Last week the temperature was perfect for collecting sap. It was above freezing during the day and freezing at night. One of Brook’s Christmas presents this year was sugaring supplies since our new property has some maple trees. It was a new adventure for both of us. I was so excited for Saturday to come so we could start a fire outside and boil down the sap. I envisioned sitting by the fire most of the day while the girls played and Brook and I had quality conversation. What happened was exactly the opposite of what I had planned for our first sugaring day. It ended up being 30 degrees and windy. Too cold for kids or me to be outside for a long period of time. Brook and Hannah started a fire around 6:30 am and the first batch was going good by 9:00 am. By 10:00 am Brook got too distracted playing with the girls and the first batch burned to a crisp. He got the process started again and we were back in business. My dreams of sitting by a fire all day ended up tending to the fire inside and children who were bouncing off the walls. Brook boiled and tended to the fire until midnight only leaving it for five or ten minute intervals so that it would not burn again. He started again after church on Sunday and finished the last 70 plus gallons of sap that evening. We filtered and canned the two gallons of syrup and ended the weekend with homemade waffles,our own bacon, berries, and syrup. We caught up on family time and talked about how we would do things differently next time around. After a dinner like that we both agreed it was worth the time and effort. We also agreed that when tackling another project we would ask four important questions:
1. Do we need time together first?
2. Do the kids need our time?
3 Do we need family time?
4. Do we have the money?