By Jim Moreau, CIT, CLIA, CIC, CLVLT
Here we are, only in August, and many of us are wishing the season would be over at the end of the month. We have dealt with more problems, for the first time in our lives, than any of us want to count. I sit here in my kitchen, on a Friday night in July, writing these notes and I am thinking back to simpler days, when I was a kid. Yes, I know it was a long time ago. All I needed to worry about was not getting caught doing something I shouldn’t do or what I wanted to do with my friends that night. Yes, some of us can remember back to the day of pay phones and having to go home when the lights came on down the street. We did everything by hand and were excited to get our first tractor to make our jobs easier. I had to fight to get a landscape job because everyone wanted to work outside. We busted our butts and worked out until our fingers bled. We had no phones and barely had two way radios, but we made it work and we survived. Unfortunately, those days are long gone and we now have a small computer on our hip every minute of every day. We are now available to our customers 24/7 and it is both stressful and challenging. Yes, the times have changed but the work has not. We still give everything we have to make our customers happy and their dream yards come true.
The world is going to be a very different place as we move forward from this pandemic. Masks may be part of our everyday life. Social events, like going to the lake or the park will be limited by size and space. Spontaneity will be a thing of the past; we will have to plan our travels and gatherings. Online shopping is booming and our brick and mortar buildings are fading away. There will be more driving vacations and less air travel. More and more people will be working from home, which will be great for the industry. I know you are saying “How is this going to help, with more people working from home?” They are looking at their yards every day and want them to look great. I am seeing more people taking an interest in yards and gardens. They are going to want the fire pit, the big patio for the backyard, and the irrigation system to keep the grass green. We are definitely benefiting from the pandemic because we are busier than we have been in years. I count my blessing every day, as we can continue to reap the rewards of having an abundance of work for the foreseeable future.
However, I do think about the businesses that are less fortunate during this crisis. I finally was able to get my haircut a few weeks ago. My barber told me, he was two weeks away from closing his doors for good. I think about how some restaurants and businesses are completely changing their service and some small ones that are just shutting their doors. Our country is known to be the land of opportunity, but so many are losing their dreams due to the pandemic. So, I encourage you to shop local, support your small businesses, and help out your family, friends, and neighbors. We will come through this together!
There is not a lot to talk about, as far as NHLA is concerned, as we have had to cancel all of the summer planned programs. We are hopeful for a couple of fall Twilight Meetings and the November Dinner Meeting. Everything is pending on the pandemic and the opening of venues. I know that many of you look forward to the Twilight Meetings and other educational events. We are going to do the best we can to make it happen. We will need to think outside the box.
Education can take on many forms, including reading and writing articles. I would like to challenge you to write an article for our Newsletter, educating us on something new in the field or sharing an accomplishment. It can be on any topic, such as the proper way to transport plant material, pruning techniques, irrigation troubleshooting, staying healthy, knowing signs of heat stress, OSHA regulations on job sites or helping a school design and install an outdoor garden. These are just a few of the many topics we would like to hear about in the Newsletter. We all have knowledge and or a story to share, so take the time and send it to us.
Our Newsletter deadline is the 10th of each month. I hope to hear from you soon! If you are a NHLA Certified Professional, you can receive credits for writing articles. Who knows, you just might get lunch out of the deal.
“May your troubles be less and your blessings be more and nothing but happiness come through the door.” — Unknown.”