Saturday, November 8, 2014

Winter Preperation

It's been a crazy few months in the our household.  While Shawna's health has been basically steady; that is, up and down but not seemingly in decline, we've all been pretty busy.  She's been at work as much as possible with her ceramics getting ready for a large craft fair she has coming up later in November, trying to complete an order for a brewery in central Maine, as well as create sculpture pieces.  On top of all this, she's trying to get a non-profit off the ground called Healing Arts of Maine which is aimed at using art to help those who've suffered and/or suffering from the things no one likes to talk about; abuse at the hands of a love one, PTSD related to a variety of situations including those received in battle, as a first responder, and as an abuse victim, and those with various mental disorders.  On top of everything else she has going on it's quite an endeavor.

Caden just finished football season a few weeks ago and did a great job as the team quarterback.  The whole team was wonderful and the amount of improvement they showed from the beginning of the season to the end left me feeling proud to be one of their coaches.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I spent my first season ever as a coach (assistant) this past fall.  It was a pretty incredible experience to be part of such an amazing turn around for our JR program.  From no wins the past 3 years to a 4-2 record this year!  While we as coaches are often given much of the credit for the turnaround, for me the credit goes to the incredible  young men who spent countless hours, sweat, and tears learning and applying what we were attempting to teach them.

On top of football, Caden has been doing a much better job applying himself as a student than he did when he originally came to live with us last year.  He's settled in wonderfully after a bit of a rough start and his attitude and grades reflect that.  While he still has some issues on days when Shawna is not in the best of health, that's certainly understandable for a 12 year old.  He's been handed one hell of a hand at various times in his life and he amazes me with his ability to adapt to the situations presented to him.  I have to give kudos to his mom and dad for helping him develop a mental fortitude that is well beyond his years. Unfortunate as it is that so much is required of him at times, there is a part of me that believes it will be for his betterment as he moves from his teen years onto his adult life.

As to what I've been up to the past couple of months, other than football it's seemingly been all winter preparation all the time.  Firewood was a major concern for us as I made the mistake of not planning to be here this winter.  It's all cut and stack in the shed, much of it without the use of a tractor or other implement to get it out of the woods.  I am, however, thankful for some good people in the community who helped us both get some of the wood I was cutting out and for our neighbors who allowed me to borrow their wood splitter for the day.  While much of the wood we have is still green (not dry for you non wood burners), we at least have a enough stacked and drying in our shed to get us through the winter months.

On top of this, I've been attempting to better insulate and prepare the house for the cold months ahead.  What many may or may not realize is exactly how bad our weather can get during the winter months.  I'm talking nights that are -30 and day's that don't break zero with well over a 100 inches of snow thrown in.  Some years are milder and easier to manage while others are like last year and never seem to end.  The one big difference we''ll have this year is that Caden has made the decision not to play hockey.  Financially this will greatly benefit us while looking for a new home further south and mentally I think he needed the break from the rigors and demand the sport requires.

So that's a brief summary of what's been going on.  I have some other posts already in the wings that I'm hoping to finally finish now that winter is bringing about a much slower period of my year.  I have some other things planned for this winter to get accomplished that I'll get into the the coming weeks but needless to say I don't intend to just sit around with my finger up my ass like I have seemed to do the past couple of winters.  Now that we're going into our third winter in this location I have a much better understanding of what it is that we're facing this coming season and I'm hoping this knowledge will help me get more accomplished.  This of course in reliant upon Shawna's health holding but even if there are hiccups this winter, and I expect there will be, if Caden and I work together, and with the knowledge that our family has local help from some great people if needed, I fully expect this winter will not be like the past two and be a hell of a lot easier on all of us.