It's November, the month for giving thanks. So perhaps it's not a coincidence that by the time we received our Use and Occupancy permit, our open houses were pushed to November, two months later than I had initially planned. Perhaps it's by a grand design that I'm sitting here the day before Thanksgiving with two successful open houses in the books and a ribbon-cutting planned. Whether or not this is following a cosmic plan, I am simply grateful.

As most of you know, this year has been a challenge with our construction project. The things I experienced have certainly pushed the limits of my comfort zone, in many ways. There was the physical comfort zone, as I shivered in the cold during the early stages of construction before sweating it out as the temperature climbed. I also became a project manager and de facto general contractor, neither of which I have done before. To say that was a challenge is an understatement. Sure, I've managed a family, but I couldn't take away the subcontractor's electronics if they didn't do what I want.

During the process, there were a few firefighters who stopped in to see what we were doing. Sure, there was curiosity, but there was also support that we were doing something good with their old house. We invited them collectively in for an open house and our staff now feels like we are an extended part of the family. (If you missed it, the news article can be found here.) I never expected to have this kind of connection with the Hagerstown Fire Department. It was unexpected, but I count it as a blessing. 

So sitting in this beautiful, finished building now, I can look back and give thanks for all the hard work that went into it. I know first hand how much back-breaking and skilled labor went into every piece of the office. I know how much support we had from our friends, family, and the community. I know we had some real cheerleaders that helped get us to this point. I know who was available for a drink and vent session. And I was so glad to see most of you at the open house. Thank you all for helping us through it. Cosmic plan or not, I am so thankful for all the wonderful people in our lives.

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