I started to write a brief thank you note to slip into the email that was being readied to notify folks that we'd be performing the first application of the 2023 Turf Management Program shortly. Words were many. A brief note didn't make sense. So, I thought for a bit.
How could I create a space to share some longer form pieces that wouldn't be a burden to those who just want the basics in an email, yet provide some extra insight into the life of a landscaper*?
I then spent the next half hour reclaiming the ole "blog page" here on our website.
It hadn't been updated since 2020. We killed it during the roller coaster that was Covid. This is just one of the many changes we've experienced recently. (More on that in another post.)
But as I was saying, I wanted to share a few stories that would help add weight to my statement of gratitude.
As the new season launches, we typically take time as a team to reflect on the prior year. Things like, what went well, what didn't go well, what are we going to do about it?
During that conversation, one striking theme became illuminated. That theme was how much joy there is between our team and customers.
It's one thing to show up to a property make tall grass short, throw mulch or spray some weeds, stick a sign in a yard and jump back in a truck... It's a whole other thing when you stop at a property to service it and a warm smile greets you, your offered a cool drink or maybe some fresh BBQ for the road. That's what happens! And it happens alot!
Our customers are the best!
Covid seemed to slow things down. Peoples eyes lifted from their phone or whatever seemingly good distraction and we saw one another as just a little more human.
Personally, I can hear the voice of one 'Ole Chap saying, "Hey, grab a seat" as I swung around his back patio on a mower. He'd been a customer for about 10 years or so. As I sat for a bit, another employee joined us. A call made the customer's phone dance a bit and he picked it up. Some small talk took place over the phone and then he said to the voice on the other line, "I have some friends here, I'll have to call you back."
I was a little dumbfound. The Ole Chap(and I mean this endearingly) didn't have to use the words that he did... But he did. He called us friends And he meant it. Flash forward a bit and the three of us took a hunting trip out west this past winter(something we've talked about now for the better part of 10 years). It was a blast for all of us!
There was another night that my 6 year old daughter and I were out on a daddy-daughter date. As we were being seated at Cracker Barrel, we just so happened to be placed by another set of long time customers. At first they didn't recognize me in "normal clothes." But quickly we caught up and it almost felt like a visit with family.
As the customer couple left, the hostess informed me that the french fry and ice cream meal for my daughter and I was paid for by their table. My pride swelled a bit as I thought, if anyone should be buying someone a meal... it should have been me buying their's! Heck, over there year's there is no telling how many "meals" they have bought for me, my family, or that of our employees!!!
Again, I'm grateful. I'm thankful for the folks that we get to provide services for and those that I have been fortunate to do it along side with over the years. There's really nothing glamorous about running a mower or spreading fertilizer as a grown man, but to be appreciated when doing these activities means the world. Thank you.
As 2023 launches, our team is much much much smaller. Because of this, we will be focusing on mowing, fertilizing, and just a little bit of landscape maintenance. We'll be pulling weeds and replenishing some mulch beds as spring rolls in. But, gone are the days of the big landscape projects and chasing a patio, retaining wall, or construction feature.
And yes... I now feel a little dumb for having the word "landscape" in the company name. But here's the deal- be it a mower, a shovel, or keyboard in my hand; these are just tools of the trade in which I get to help change the spiritual landscape of our community. And I'd submit that makes me a landscaper!