By Ronda Roemmelt Sneider, Ruppert Nurseries
Someone once told me that the days are long but the years are short. As the mother of a high school senior, I am living these words right now. I don’t know who is more anxious for the mail each day, me or him as we await on pins and needles answers from his chosen schools. And while I’m excited to see what happens next, I am in no hurry for him to be out of my nest and on his own. All that said though, at this time of year doesn’t it seem like the days can last forever? Wake in the dark, drive to work in the dark, drive home in the dark? 5 pm feels like 10pm? Some days there are barely enough things to do to warrant getting out of bed and yet others are so jam packed with immediate “to-dos” there are not nearly enough hours of daylight to get it all done. Feast or famine so they say.
And yet here we are with 28 days left in the year. Have we accomplished all that we set out to do at the beginning of 2019? Can we say this year was a success? Will we look fondly upon it or will we gladly wave it goodbye, keeping a hopeful eye on 2020? For me, 2019 was a bit of a mixed bag. I had some really cool travels in 2019, reconnected with a few old friends and finished a couple of home projects that were on the wish list for a long time. Work wise though, I feel like we worked all year playing catch up. Spring came just when it should but then halted just as it was getting started. Our sum total of spring this year was about 6 weeks when it is usually twice as long. We made lofty January goals that were often difficult to meet as the work didn’t seem to want to coincide with the correct months. So, with 28 days left in the year we are still scrapping so we can finish strong.
Not only are the sands in December’s hourglass almost out, but there are also only 28 days left in this decade. IN. THIS. DECADE. Let that sink in. Do you remember what you were doing in December of 2009? I’ll ask the same question from above. Did you accomplish everything you thought or hoped that you would in the past decade? For me, in the past decade I’ve been divorced, remarried, changed jobs, said goodbye to a pet, bought a house, went to Europe for the first time and watched my children grow into people who barely resemble the same faces they had 10 years ago.
At the nursery we have seen so many changes in the past 10 years. I haven’t been here long enough to recall from personal memory the beginning of the past decade. However, the changes I’ve witnessed in the past almost 8 years are numerous. We have pushed over thousands of overgrown, damaged trees to make way for thousands more new ones. We’ve grown the farm by another hundred acres, renovated and re-designed our yard and barns, bought a 100” tree spade, reduced our herbicide use by almost 75%, seen our best sales years in company history, hosted numerous industry events and most recently were fortunate to have been filmed for an upcoming episode of “Maryland Farm and Harvest”.
The nursery has also seen a wave of new babies arrive on the scene, lost one dear friend and co-worker and have added a few new ones to the mix. We’ve traveled as a team to Italy, Germany and the Netherlands to study from those who’ve been in the nursery business for many years longer than we. We’ve added 2 new ISA Arborists, two new Certified Professional Horticulturists and represented Ruppert Nurseries in several industry related board positions. All in all, I think we can say, it’s been a productive, profitable, interesting and memorable decade.
By the time this blog is posted, there will be fewer than 28 days left. What will you do with your last 28 days in this year, in this decade? I’ll bet most of us will have many of the same goals. Prepare for the holidays without driving yourself insane, not eat too many Christmas cookies, and not to let your relatives make you nuts. But while you are at it, in the few quiet moments you might find, I encourage you to reflect on the past ten years and think about where you are today versus where you thought you would be. Make a new set of goals for the next 10 years and decide how you will accomplish them. Tell every important person in your life what they mean to you, make friends with someone with a completely different view on the world. Thank the people who do nice things for you, and do nice things for as many people as you can; I promise you it won’t take much effort or money and will pay dividends 10 fold. And for me, I’m going to try to embrace the long days because they turn into short years and before you know it, we’ll be reminiscing about the decade of 2020-2029. I hope your visions for your next decade are as bright as mine.
Cheers and happy holidays my friends,
Ronda Roemmelt Sneider, CPH
ISA Certified Arborist MA-5274A
Sales Manager/Mid Atlantic Sales