Haskell's Hot Stove

Thankful for family, career, Sox and, especially, my Eagles

By Mark Haskell | Nov 20, 2018

As I look out the fourth-floor window of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup “NewsNest” at a blanket of apparently here-to-stay, freshly-fallen snow, I have found myself taking stock of what an up-and-down calendar year 2018 has been for yours truly.

And, it being the time of year where it is most apropos to give thanks, now is as good a time as any with Thanksgiving around the corner to lift a glass of whatever one prefers to drink — that glass being half full of course — and be thankful for the things the year has given us.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my three beautiful children. At ages 8, 6 and 3, there are not a lot of quiet moments these days in our modest Thomaston home.

Their rooms are often messy. Our voices are loud, mostly by necessity. Those voices are usually from our children, requiring various levels of attention, ranging from serious inquiries such as “Can you help me with my homework?” to the ridiculous, such as “Dad, where should I put this?”, while showing me the booger between their thumb and index fingers.

Or, the ever-popular, “Dad watch this!” to literally everything.

Our lives are crazy. We also have multiple house projects happening simultaneously so we can ensure our home does not outgrow us in the coming years. But we have a sign in our house that rings true for parents that each work full-time: Sorry for the mess, memories are being made. They most certainly are.

They are loving, challenging and wonderful children. For these reasons I am grateful.

Being a small town sports reporter can be tricky sometimes, particularly when it comes to balancing our hectic home life with my job, which can also have hectic hours depending not only on when and where the games are played, but what teams are playing and what is on the line.

My kids do not always understand why I cannot be home at certain times, because I am out spending time covering games featuring many of your kids.

But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my job, and I love telling the sports stories of many throughout our tight-knit Midcoast communities. For that I am grateful.

I also was honored for my sports writing and photography with awards at the Maine Press Association’s annual better newspaper contests in October for all three of our papers and two websites. Having a job you love is often enough, but to win awards based on the job you are doing takes it to another level. For that I am also grateful.

I am so thankful for the time I was able to spend with my grandmother, Dorothy Getchell, or “Mimi” as she was known, before she passed away at 79 years old over the summer. She moved to the Midcoast nearly two decades ago from Dover-Foxcroft after her husband Mark (for whom I am named after) passed away and spent a largely joyful final chapter of her life here with her extended family.

I love you Mimi. I will miss you, your warmth, your laugh and your delicious Thanksgiving pies. For all of those things I will always be grateful.

As a sports fan, for me, 2018 will never, ever be topped. Ever.

First, my long-suffering Philadelphia Eagles did the unthinkable. They won the Super Bowl for the first time in their history.

And they did not just win the Super Bowl. They did it against the defending champion New England Patriots, playing against the best quarterback (Tom Brady) and best coach (Bill Belichick) of all-time. And they did it with a backup quarterback in one of the most exciting, high-scoring Super Bowls in history. That feeling, for me, will never be topped.

As if that were not enough, the Boston Red Sox completed the most dominant season in the 118-year history of their franchise on their way to their ninth World Series championship and fourth in 14 years.

If you had told 23-year-old me, moments after rather embarrassingly and openly weeping after Aaron Boone’s walk-off home run in game seven of the 2003 American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and New York Yankees, that both the Red Sox and the Eagles would not only win championships in my lifetime, but that they would each win one in the same calendar year? Well …

Knowing 23-year-old me as I did, trust me, that dude’s head would have exploded. Luckily, 37-year-old me was reasonably more grounded for the magnitude of such events.

For the Eagles, and the Red Sox, I am grateful.

And last, but certainly not least, I am thankful for my beautiful wife, Jennifer.

We met in 2004, married in 2008 and this past May we took a Caribbean cruise for our 10-year wedding anniversary. She is my rock, she lets me be me (i.e. she puts up with me) and is my very best friend. I am still head over heels in love with her 14 years later and I wouldn’t change a thing about our journey. I love you honey.

I wish all the student-athletes throughout the Midcoast well as they — and we — prepare for the long winter sports season.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

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Staff Profile

Mark Haskell
Associate Sports Director
594-4401, ext. 116
Email Me

Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. Haskell has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School. He has won multiple Maine Press Association awards for writing and photography.

Mark loves iced coffee, cargo shorts, spending time with friends and family and suffers no longer after his beloved Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn, his sons Beckett and Austin and daughter Lila.

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