial companies participate in fairs like Hannovermesse to promote their products, their services, and their company values to prospective customers. Since I’ve been begging my management for the chance to travel to Germany (a primary reason for me to work at Siemens), they finally heard my calls and sent me on a trip full of hard work and hard play.
Back when we were still assembling the yearly Great Blue Heron flyers by hand, we always threw a yearly party between winter and spring to get together and produce the mailer. Even though we now started outsourcing the mailer, we still get together around the same period for some social time, and what better holiday to do it then St. Patty’s Day?
I got the invite to go hang out with my Blue Heron friends up in Canandaigua, and dropped in on their snowboarding event, the Sean Slayer Showdown. I really never tried a snowboard before, and it gave me some motivation to learn next year, but in the mean time, I shot some footage of the stunts they were doing, and was blown away by their dexterity and skill:
It could have been a different life, and it almost was.
In the long series of events that unfolded in to what my life is now, it would have only been a few folds different for me to wind up in Greensburg.
If Siemens had not given me a job offer back in June 2011, I’d probably still be at the Elliott Company, and its more than likely that I’d have an apartment in Greensburg today. I even went to the trouble of touring several locations at the time, and at the moment when I got closest to pulling the trigger, some little piece of instinct bubbled to top of my brain and told me to wait for a few months.
Pictured above is definitive proof that my application for dual citizenship has been processed and granted. I got a strange package over the weekend from the Italian Consulate. I ripped it open, expecting to see my passport application. Instead, a bunch of documents written in Italian and two strange cards, one red, one blue. My poor Italian skills aside, I was able to figure out exactly what they were: election ballots for the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, the two houses of the Italian parliament.
I always look forward to the holidays, but this year was especially anticipated because it was my first Christmas to come ‘home’ to after moving down to Pittsburgh.
Keeping up with our annual family traditions, our family had our usual Christmas Eve pilgrimage to the Strip District to buy steaks and crab legs for our traditional Christmas Eve surf’n’turf. This year Bober and DPM tagged along and we had a fun morning exploring some of the shops in the Strip. We had a spur-of-the-moment lunch at Luke Wholey’s Wild Alaskan Grille and savored some awesome lobster bisque.
The period between July and December is typically the longest stretch away from the Heron that I’ll make in a normal year. So, me and Nate always look forward to taking the early-winter journey up to New York for the Blue Heron Winter Party. It’s now a bit of a tradition, where we see all of our GBH family and re-connect with the festival.