I think there’s one thing we can all agree on: 2020 has been a stressful, challenging, crazy kind of year. From the moment we went into a lock down last March, life has been one big roller coaster.
But you know something? We’re surviving. We’ve learned to cope and continue our lives knowing there’s light at the end of the tunnel. There will be store shelves full of toilet paper and hand sanitizers in the very near future. Why the hope? Over the last two weeks a light has appeared. Not one or two, but three COVID-19 vaccines may be available as soon as December. For that I am thankful; I want life to get back to normal.
Being that it’s Thanksgiving week, I checked in with some of the Solential team—while we’re still working remotely and socially distancing on solar installs—about their favorite memories of Thanksgiving and how they plan to celebrate this year. The common theme on our team is gratitude. We are all grateful to have made it to this week and to spend it with those we love. Here are our stories….
Susan’s Triple Thanks
Eleven years ago, Solential office manager Susan and her husband Steve enjoyed a different kind of Thanksgiving celebration: the birth of their triplets! For 20 years, they have joined Susan’s parents at her brother and sister-in-law’s house for a family feast but in 2009 they had a change in plans. The babies were born seven weeks early and they were so small – ranging from just 2.5 pounds to 4.9 pounds – they had to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the hospital. Susan and Steve were able to bring one of the triplets, their son Erich, home from the NICU the day before Thanksgiving.
With two babies still in the NICU, daughters Elyse and Corinne, Susan spent most of Thanksgiving day in the hospital. She returned home that evening with her husband and son for a quiet celebration. The next day her thoughtful husband went out alone and picked out a 12-foot Christmas tree, a huge surprise to Susan! The day-after-turkey day Christmas tree remains a family tradition, but now Susan and the three 11-years-olds are part of the tree shopping committee.
What is Susan most grateful for? Family, friendships, time, and her sister-in-law for forever hosting holidays! But what I really want to know is, what is her favorite pie?!
Jim’s Double Thanks
Jim is Solential’s boss man and his plate was piled sky high this year holding things together. Jim’s grateful that as an owner of a small business, we made it through and didn’t have to close our doors due to the economic impact of COVID-19! When the pandemic hit, Jim quickly took steps to keep our team safe and as a critical business, fully operational. And that meant working remotely, sometimes in our homes, but largely in the field installing solar arrays. I’ll let Jim tell you how Solential made it through 2020:
“We’ve been blessed this year with business in Iowa, Indiana and Michigan. Our team was great! We navigated through travel restrictions, lead- time issues, and installations of solar arrays in three states during really tough times. I am so proud of our team. We have a promising core of younger talent who are the future of our company and this business enabled us to keep this team together. I am really looking forward to 2021!”
Like the rest of the Solential team, Jim’s taking some time off this week to relax and spend time with his wife Becky and two children who are home from school and abroad. They plan to celebrate with turkey, smoked venison summer sausage, garlic mashed potatoes—garlic and potatoes from his garden—and pumpkin pie. Seeing that menu, I think I might just head over to Jim’s house on Thursday!
And now for me…
Even with all the pandemic drama, I am very grateful for 2020. Earlier in the year, I bought an older home I plan to remodel. I went through it and posted sticky notes everywhere with ideas of what I want to do. Tear out a wall here. Re-do the kitchen there. Overhaul the bathrooms. But before I can do any of it, I needed to sell a big solar system.
I can tell you I didn’t know what to expect on that front. But me and the Solential team kept chipping away on the RFPs, following up with our great partners and responding to leads. And you know what? I sold a 3MW solar array that will be installed in 2021! I am so grateful. Home renovations here I come!
On Thursday you’ll find me and my best friend Zoey (see photo) spending the day with close family in Indianapolis and eating turkey. My favorite part of the meal is green bean casserole, but if you twist my arm, I will eat pie. Pumpkin and pecan.
To all of Solential’s customers, partners, team members and your families, thank you! We are so grateful for your support and positivity during this long, eventful year. Enjoy this week of Thanksgiving and let’s finish out 2020 strong so we start 2021 with a bang. I know I’m ready! – Corey