Last year, at this time, Jeff had been to the hospital for a heart incident and installation of a stent. We are thankful he survived but while still in his 50’s we weren’t prepared for that. In September he was finally starting to feel better he was slammed from behind by a drunk driver. He suffered a severely broken ankle and broken ribs in his back. We’ve been down this road before, but the heart medicine and stent put a new twist on things. No operation could be had until everything was ironed out with the heart medicine. Furthermore, as a self-pay self-insured family most surgeons would not treat him. We persevered and due to the wonderful intervention by some amazing family we are so thankful to get a good doctor to see him.
Then over the winter our favorite employee, Brandon, left. He had been with us for 10 years. I trained and rode alongside him for 3 years before I felt comfortable enough for him to do fertilizing on his own. He had some knowledge of lawn care, but I wanted to make sure bad habits were corrected and notes would be left to my satisfaction. I even gave him writing lessons so he could write notes to my satisfaction. He was a very valuable employee we were thankful for. So, when he gave his notice my heart sank.
Then a few months later his brother, Ben, our mow team leader also left. We actually saw this one coming as ten years is a long time for someone to mow lawns for a living. Needless to say, losing one ten-year employee for a company our size is a blow not to mention 2 at the same time.
As a well-established company we are thankful for getting a lot of applicants and finding a diamond in the rough is usually possible. Here we were in the middle of lowest employment in history and its full-on spring. Jeff wasn’t fully recovered after last year and I’m pushing 30 years in the business. This was not going to be easy. But you know, there was only one thing to do and that was to forge ahead. I spent my usual long days but this year more than usual. And guess what? I did it!
I’m quite certain there may have been times where our service was probably not the same, but we are thankful for you, our valued customers who either let us know when we haven’t kept up or are patient and waited for us to recover. We managed to persevere, and in many cases, customers have commented the service was the best it’s ever been.
We have some exciting things we are working on this winter to make our communications and billing areas more streamlined and hopefully easier to understand. I’ll admit this has not been our strongest area. Keep an eye out for new communications this winter that may look a little different than what we’ve always been doing. We hope you like the new developments.
If you’ve experienced hardship this year, I challenge you to reach out for help, push yourself to get up and out. If you feel cold and you’re inside go outside. Then when you go in it will suddenly feel warmer. 🙂 Do some decorating to make your home more cheerful. Better yet combine the two of them. Go outside (dress warmly but in layers) and gather pine cones, evergreen branches from hollies, yews and spruce. Bring some clippers and have fun with it. Inspect them for insects and rinse off with a hard water spray if needed before bringing inside. Some attractive branches you may want to stay away from are bittersweet. They have curly branching with orange berries. Bitter (a horrible weed) Sweet (attractive in the fall). If you can only find green colors, go ahead and mix some fake ornaments or berries for color. If you feel cold move a little faster to get the blood flowing. You’ll find the energy you create do you wonders in more ways than one.
We are so thankful for you, for your support, your kindness and friendship. We feel that we’ve been so lucky to gain you as not just good customers but friends. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Marcie and Jeff Miner