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November 2017: Maxine’s Annual Letter

Dear Friends,

We are approaching the end of another year. As I get older, time passes faster.  I work a bit less at the store so I have more time for puzzles.  This year I have completed 23 puzzles that range from 500 to 1500 pieces (and I gave up on one).  Some are finished in a day or two, but it took 3 months to complete this 1500 piece lupine puzzle that my sister gave me. Sometimes, I only found one piece a day so I did a few other puzzles at the same time. My friends, Alice & Amy, do puzzles, so we share them.  Family and friends give us puzzles.  On a trip to Apple Hill Farm, Brenda brought back several puzzles from them for the collection!  We haven’t run out, yet.

Besides puzzles, I’m active in the Grange and their Dictionary Project, Sugar Hill’s Willing Workers, and my college’s Vail Museum. I didn’t see as many theatre shows as last year, but I did see Hair Spray & Annie. Brenda took in a few more of the area’s shows.

I had a bit of excitement in March. My car caught fire between Polly’s Pancake Parlor and Harman’s Cheese.  It was losing power and just crawling up the hill.  My angel, Rick Ball, was following me up the road.  He saw the fire under the car and came to my rescue. He even saved the groceries in the back seat!  The car was a total loss as the engine completely burned.

In April, Brenda and I went to Texas to visit friends and my cousin Eva.  We toured the Hill Country back roads looking for Bluebonnets. Bluebonnets look like miniature Sugar Hill Lupines.  Here are some photos to compare the height.  Not everything is bigger in Texas!  We enjoyed our visit to  LBJ’s Ranch. We visited a few museums; including the sobering WWII Museum of the PacificTheatre.  My brother-in-law was a POW in Japan and never talked of it.   We also had a quick tour of Houston, visited the Alamo and made a stop at Buc-ee’s.  I also experienced my first tornado warning during the trip

Our annual delivery of 28,050 pounds of Harman’s Cheddar (14 tons) arrived while my son, Cliff, was on vacation from UPS.   He made the front page of our state newspaper. He was ok with the photo in Friday’s paper as it was small . . . but it was a teaser for the article in the Sunday paper. Sunday’s was much larger!  Click here for a link to the article

Our family got together to celebrate my grandson Will’s high school graduation. Will is a now a freshman at West Virginia University.  His brothers, Jake and Logan, are at NH colleges and Tommy is in 5th grade.  His sister, Victoria, is a CPA in Boston.

This summer, Brenda had a meeting in upstate New York that was close to my son’s home. I joined her to visit Bob & Patty and the family. I visited Thatcher State Park for a breath-taking panoramic view of the Hudson-Mohawk Valley, the Adirondacks, and Vermont’s Green Mountains

We joined my husband’s brother Richard (center), who served with the 10th Mt Division in WWII, at special events honoring those unique men and their contribution to the world. There is a memorial in Landaff (just a few miles from us) and another memorial at the top of Mt. Washington. Richard is in the light-colored jacket, front & center.

Brenda had a busy year, too. She took a last minute trip to North Carolina to view the eclipse with friends then to Florida for the IFYE (International 4-H Youth Exchange) conference. She was shocked twice this year when Butch & Char (Minnesota) and then Eldon & Elaine (Montana) showed up with no advance warning. She hadn’t seen them in years. She would like to remind friends that phones in Sugar Hill do work! She was also surprised when our local Rotary Club presented her with the Paul Harris Award for her community and global service. Here’s a link to that article.

Brenda had a garden but in July, it was flooded when the road washed away (over 4 inches of rain in one hour). Sugar Hill had several roads destroyed. Then we had almost no rain for 2 months. We had plenty of peppers, tomatoes, and corn but only one zucchini (in September). We canned & froze quite a bit. The raspberries were picked and are in the freezer waiting to be turned into jam.

Harman’s News: Harman’s had a make-over. It started in June, by replacing the 1918 clapboards and today the electrician is here, so it is still in process. We have had ladders, lumber, paint buckets, cement, carpenters, painters, plumbers and electricians around for months but we think the final result is worth it.

Our Mail Order: Unfortunately, we had to raise the shipping fees due to rising costs but we were able to keep most other prices the same. Our brochure now includes Fox Country Smokehouse Smoked Cheeses. The Smoked Gouda and Smoked Pepper Jack are the most popular. We added Apple Hill’s Strawberry and Raspberry Jams along with Moxie BBQ sauce. Check out our web-store for more products that you won’t want to miss: Burke Mt Confectionery Truffles and Süss Sweets Carümels.

Employee News: In February, Dawn joined us fulltime and has made a huge difference. Allie is at Plymouth State University and works part-time. Shawna is a senior at Lisbon High School but works afterschool and weekends. Pauline has returned to Harman’s part-time while Kelly left us for full-time work.  Sadly; past employee, Roxanne Busch (photo), lost her battle to cancer. Many of you remember her love for Temple University and for almost every sport.

Last year our Holiday Elves included Carl, Kelly, Carol, Beverly, Sue, Kathy, Lorie, and Shawna with Brenda and Valerie in the office. To round out the crew, Polly’s Pancake Parlor shared Sarah, Shanon, Danielle, Stacey, and Samantha with us.  Pauline was our basket-maker while Allie, Dawn, Rick, Madeline, Vincent and Phil ran errands, worked weekends &  nights to make sure everything got done. I filled in where ever I was needed.

During last year’s holiday season; we shipped 2,518 packages, cut and wrapped over 8,200 pounds of Harman’s Cheddar, and processed 1,100 orders. On December 9th, we cut and gift-wrapped over 400 pounds of Harman’s Cheddar and sent out 140 packages.

We enjoy hearing from you by mail, phone, e-mail, or in person when you visit. We love reading your posts and seeing your photos on facebook.  During the holidays we gift wrap our items and include gift cards. If you ordered last year, we have a record of your order with all the addresses.

For Delivery by Christmas, please order before December 11 as it takes us a few days to process and insert your order into our shipping queue.  When choosing a delivery time for your package, please allow extra days for inevitable winter storms and power outage delays.   Let us take the hassle out of your holiday season; sit back and shop from the comfort of your home or office.

                                                                        Maxine Aldrich (and Brenda, too)


All of us at Harman’s wish you a Joyous Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!