I hate (great way to start) it when people or companies I worked for are never ready for the task at hand. Things are hectic and frustrating as what you need to push forward is not there or ready. I try to plan ahead and communicate my intentions to those concerned in advance so there are no surprises, well as much as possible. I took over my fathers maple sugar farm coming on 4 years now. I spend lots of time planning what I am going to do and what I need, the same for those who work with me. I make sure they have everything they need. The unexpected always finds a way to creep up on you with certain twist you never thought. Weather , mechanics, and accidents. Having done a lot of work last year on straightening out what was not efficient in my system setup I thought I was ahead of the game until things warmed up and the sap started to flow. What was around the corner is now in my face for the past two weeks. When things start in this time of season, anything that wasn’t broken may be broken. There is no plug and play here. Things happen when nothing happens kind of thing. Next thing you notice is you are pulled along with the wind of events in a sort of daze of demand of work and time in front of you. In a way this to be expected every year. Kinda ironic I guess.
This year is extra challenging. From challenges on the council level from my municipality that I seat in with delinquent forestry companies hauling wood when the roads are thawed. The logistic, sort to say, of the cottage my mother is renting out. The tentants wish to purchase it but only the land , well foundation and septic field. The house is sub par as it was a cottage on candle sticks to something set on a foundation and extension add to it. It is sub standard to be sold as such and would cost a lot to bring it to something decent. This is a great deal for my mother to take and a huge one for me as it would fall on my hands to renovate it. The kicker is ….. they are on vacation for 2 months …. April and May. April, I will be in full swing of the tail end of the sugar season.
The cherry on the Sundae
About 2 or 3 years ago my mom was diagnosed with a leukemia. A certain genetic type of thing that can lay dormant for a whole lofe time kind of thing. It is treatable. Apparently it was under control. The thing is it made her blood thinner and she is anemic.
Things add up after the fact ….
My mom was suffering from a back problem for a good part of the year. It seemed the chiropractor was making things worst for her. She could not put a roast in the even as the weight stressed her back. Two weeks ago she went to see her doctor which was an hour drive. He took in account of the distance she lived away from and did a lumbar biopsy on her. This was painless and the last time she had one she had a bit of problem with the bleeding, but it went ok, I was with her at the time. This time she was alone with her sister in law who doesn’t drive. She made it home but about 6 hours later it started bleeding and wouldn’t stop. Friends of her came by to help and decided to call an ambulance. Midnight I get a call to go get her the bleeding had stopped. Next morning she woke up with blood in her bed. Again back at the hospital late afternoon only to be seen at 2 am in the morning and tried to send her home. Her back was getting worst as she needed a cane to walk and her movement were slow and calculated. Sitting down or laying down was ok for her. Then next day it was unbearable and again they called the ambulance. At hospital they noticed how this time it was serious and how much pain she was in. Two days ago I finally had the time to see her as I had no time at all for her with the swing of things on the way. I had just done a 2 day run of 14 to 15 hour days at the sugar farm. The news was they found a tumor in her back. Last night I got time to go see her but she was sleeping which gave me time to see the doctor to see what was her condition as information was adding up daily. The tumor is in one of her vertebrate and weakening the density of the bone. It was like it was broken which explains was she could not turn sideways when walking. The doctor said there is a new procedure where they inject some kind of ciment in her vertebrate. In a way they kind of caught it in time but unsure if she will walk. She has the next month to look forward to on her back. This Friday she was supposed to have tests done and ship her from this local hospital the the one where her doctor is an hour and a half away. The scan machine was shut down and it was delayed till Monday.
I have a lot on my plate with the season in full swing, with also certain logistics added on the administration side. My mom took care of that and the cooking with a hand at some work in the cabin while I took the time to eat.
Even though it is cold this morning I have two repairs to do … actually 4 . One is going on the roof of the cottage as the roof was leaking with ice forming up due to lack of insulation and ventilation. Defrosting certain pipes the were frozen last sap run and some mechanic repairs on the tractor as I need it to ploy the snow.
The next three days the sap will run and I have paper work to file and checks to send before the week is out. Something new to learn.
As I am feeling the pressure of what lays ahead of me I am heart broken for my mother. She is keeping a brave face through it all . She said if the pain can stop just that would be a great relief.
My father died on the operating table in 2016. The doctors thought that had a good chance but my fathers heart was too warn out. It was a heavy feeling to get over even though me and my mom were expecting such surprise for 10 years. This now? I have no clue what comes next.
Even though I have projected what I would do with the farm and their home when my parents would be gone I was not prepared for this.
I have to run now as I took enough time this morning to write this.