Letters from the Lodge- April 2016

IMG_3758 IMG_3757Dear Outside World,

Winter has finally arrived! Here at the Lodge, in April… Fun fact: snow panels are 3.14% less effective under two inches of snow. Sarah has learned that she now pays careful attention to the cloud cover. Alessia has learned that she is far too lax about eating food that has been left out or canned two years ago (note: no botulism to report, as of yet). To give some background, Sarah and Alessia are both originally from Ithaca, NY and although they met briefly in high school, and both studied Sustainable Agriculture at Cornell University, their lives eventually went separate ways. Then, the summer following Sarah’s graduation, and a year after Alessia’s, the two happened to encounter each other at an intern mixer in the Adirondacks, where Sarah worked as an outdoor educator for Great Camp Sagamore, and Alessia was a naturalist for The Wild Center. After the mixer, their lives went separate ways again. However, it was not to be the case for long! For it turns out that Sarah and Alessia both coincidentally applied for the Merck apprenticeship, and now here they are.

While Sarah has been at Merck since Valentine’s Day, Alessia joined the Merck team the Monday after Easter. In the last week, we have weathered not only the winter weather, but also the pancake breakfast, the birth of Peggy Sue’s piglets, the return of Eliot the ram, and all too many of Erik, the assistant farm manager’s, puns. For the pancake breakfast, Phil Warren and Herb Troumbley trustingly handed over the reins of the horse-drawn wagon pulled by our draft horses, Fern and Arch, in order for us to drive folks to the Sap House for breakfast. Equally as daunting as driving a full wagon was teaching fifteen three-year olds about how maple syrup is made. However, it turns out that watching small, colorfully bundled pre-schoolers bring “sap” to our “evaporator” (read: an artfully crafted cardboard creation), is pretty darn adorable. After flipping hundreds of pancakes over the weekend, cleaning chimneys on Wednesday, and practicing our drilling skills (reinforcing a pigpen following an escape), we’ve come to realize that this job at Merck is actually an apprenticeship for life.

Though this blog might not have been updated for a while, we hope to shed some light on the quirks and perks of working at Merck.

Until the next one,

Sarah McIlvennie and Alessia McCobb