It is February in the Great White North...Cold, with temperatures hovering around 10 degrees for a high. Time for Shepherd's Pie, Chicken Pot Pie and rib sticking foods that contribute to the Freshman Fifteen. And they eat it all. Don't forget Chicken Nuggets and mac-n-cheese...
However, they (University of Maine system) have decided that after over 40 years of the current contracted corporation, they would switch companies. So, again after so many damn times, I am once again searching for a new position. Luckily, this time, relocation and finding a new job is up to the company. I am looking at stuff in New York, Vermont and Massachusetts as well as possibilities on the west coast again, not California, but the places I want to be, Oregon or Washington. The benefit of working for a large company and doing well for them, you get treated like you mean something to them--you make them money and help their reputation grow.
I have made fast friends in Maine, as well as falling in love with winter and the sky.
I have also fallen in love with the people of Farmington. My cooks are all amazing people with great talent, I found a Sous Chef who thinks like I do... and does amazing things with little bits and pieces. A baker that is a former school administrator and appreciates my grasp of the English Language, that I have read some books and listened to music--who makes freakin' amazing cookies. The front line employees, most of which were new, have grown on me like fungus. Some of them I couldn't stand at the beginning, because they had NO experience, and were young, but now, after a semester of learning, they are growing into a tight knit staff that relies on one another. People I can trust with my food. I am sad that they lost the contract. I am especially sad that after the awful year in Massachusetts, these people accepted me into their community and have treated me with LOVE and RESPECT. and I will miss them.
And the sky.... the sky is so amazing...
|Ice covered parking area and golden sunrise|
|Good Morning Starshine!|
|Long Pond, Belgrade Lakes|
The contract doesn't end until June, so we are all stuck with one another until then. We have some fun events, weddings and Bike Trek, as well as graduation--which is my favorite time of year. I cry every time I see the students in their caps and gowns, receiving their diplomas, balancing on the precipice of a new life--getting their wings. That's one of the biggest reasons I like to work in education, I get to see them become adults. While I am not, nor have ever wanted to be a parent, it is one of the most meaningful things to me, seeing these students succeed, especially if they have worked for me. I have had students come to me as freshman and work through getting their master's degrees.. one getting ALL A's in the process (Masters of Social Work, she now works for Community Hospice and I am SO proud of her).
Steven and I still take our weekend stoner road trips-Downeast, to Portland or over to Bangor. Before we take leave of Maine we have a bucket list of attractions and eateries we want to hit, as well as the drive up to the Canadian Border to wave at the Mounties.
Until we know what our next move is... I bid you,