Monday, January 16, 2017

Tough as Nails - aka Winter in Maine

I spoke with someone living in the south the other day and she asked if we have to stop working during the winter months in Maine.  "Once it starts to snow", she asked, "don't you have to put everything on hold till spring"?  I laughed, because nothing could be further from the truth.

But that's in large part, because you have to be pretty tough to work here when it gets cold.  It takes a 'we can do it attitude' every single day.  Here's an example:  First step when getting started on the new foundation walls?  Chipping the thick layer of ice off the top of the concrete!  It's a slow, painstaking task.  But it's the only way to do the job right.

When the temperature is 2 degrees, with a wind chill of minus 23..... they're still smiling!  In fact, Brian mentioned that we've been really lucky with the weather.  What's cold weather and a few snowstorms?
This is Maine!

And when one of our carpenters has an accident with a nail gun (not on our project, I'd like to add), he's back on our job at 7:30 the next morning (yeah, hard to look at, I know!!).
Inside the house isn't much warmer than outside, since we don't have a furnace yet - although these fancy plastic windows help break the wind a bit.  But hey, 3 degrees is 3 degrees!

And in the deep, dark days around the winter solstice, the sun sets a few minutes after 4 pm.  So there isn't  even a lot of sunshine to help warm things up.

So do you have to be tough as nails to work here in the winter?  It certainly helps.  And one of the things I love about Maine is the work ethic of everyone I work with.  They're committed to getting a quality job done, no matter what the challenge.  Tough as nails indeed!!

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  1. Wow!!! That's the kind of perseverance and work ethic that's all too rare these days. I wish more Americans, including my toddler grandsons, would learn these values. Thanks for an inspiring post.

  2. We are in WNY, not as cold as Maine, but it is pretty cold here too. Yesterday, it was 33 degrees and several of the workers at the construction site down the road had their sleeves pushed up because they were warm. :) It has been in the teens and twenties the last couple of weeks. I got a kick out of seeing that.

    1. Our guys were in T-shirts with that little warm spell! I, on the other hand, was still wearing thermal underwear :-)

  3. I'm near St. Paul and we've had contractors working inside and out on our unheated porch in same weather as yours. Windchills one day were -23! I've been a Minnesotan all my life, but I doubt I could work outside in that weather. I'm very glad they can though :)

  4. One of our workers shot a nail into his finger as well, missed the afternoon as he was in the ER, but showed up at 7:00 am the next day with a bandaged finger. Just the thought of it....


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