My uncle was a Coast Guard cook during World War II, so when I was growing up we were fortunate to experience some fancy treats. The aroma in his home at holidays was always special.
In his cottage, he had a free-standing chopping block for tenderizing meat or cutting fruits and vegetables. You always knew when he was preparing the next meal, not only because of the smells, but also because of the sounds on the chopping block.
In the world of college basketball, this last week provided an array of sounds. There were thunderous cheers for the exciting upsets and finishes in the NCAA tournament, but there also was the sound of the chopping block as coaches were fired after disappointing early departures.
Despite a record of 233-107 over 10 years, four conference championships and Final Four appearances in three consecutive years, UCLA fired coach Ben Howland.
The University of Minnesota dismissed Tubby Smith as their coach after six seasons and a record of 124-81. He came to Minnesota from Kentucky to lead a program that had experienced scandal under the tutelage of former coach Clem Haskins. Smith led the Gophers to five seasons of at least 20 wins, and before losing to Florida in the third round of last week's action, guided his team to the school's first NCAA postseason win since 1997 - coincidentally over UCLA.
On paper, both of these gentlemen compiled resumes many schools would be proud to have. Apparently, these institutions have different priorities.
It is rumored that Marquette University coach Buzz Williams will be receiving offers from other schools after the Golden Eagles finish their season. If that is the case, Williams will have to review his priorities before making a decision.
When the University of Kentucky decided to hire John Calipari and basically establish a short-term feeding ground for the NBA, they had to decide what their priorities were surrounding the men's basketball program.
Sadly, if priorities aren't set in proper order and followed accordingly, we can be led astray quite easily.
Jobs, homes, vacations and quiet time may all be on our list of importance, but what ranks first?
Prioritized lives will lead to rich, rewarding lives. They won't necessarily be full of wealth and fame, but when we have a purpose for living and learn to be content with what we have, we have greater wealth than we could imagine.
Michigan State men's basketball coach Tom Izzo commented how sad he was when he heard of the firing of Smith because he knew he was a man of great character.
When impeccable character isn't enough to lead a program, are our priorities mixed up?
Some people believe material possessions should be our top priority, however wealth and luxury can make us overconfident, spoiled and complacent.
Choose priorities that last over what is temporary and we all can enjoy meaningful lives full of great blessings.