Well, like many, these days of isolation have given me some time to reflect. Sure I’ve thought about the 1918 pandemic, but let’s be honest, I wasn’t there. What I do remember are times in my life and in the lives of my families and friends where we had to adapt. Maybe bedridden for a medical condition, out of a job, unable due to location or finances to take a trip or see a loved one. Everything we are experiencing has probably been experienced in small doses at one time in some way or another. We saw the eventual light at the end of the tunnel and whether we liked it or not we had to adapt. My father used to tell me that during a storm, trees that won’t budge get broken, but the long blade of grass with strong roots bends and inevitably survives, completely unharmed. In other words, the combination of strength and flexibility will get you far.

I hear a lot of people worrying about the future. Specifically people have asked me about whether or not I think the future of Saddleback has been compromised. I spoke to Doc Tulin, Saddleback’s Director of Marketing and he seemed as positive as ever. He pointed out that if you just pop on over to either the Saddleback Facebook page or the Friends of Saddleback Facebook page you will see that they update their posts on a regular basis. They post updates on anything from COVID-19 to lifts being dismantled. Tulin added,  “Any time we make a change, we take great pains to be utterly transparent with our community, as a cornerstone of everything we do. The schedule for the installation of the new Doppelmayr high-speed quad has not changed, nor has the schedule for our other major improvements.  Our operations team has grown as the work has increased with the melting of the snow and they are taking great pains to maintain distances and avoid all health related risks in full compliance with all restrictions. Season passes are selling and, obviously, like all other resorts, at a slower rate because of the current circumstances, but we are marching forward towards next winter and feel positive about it, despite the stress and pressure this has created for everyone around on so many levels.”

Wow, I can’t wait to be back on the trails at my favorite mountain once again! I really miss it.

I started thinking about events I might miss, but I am hoping they are just be postponed. For example, the annual Lakeside Dance Academy Spring Concert. This is one of my favorite events. I have been told by Pamela Ellis that the The Lakeside Dance Academy instructors have made practice videos and posted them so all students can practice their dances to stay sharp. However, the Academy is in wait-and-see mode: if allowed, they are planning to have two weeks of classes beginning June 1 and then the Concert on June 18-19. I am certainly crossing my fingers for this.

Another alteration is the Town of Rangeley Board of Selectmen’s meetings. With the help of the all popular Zoom, you can now virtual attend these meetings. The first one in April had pretty good attendance. I was told by Traci Pitt-Lavoie of the Town of Rangeley that whereas there was usually a  maybe three or four people who would show up to the BOS meetings, there was significantly more, about twenty, in the last Zoom meeting.

The next Town of Rangeley Board of Selectmen Virtual Meeting is MONDAY, MAY 4, 2020, 6:00PM. If you want to join here is the login information you will need.

Join Zoom Meeting- https://zoom.us/j/93830895406 Meeting ID: 938 3089 5406 or dial in at +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Other pastimes I annually look forward to have not changed. Happily I can still garden. Priscilla St. Louis of Sunrise View Farm let me know that they will be opening on May 8th and that if anything the consistent late season snow has been more of a hindrance than COVID-19.

Like many, I am personally occupying my free time with house renovations, my craft projects and reading and am further looking forward to tennis, bike riding, and fiddlehead hunting! Others in my family are looking forward to increased fishing, boating, turkey hunting and hiking.

Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Of course I want the troubles of many of my loved ones to come to an end but I want to look back on this time as a time when we stayed positive, took action where we could and have given healthy prioritization to what matters most. I hope you are fully appreciating all of your blessings as well!

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