I want to help

Over the years, I’ve been blessed.

What does that mean to you? The Italians have a phrase I like to blend into the word blessing, and it’s “Sempre Avanti!” It means Always Forward!

Of course, all of us have our own definition of what being blessed means to us. For many, it means a ministerial rite and, for others, their family members and friends are their blessing. Naturally, the list of blessings can go on and on — a blessing is what you make of it, how you feel it and how it impacts your life.

Speaking personally, I’ve been blessed by my family who has stuck by me through the thick and thin moments of my journey. Additionally, I have been so fortunate to meet so many darn, dang good people who are doing so many good things for people — not for profit but for people. Sometimes, that blessing has been nothing more than making eye contact with a stranger — a blessing is what you make of it. You’ve all encouraged me to always look forward.

Why all this talk about blessings and always looking forward?

At a recent meeting, I was introduced to the new ACE (Advocate, Connect and Educate) representative for our area. ACE focuses on helping adults live safely and independently for as long as possible by bringing a multitude of programs and services to them in southwest Minnesota. I’ll name our new rep Hoy.

During my chats with people, I always seek passion in their eyes when we discuss what they do and, it was while speaking with Hody that I saw it. I asked her why she was with ACE and she replied how she always was seeking ways to help people. “I want to help people.” she said.

My mind immediately went to a bottle of wine from an Italian family whose family motto is: “Sempre Avanti!” — Always Forward. Always look forward to the newness of someone or something — they bring new eyes, hands, experience and passion to us.

The wine I referenced is Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio — a wonderful wine from Italy’s Trentino-Alto Adige region. It’s very pale in color and has a very light floral aroma but its taste is heavily tropical fruit flavored and crisp. Sipping it will want you to stand up and go forward.

I know someone (JD) who is a Chardonnay lover and I heartily recommend Kendall-Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay. It’s highly rated with a full bodied creamy taste. A perfect wine to sip as you reflect on your blessings.

One of my blessings is a minister who has been very kind to me over the years — maybe he knows how much I need help! Anyway, we just had a phone conversation during which I couldn’t get him to stop talking about the difficulties of ministering during this virus time. He kept going forward when I thought he was finished and, finally, I mentioned how I had already finished a bottle of wine while talking to him (Joking, of course!) so maybe we should part. He simply stated I was not done pastoring to him yet and on he went. He is definitely a blessing for me.

After speaking with him, I pondered our conversation over a glass of Windstream Pinot Noir, Opaque Darkness. If you want depth and beauty in a wine, here’s one for you. Lovely cherry tastes and aromas, full luscious mouth feel and a lovely long soft finish. You’ll always look forward to the rest of the bottle.

In this time when there are so many bad examples of human kind, let’s all keep Hody of ACE in mind. “I want to help people.” Let’s do that and our society will reflect “Sempre Avanti!”

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!



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