February 16, 2018

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Ironwood Web Update

A tepid and guarded sigh of relief from the weather as we enter into the second half of February. The latter part of February is the weather “wild card” with most anything being expected from Mother Nature. It is still far too early for thoughts of greening grass and budding trees, but still very close to the enduring grip of winter with much snow and cold possible. Nonetheless, we’ve made it this far, and as noted last week the lengthening days add optimism to the winter weary residents of Ironwood.

The Valentine’s Day cards that the residents prepared were delivered to the Nursing Home in time for the lovely day and the amount of joy this gesture brought to the residents of the center is really not explicable in words. In addition to spreading the joy to these community members the residents baked small Ginger Cakes with Buttercream Frosting complete with heart shaped sprinkles to be distributed to the local food pantry. Might I go out on a limb here and say they were very well received. When our staff engages the residents in activities like the ones noted above, it really places the resident in a place where they are thinking outside of themselves. A focus on the less fortunate or lonely in our community broadens the resident’s perspective on their place in an ever widening world.

We officially launched the harbinger of warmer weather with the first Maple Syrup Monday! Yes, our on-site Maple Sugar House and Orchard is being readied and groomed for the season. Wilderness Director Wayne is scheduling groups of 5-7 Frye and Farmhouse residents to hike to the orchard every Monday for a full day, 7AM to 7PM, of “Sapping” and outdoor experiential and adventure. They began this past Monday with readying equipment, cleaning out the “Sugar Shack” and actually tapped a few trees. We received and immediate report back that the first taps placed in the century old trees were producing Sap! The residents so enjoy this day, and the process. Meals and snacks were prepared over open fire as Wayne explains the process and history of Maple Sugaring in New England. More to come…

Farmhouse residents are off to a local Glass Blowing Artisan this weekend. In addition to learning of the age old art, the residents will have the opportunity to participate! The most recent group that went enjoyed making Christmas Ornaments. Who knows what will be created this weekend, but hopes are it will have something to do with spring!

Yes, the winter is long, but as noted we engage the children in regular exercise. The groups work on cardio and strength training. While the “Frye Loop” is a bit difficult to navigate this time of year (without snowshoes) exercise remains a very important part of each day.

The entire campus was treated to an assembly today at the Farmhouse School featuring Nancy Hathaway. Nancy is the founder and principal of The Center for Studying Mindfulness in nearby Blue Hill, Maine. Many of you may remember Nancy as the keynote speaker at the Ironwood Family Weekend. It was a casual, and meaningful to each of the residents as Nancy challenged them to stay in the moment of their day and to see the broader perspective of what is available to them in this their Ironwood stay. Nancy gave each pause for self-reflection and a deep appreciation for the Ironwood experience.

Well, off we go; to the latter part of February, prepared for each day and whatever it may bring…

Thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives.

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February 14, 2018

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Ironwood Barn Update

As I reflect upon the past few weeks at the barns at IW, I am stuck by the perennial image of new residents stepping forward and introducing themselves, giving me an opportunity to do the same. This polite gesture of initial connection has played out in many forms between humans and therapeutic animals and even among the animals themselves.

One aspect of the Barn Manager role is to clear staff dogs for consent to “work” at IW with their masters, providing comfort and responsibility for residents as it is helpful to them in their goals. For dogs to be at IW, they have to support and thrive within the therapeutic growth climate. They  must be non-aggressive to humans, obviously, and also to other dogs, cats, horses, and wildlife. Every time there is a request for a new dog to join us, that dog has to have a sort of “interview” and audition. The dog has a time to visit campus, and must encounter residents outside and indoors, be around the cats without chasing them, be social with other dogs without disrupting the human activities or getting into rough play. They must have basic obedience skills, come when called, not beg at tables, and stay out of kitchen areas. It’s a lot to expect. But the priority is the success of our residents in achieving their goals.  The dogs who come to work, as well as our dear Bruin who lives here, greatly enrich that process for residents. Kokonut, our American Guide Dog whom we are fostering, is growing fast and providing lots of hands-on training practice for Farmhouse residents.

Residents participate in “new dog orientation” by being introduced to the dog, and practicing welcoming and non-threatening, non-coercive communication with them. They learn from the staff owner the specific commands or signals the dog has been taught, and we all work with Ronanne, our in-house dog trainer, to help dogs adapt to universal obedience gestures. This month has been very busy with dog visits and new dog approvals. It’s not a fast “yes” or “no”, but a process of observation across  many settings including both campuses. If a dog is non-aggressive and gets along well with other animals and people, it might still be impulsive or get excited in crowded situations, or become overwhelmed and very shy. In cases like this, the dog is usually recommended to start at one campus or the other, or visit on short staff shift days, until acclimated. If a dog starts and is safe, but then does something requiring correction (but not putting anyone at risk), the dog is put on leash when in open spaces, or may have a reflection time for a few minutes in a designated space.  We have had a flurry of puppies lately, and one always wonders if this is going to build or erode the therapeutic climate. Even these little ones must meet the strict behavior criteria, and we are experiencing that it is really wonderful to have a mixture of breeds and ages of dogs in our campus family.

Though many dogs are approved, there are seldom more that a half dozen here on a given day unless Ronanne has sent out her “Calling All Dogs” message for dog training.  The opportunity to nurture, tend, train and just cuddle and hang out with these special friends is something many residents find healing, helpful and hopeful. The responsibility they take and the compassion they show for their safety and care is truly inspiring.

Horses, too, have been participating in rounds of introductions, from meeting new families for EAPs during Family Weekend to welcoming new residents to group EAPs and new Farmhouse students for riding lessons. In Farmhouse horsemanship, residents have been learning about Monty Roberts’ Join-Up, and have engaged in observations and practice of joining up with a seasoned lesson horse, which is a different challenge than Monty’s work with totally wild, raw, or previously traumatized horses. But it gives them the chance to safely practice this process and to see for themselves that the Equus language of horses is “real and predictable,” as Monty would say-that they can in fact choose their actions to send a specific message and “read” the body language of another species to keep themselves safe, achieve a connection, and build a working relationship.

Recently, the Ironwood original horses, and the horses brought by this Barn Manager have been “asking” to get together. As they are generally pastured in their separate groups of four, they have strong herd identity. It has been deemed safer for residents handling them and for the horses themselves to not intermix the groups and invite “horseplay” that could lead to vet bills. But the horses had other ideas and let us know. One day Justin, recovering from hoof tenderness, was in the indoor arena. He took Amigo’s halter off the hook by the pasture door and turned toward the door with it. When I investigated, Amigo was standing with his head at the window. I was able to open the door and let them  meet face-to-face. Justin did not ask to go out, nor did Amigo try to come in.  They just stayed close a few minutes, breathed each other’s breath, nodded and went back to their spaces. A few days later, Patience let herself into the IW gelding’s paddock, and just hung out with them awhile. So clearly it was time for some planned integration.

Residents were gathered to observe a formal introduction of the two herd leaders, or “alpha” males. Precautions were made for them to observe from a safe place and have staff support if the horses were rough or rude. It was wonderfully uneventful at first, though I was prepared to free school them both,  if needed, and keep them apart until they got over their ego-driven instincts and decided who would be overall herd lead. Residents watched for behaviors that would indicate willingness to accept one another, or any specific communication between them. Right away, they stood parallel to each other, facing opposite directions, each one bending its neck back to reach for the other’s nose. Ace squealed and stomped his hoof. Amigo stepped back. They repeated the initial dance and then chased each other around a bit, turning and running energetically together, side-by-side. Then circled, moving away from the wall, finding a rhythm, finally licking and chewing, dropping their noses to the ground and letting them bob along as if their necks were made of rubber. They came near the in gate, from which residents were watching, and stopped-taking small, careful steps and pausing to rub each other’s neck with their muzzles. A student cried out, “Hey, they’re doing ‘Join-Up’! Did you teach them that?” I laughed and said, “No, they taught us!”  So the “introduction” of the geldings became the link to students understanding equus, and it has fostered  many conversations since about kids entering groups, changing groups, etc.

On the practical side, each step of increased understanding for our kids helps them be safer and more deeply enjoy their horse experiences. It is-as Monty says-behavioral science, and the kids can see themselves in the overt body language. It brings out an honesty about ourselves when kids say, “Wow! You can SEE what they are thinking and feeling, what their attitudes are.” And after the initial awkwardness of generalizing this information, they quietly ask, “Are we that obvious?”  It’s science, not magic (I can hear Monty saying over and over.) but it’s pretty magic, too, when it reaches into the hearts of kids.

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February 9, 2018

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Ironwood Web Update

Groundhog Day means nothing! Yes, we are coming off 10 inches of fresh snow and awoke this morning to below zero temps. It is interesting, and at times, amazing that we don’t hear many complaints from the residents of the weather here in mid-coast Maine. Considering that a large percentage of our residents hail from states outside New England, and much more temperate climates you’d think the major source of grousing would be residents. But, it is not. Truth be told, it is staff. And the crew that keeps our campus snow free and sanded down. The vast majority of the residents find it quite intriguing as they experience a season they have never participated in before. The harbinger of better days remains the length of daylight. We’re back to a bit over 10 hours of daylight, a full 1 hour and 20 minutes longer than the shortest daylight of the year on December 21. And, we do follow Ground Hog Day. If for no other reason than to give hope that the winter will indeed end!

Although the days are short in terms of outdoor daylight and activity, the pace remains very brisk here on our campuses. As an example, here on Friday both campuses are enjoying music class. Remember, that school, therapies, chores, and all individual and group responsibilities are being met simultaneously. I’m certain you’ve heard it, when queried the residents will invariably surrender that they wish they had a little more down time. While everything we do is intentional, there is time for casual activities.

Farmhouse residents are making hand crafted Valentine’s this afternoon as part of their community outreach program. The very individualized, and beautiful Valentine’s will be hand delivered at one of our local Nursing Homes personally by the Farmhouse residents next week. It is quite a sight to see not only the faces of the receivers of such beauty, but in the eyes of the residents as they deliver their handicraft to the elderly in the home.

Never to worry if your child has a birthday while here with us. In addition to the plethora of cards and greetings from home, their fellow residents approach a birthday with much glee and anticipation. One might say it is because it is the only days they get to enjoy some home-made treats, usually cupcakes with home-made frosting, but I can tell you from experience that the residents are very sensitive to the fact that their peer is celebrating a very big day away from family, and really rally together to make it a special event.

The residents hold a very special place for one another. We do the utmost we can to allow inter-campus activities to forge the bond of support and togetherness. This past weekend both campuses gathered at the sledding hill near the Beaver Pond at the foot of Frye Mountain for an afternoon of sliding and other winter fun. A 9 foot snowman took form and is now standing as a trespasser to all of our local wildlife!
Ahhhh, winter life in mid-coast Maine…thanks so much for allowing your child to be part of our lives!

Have a great week…

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February 2, 2018

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Ironwood Web Update

Groundhog Day! While I have not heard the official result of old Phil sticking his head out of the hole, we here in Maine pay little attention to such news as we’re painfully aware that winter will simply end when “mud season” begins! This week has been the typical winter roller coaster with temps touching low single digits, climbing to low 30’s, peaking with a snowstorm this morning and temps back to single digits today. While we have plenty to do the very, very cold prevents us from certain things, most notably, lengthy outdoor activities and horse riding.

The week following Family Weekend is usually a very challenging week with varying emotions being encountered. The vast majority of residents are positive and re-charged with a focus on the day to day task at hand to achieve the broader goal of life after Ironwood. Yet, there are some who are overwhelmed with the emotions of sadness, confusion and in some cases anger. All of these, being viewed, and processed, in a therapeutic setting are very healthy and positive for the residents to encounter. We anticipate it, and are well equipped with tools of empathy, compassion, and love. The children know they are safe and cared for with this fact alone many times carrying them through whatever they’re dealing with.

The timing of the recent Blue Moon prevented the residents from viewing as its setting hours were very early in the morning not allowing us to see the eclipse or red color of the event. And those of you a bit to the West of us had more viewing opportunities and hopefully you got to see it. The residents were aware of it and the rarity of such an event happening just once every 150 years.

The upcoming weekend promises to be brisk, both in activity and weather. While it will be cold there are some outdoor activities planned that may incorporate both campuses. Snowshoeing, sliding, Maple Syrup Orchard work in the out of doors and some dodgeball, games and Maple Syrup equipment preparation in the indoors. Not just because we are coming off the emotions of family weekend, but a focus all the time we attempt to keep the residential portion of our days as familial as possible.

Yesterday I introduced myself to and spoke with a resident who arrived the day before. She was, as expected, experiencing all of the emotions of a new resident, yet accepting of being here and engaged. She spoke of the fear, anger and damage of what her family relationship had become. Less than 20 minutes later I was conversing with a Level IV Farmhouse resident as they spoke of the love and admiration for, and anticipation of being re-united with their family. They spoke with awe and almost disbelief of the deep and meaningful relationship with her family, and fullness of the Family Weekend just experienced.

The mystical and wonderful beauty of this experience called….Ironwood…..!!!!

Have a great week and thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives…

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January 26, 2018

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Ironwood Web Update

Family weekend dawned with an unusual stretch of what one would classify as classic January weather; Overnight temps were brushing near zero and daytime temps climbed to low 30’s. Tomorrow looks great with overnights in the teens and daytime highs to 40’s- break out the shorts!!! Our campus, fully prepared as always, had roads and walkways sanded on Thursday afternoon, and ready for the traffic on Friday morning.  However, caution was used and another round of sand and salt was applied Friday morning.

First day activity was brisk with the ever warming reuniting of families and a full schedule of groups, seminars and some much desired free time. While Farmhouse Residents and their families will have a few morning/early afternoon groups and therapy sessions, they will depart campus for the late afternoon “off campus” family time, while the Frye families will enjoy experiential groups and team builders. Team Builders causes a group to work through the dynamics of problem solving, and other group communications. They are always fun filled and very interesting.

Our newer Frye residents are not yet eligible for a family weekend, yet have a very special weekend that is put together by our staff. After attending a regular 3 hours of school on Friday morning, “Team Citrus”(aptly named for the Orange color level) enjoyed the catered lunch that was provided on campus, then were lead on a Snowshoe adventure. They will experience wilderness fire starting, tree identification and an afternoon snack of Corn Dogs (Red Natural Casing Hot Dogs wrapped in Corn Meal Dough) cooked over an open fire. Rumor has it that there may be some sliding adventures in our L field, as the snow has a nice coating of ice from the last rains. Being away from home for our newest residents is very difficult and particularly with a FW happening on campus our staff engages the residents in a fun-filled day that focuses just on them.

For Saturday, a full plate of activities is planned for Team Citrus. After morning chores, there will be the prep for a special lunch prepared on an open fire. The lunch will be complimented with open fire cooked delights, toppings and, no doubt, condiments! Desert for the later afternoon will be Marshmallows, Chocolate and Graham Crackers, more commonly known as Smores! Maine Style, on an open fire, in January! In addition, staff is forever full of surprises with teaching the residents to cook on the open fire using Cedar Wood “Planks” as a substitute for the traditional flat metal pan, and Fried Onions are an example of skills taught. Again, outdoor traditions that are being passed on to our newer Ironwood Residents.

As you can see our little campus, nestled under the ever watchful eye of Frye Mountain, is a bustling hub of activity, as families re-unite, cherish each other’s company, and anticipate a future together…

Thank you for allowing your child to be part of our lives.

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January 19, 2018

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Ironwood Web Update

Round and round it goes, and where it stops, nobody knows!!  Doesn’t that about sum up the weather pattern we’re in? What’s most fascinating is that this weather pattern is not just unique to Northern Maine, with literally all of the East Coast feeling the cold and most of the country in some unusual weather patterns. For us, this week was one of rapid weather adjustment as we were hammered with 4 inches of rain, on top of the 4 feet of snowpack, resulting in flooding and very, very soft roads. Captain Cushman Road became very soft and pliable after having been frozen and plowed of snow, and subjected to thaw, and then rain, and then another quick freeze. Our entrance became so rutted that the 18 wheeled food delivery truck couldn’t make it in. Not to worry however, the heartiness of living here requires adjustment and we simply met the truck with our fleet of four wheel drive vehicles and the food made it through, without issue. In addition, no worries on the emergency vehicle front, as all of our municipalities are equipped with emergency response vehicles that can navigate through “everything” that Mother Nature sends our way.

Martin Luther King Day was recognized in each of the respective campuses and school venues. The Farmhouse residents visited the Harbor Hill Elderly Residential Home for some time with the residents. Conversation, board games, and one on one interaction was enjoyed by all. The residents, of both Ironwood and Harbor Hill, get so much from these visits. The look of a refreshing teenage smile to the residents of Harbor Hill is as radiant as a morning sunrise. And for our residents, your children, the interaction with older folks many times resonates with a grandparent or other family member at home. Our staff does such a great job in planning and attending these events. A true and warm community outreach.

In the depth of winter; short days, cold temps, and a sometimes unforgiving landscape can all add to a bit of the winter “blues”. Staff takes particular note of this and keep our residents engaged in physical activity as much as possible. While most is done inside there is always the seeming miles of pathways and walkways to be cleared. The aforementioned not being much fun, there were intercampus dodgeball games conducted in the “indoor arena” at the Farmhouse Barn. While fulfilling the need for robust physical engagement there is the bonding and oneness that results from activities involving both campuses. At the very least, for us staff, it is just plain fun to watch.

Excitement levels are approaching critical mass as the 2018’s first Family Weekend looms on the horizon. We are all very excited to see you next weekend…safe travels and please drive very carefully on your Ironwood approach.

Thanks so much for allowing your child to be part of our lives!

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January 12, 2018

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Ironwood Web Update

January thaw has come a bit early as we’ve been experiencing temps in the high 40’s, low 50’s. Our once Rockwellesque landscape has turned to a dull “old snow” look with our roads fast becoming thawed, and where dirt, very soupy. Rain is forecasted for today and into the overnight which candidly has everyone on alert for various degrees of flooding. These January thaws take on a distinct look of early to Mid-March with all of the resultant precautions. Regardless of the challenges the warmer weather is very, very welcome.

The opportunities to recreate outside are limited much as they would be with heavy snow or a deep freeze. However, there has been ample time outside, enjoying fresh air, and the solitude that our surrounds allow. On both campuses the changes in weather require that we pay particular attention to the needs and safety of our large animals. The feeding requirement and outdoor time and conditions of the outdoor space are all critical for their appropriate care.

One of the fundamentals of independent living is the knowledge of caring and cooking for oneself and others. Frye really allows the resident to understand this as some very wonderful meals are prepared for the entire group. We have, as part of our direct care staff, a member who’s personal forte’ is culinary pursuits and they put that to good use, with Eggplant Parmesan landing on the plates last night. Healthy living, balanced meals, and the planning and presentation of both are part of the foundations of our program.

Although we are still in early January the planning for the upcoming SAP gathering and Maple Syrup production that occurs here on campus from late February through early April. The residents are very excited about their role in this as there is much work to be done before they enjoy the “fruit” of their labors with gallons of real Maple Syrup adorning their Sunday morning pancakes.

FH residents got to experience a bit of New Englandism as they went “Candlepin” Bowling. Common conversation was they can bowl “Ten Pin” most anywhere but the ol’ Candle Pin seems something unique to this geographic region. Needless to say, a good time was had by all. Not to mention, the “Cabin Fever” reliever remedy that just getting out and doing things can be. In addition to this off campus activity exercise remains a part of all residents’ daily routine with activities focused in garage areas, yurts, and indoor arena. Amazing what a good workout will do for the state of mind in the winter. On a recent day, unable to get outside day, FH residents enjoyed an amount of Pie Baking. Always a therapeutic way to pass a winter day.

Half way through January…two weeks till Family Weekend. If you forgot, I’m certain your child has reminded you!!!! They are so excited to see their families.

Hope you all have a great week! Thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives.

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January 5, 2018

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Ironwood Web Update

Well, the big news here, as it most likely has been with you, has been the weather. After a week of extraordinary cold we got slammed with the “Cyclone Bomb” that roared through the North East. About 12-14 inches of new snow fell but the blowing really exacerbated the after storm clean-up. And now, today, as I write this, Friday afternoon, the temps are barely double digits and the wind is screaming out of the Northwest. The interesting part is this is not unique to just Maine but to all of the Northeast.

It was a quiet week, which is customary for New Year’s week. Customarily, staff works diligently to get the residents outside as much as possible but the weather has been so cold we spend many days utilizing down time with indoor activities. Of course, in this very snowy and frigid weather the animals require more attention than normal as they spend their time inside most of the time. In many cases the kids find some solace in facing the forced slowdown of inclement weather in Maine. Book reading, art work and other cerebral pursuits become welcome and relaxing.

New Year’s Eve and day were met with quiet jubilation. Good food, celebration and the company of friends and staff surrounded their day. Like most of us the residents had time to think of the year past with all its emotion and events, but most importantly they had time to look to the year ahead and the optimism of what life after Ironwood with their families will look like.

And yes, with January comes conversation of Family Weekend. While still 3 weeks away, the anticipation of such an important event is already being talked of with great anticipation. Until then, we’ll shovel snow and stay warm. And it sounds like many of you are doing the same.

Have a great week and again, thanks for allowing your child to be part of our lives.

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December 29, 2017

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Ironwood Web Update

Oh my, you’ve most likely been following the weather reports to hear of the absolutely frigid weather we’ve been experiencing. While most of the country is feeling the deep freeze, the mid coast Maine region is deep into a freeze given our latitude and proximity to the North Atlantic. Our highs yesterday never got above single digits and the overnight is well below zero. Rest assured, the amount of time the kids spend outside is minimal and the layers of warm clothing they wear is very sufficient to safeguard against any skin exposure or heat loss.

Historically, the week between Christmas and New Year is quiet, with a collective deep breath taken by both residents and staff. The actual Holiday festivities went extraordinarily well with a grand time had by all. Christmas Eve saw the kids of both campuses readying their stockings and watching a Christmas movie. The movie classics viewed was the “Miracle on 34th Street”, and “Christmas Story”. The food was exceptional with home cooked meals in the traditional Christmas menu. The FH kids had a couple special treats this week with a visit to the Penobscot Theatre to watch the play “Beauty and the Beast”.  In addition they had a Holiday Dinner that was catered by Delvino’s in Belfast. This was provided by one of the parents. Christmas Day was greeted with a major Maine snowstorm with over 12” of snow blanketing our beautiful campus. It was a very special day for all.

I thought for this week’s update I’d share with you some of the comments I garnered from the residents of both campuses. It gives you an idea of how kids feel about their Christmas experience at IW. When I asked to describe their Ironwood Christmas experience in a few words, here’s what I got;

“Fantastic, different than any other Christmas I’ve ever experienced”

“Pretty Good”

“Amazing, one of the best I’ve ever had”

“OK”

“OK”

“Great”

“GOOD”

“I liked it a lot”

“Really good, I felt at home, the staff was great”

“Way better than expected, lots of fun”

“OK”

“Better than the one I had last year”

“One of the best I’ve ever had”

“Pretty great”

“Laid back, fun”

“Pretty Good”

“Pretty Good”

“Kind of sad, but good”

“Good”

“Awesome”

There you have it. Important to note that I did not edit one comment. If the resident had expressed a negative sentiment, I would’ve included it. Considering that for many of these residents, it was their first ever time away from home on the holidays they overall had a really good time. Many thanks to our dedicated staff who worked over the holiday weekend. We saw many staff who had little or no family in the area taking a double shift so their colleagues with families could be with them. At last count I believe we have roughly 34 Direct Care Staff. Your child is well cared for.

There will be ample winter time fun over the New Year weekend with the new fallen snow and hopefully moderating temps. We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and bask in the hope and light that the New Year will bring. Thanks so much for allowing you child to be part of our lives.

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December 22, 2017

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Ironwood Web Update

With Christmas and the New Year quickly approaching, there seems to be a lot of anticipation in the air here at Ironwood this week.  There are holiday events, decorating, anticipation of good food, and the memories of past good times with family and friends.  With these memories the holiday season can often be a bitter-sweet time for residents and their families.  There is the sense of bitter-sweetness in the residents on both campuses, with the sweetness of the holiday season mixed with the bitterness of separation from family.  Perhaps at no other time of the year is the level of missing loved ones higher than at this time.  I’m sure these sentiments are felt through both letters home and through family calls.

These trying times can be very difficult, but can also be very important in your child’s learning and healing process.  Oftentimes this absence can cause intense self-reflection of attitudes, beliefs and the re-thinking of values which are helpful in re-aligning teenagers with their families’ core values.  We often see great surges in emotional and relationship oriented progress shortly after the holidays have passed.  There is often a remembrance of how close the family has been in the past and a hope that it can be again, and a renewed commitment to rejoin and reconnect in a more loving way, so as not to lose out on any more times of closeness and bonding.  I’m sure you parents feel some of that yearning pull as well.

So, while our hearts do go out to you for the loss of family time over the holidays, we want you to know that we care for your kids and we are dedicated to helping them heal, so that they can reunite with you in strength and in renewed connection.  In fact, the family weekend following the holiday season is often one of their best highlights of their time spent here at Ironwood.

So we encourage you all to hang in there, and give plenty of love, encouragement and written/verbal hugs and kisses until you can be back on our campus January 26, 2018!  Be sure to pack your snow boots, knitted hats, gloves, down coats, scarves, wool socks, long underwear and hand warmers.  This winter is off to a strong start and Family Weekend sledding is a very real possibility!

We send you our most sincere wishes for a holiday weekend that is filled with peace and anticipation of all the good things that are possible in this world.  Thank you for putting your trust in Ironwood…Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and abundant blessings in 2018!

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