President’s Notes, January 2021

By Jim Moreau, CIT, CLIA, CIC, CLVLT
January 2021

Happy New Year! I am glad to see 2020 go in my review mirror and hope to see better days in 2021. As I sit here writing these notes for the Newsletter, the first vaccines are being distributed to the United States and around the world. Hopefully by this time next year, we will be in a better state of mind and back to somewhat normal. We all know that the normal life we once had, before COVID-19, will probably never exist ever again. Unfortunately, numbers are climbing again. Let’s hope and pray that the winter months do not get any worse. So, be smart about protocols and stay safe and healthy. Let’s ring in the 2021 New Year together and see what it has in store for the landscape industry.

Well, I have some great news from UNH Cooperative Extension. They are finally working on a replacement for Cathy Neal, who you all know retired over a year ago, as the Horticultural State Specialist. We all know that Cathy did a tremendous amount of work for the landscape industry and it will be very difficult to find a replacement. It is an exciting time and I was asked to be a member of the hiring committee. The committee is made up of industry professionals and members of the UNH Cooperative Extension Office. The applicants will go through a rigorous screening. We want to hire someone who is going to take the position as seriously, as Cathy did for many years.
The committee is in the middle of reviewing the applications and comparing notes. Once this process is done, we will have our first round of interviews. Once we narrow it down, we will then move to our second round of interviews. So by the time some of you receive this Newsletter, we will have our finalist for the position. Then they meet with the University staff, for the final approval. I am hopeful we will have a new State Specialist by January.

This position is a great resource for the landscape industry, in New Hampshire, and it has been sorely missed, since Cathy left. I know that the NHLA membership will welcome the new person with open arms. I would like to finish by saying “Thank you” to Jonathan Ebba, who has been helping out since Cathy retired. He has been a tremendous help and an invaluable resource in organizing programs for the membership. Unfortunately, Jonathan is moving to the Strafford County Extension office. He will be sorely missed. Good luck Jonathan!

The Board meets monthly to keep NHLA moving in the right direction. Since our traditional conferences are on hold, we are looking at new events and venues. The Education Committee has also been working hard on program ideas. They are looking at many virtual programs. Lo8h7g5d33a1 (Oops! Sorry about that, Minnie just walked on the keyboard. Yes, she is sitting here with me in the home office writing these notes.)

Ok, let’s get back to the Education Committee. They are in dire need of help, as we are losing a long time committee member, Bill Hoffman. Bill is retiring from the committee and I want to personally say “Thank You, Bill” for all your hard work and dedication. You will be missed! The committee needs help in order to have conferences, Twilight Meetings, and much more. Please think about it! It does not require a ton of time. You too can make a difference in the NHLA and have some fun at the same time. Some day you will look back and say, “I made a difference in the industry,” so please contact us.

As we say “goodbye” to this crazy year, let’s welcome 2021 with open arms and a smile. Let’s remember the family and friends we have lost. Welcome our new family and friends into the world and into the industry. It was an unprecedented year that I will never forget, but I will try to remember the goodness that came from it. It was an incredible year for kindness, generosity, support, and problem solving. Just remember, life is too short, so make the best of it. We may not always get along, but we are here for each other, no matter what. Please make 2021 the year that you want it to be and live life to the fullest.

In closing, I am sad to say that we have lost a founding father of the NHLA, Dave Sansom, and an owner of New Hampshire Landscape, an early landscape firm in Hooksett. He passed away in late November (see pages 4-5). We also lost another dedicated professional in November, Frank Wolfe, who owned Lake Street Gardens, in Salem (see the December issue). I will keep them in my prayers.

I want to thank Peter van Berkum for the great articles he wrote on both of these fine individuals. They will both be missed.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

 

President’s Notes December 2020

by Jim Moreau, CIT, CLIA, CIC, CLVLT
December 2020

I can’t believe we are nearing the end of 2020, a year that will not be forgotten anytime soon. I know that I will not forget what has happened in the world and how we have had to adapt to the “new” normal. We have to wear masks, social distance, and clean everything we touch, not to mention shortages on food, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper. I never thought I would see the day. Life has changed!

Our children are experiencing remote education, whether they are completely at home or in a hybrid setting. I don’t know how well I would have done from home. I was one of seven children. We would have either killed each other or my mom would have gone crazy! Bless all you parents and teachers! Unfortunately, this is going to be the new norm and I believe the quicker people start to understand and accept it, the easier it will become. That is why you need to do something that brings some sense of calm and normalcy.

Pam and I just spent a weekend away at a quiet resort, in southern Maine. Yes, we had to sign waivers. It was the beginning of November and the weather was just perfect, low-seventies. We spent a good part of the day overlooking the ocean from our balcony. In our busy lives, we forget about the little things. We enjoyed sitting and listening to the sound of the waves hitting the beach and how peaceful it was to listen to. I unplugged from my phone and computer and just sat out on the porch and listened to the peace and quiet of the ocean. I soaked up the warmth of the sun and tried to forget what was going on in the world, for just a short while. It’s amazing how good I felt mentally, to just check out of the world’s problems, even if it was only for a short few hours on a Saturday afternoon. Later that evening, I spent about 30 minutes out there and the sound was the same. I found it amazing that those waves never stop, they continue 24/7, 365 days a year. Some days they are bigger and louder and other days they are smaller and quieter, but they never stop.

I guess my whole point is that we need to feel normal every so often and enjoy some peace and quiet. I would suggest finding that peaceful spot you love and just listen to the world around you, even if you just get to relax for a moment.

By the time you read this Newsletter, the holiday season will be upon us and I want to wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! I hope that you will get to see your family and friends from a safe distance or by video chat. Please stay safe and healthy so that we can all have a great start to the 2021 season.

I know this past season is one for the record books. Everyone I have talked to has had a very busy and profitable year. Many have already scheduled most of next year. We have experienced a workload that we have never seen and would not have imagined it could happen during a pandemic. We can only hope that the wave continues into the 2021 season.

In the boardroom, unfortunately, we have had to cancel most of our events this year. However, we are brainstorming new ways to bring educational events to you. We are in the planning stages now. If you are interested in helping out, in person or virtually, please contact me. Watch the Newsletter and the website for updates!

In closing, I have one more thing to ask and that is: take care of each other and help those in need. We all have had one of the best seasons in a long time, so if you can help someone in need please do so. Helping someone doesn’t have to be something big, it just has to be something. It may be raking leaves for the elderly, donating to Toys for Tots, or checking in on a neighbor. We know several of you do volunteer work all the time. Please take a few minutes to write an article to share with the NHLA and include pictures. It will give others ideas on how they can help, as well. Helping out doesn’t need to cost money. I would like to

THANK YOU in advance for all your help. Have a wonderful holiday!
Best regards, Jim

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intentions.” — Oscar Wilde