March 2009

Destruction and Construction

While the innards of the Dining room, Kitchen and Staff room are being ripped apart and put back together, the construction on the New Lodge and Indoor Arena are chugging along. Closing down for the season along with the beautiful weather have helped the process along. This week, all the windows and doors in the “old” Lodge were pulled out and replaced while walls are being shifted and spaces reinvented. While that is happening, the drywall work was finished in the “new” Lodge and the siding is almost completely up. In addition, the stone work in the breezeway and on the fireplace is almost done as of today. The place is starting to look like a real Lodge. So, although the mud is thick and the sun is melting the snow rapidly, we’re tromping on with our mud boots and keeping our eye on the target so we can get it all done in time!

 

The First Day of the Rest of Our Lives

Guest Post

My birthday started out like any other day except that I found a unexpected surprise awaiting me in the barn stall, beneath my apartment in the Indoor Arena—a cream colored newly born foal! MJ gave birth in the middle of the night two weeks ago and produced a beautiful baby girl, named Bailey, that now shares the same birthday as me. Who knew that a Dude ranch could produce such lovely surprises!

The other day I watched MJ and her baby prance out from their stall and run circles around the arena. Or rather, I watched the gangly little foal run circles around her mom and rear up on her hind legs playfully showing off for us. Talk about spirit! It was incredible to watch Bailey discover what her legs could do. To her it was the first day of the rest of her life and she was delighted to live it.

Then when I got down to her eye level she poked her nose in and out at me like I was the most curious thing she had ever smelled. Her actions invited me in. I got to brush her face and pet her soft darling nose as she continued to sniff me out.

I’ve never been around a baby foal before but it left an impression on me. I may be past my twenties but after watching that foal kick and run I realize I have not reached my limitations yet! I still have a spirit that can kick. And I still have skills and things I’m learning about myself that are like muscles I have yet to try out. So why not go out swinging fearlessly like the newborn did/ Or why not try out who I am all over again, testing what I can do, and how far I can run. I am reminded that there is thrill and adventure in self-discovery.

Many times we forget that the door to our seemingly caged in life is actually wide open. There is freedom there that we forget about, which gives us permission to try new things and get out from the boundaries of familiarity for a little adventure and self-discovery. The first day of the rest of our life happens everyday. So why not embrace our freedom and go out into it swinging and let the thrill of self-discovery once again paint our faces with childlike wonder!

End of the Season Party

As our last guests checked out yesterday, the demolition party began. While adding on to the Main Lodge, we also are giving the dining room a facelift, and re-arranging the kitchen and office space. So, within hours of the final departure of the season pictures had been removed from walls, wallpaper pulled down, trim removed, doors taken away and everyone had a blast doing it with the country music cranking and lots of laughs. As you can see in the picture Jerry, Bill and Ben seemed to have the most fun doing the demolition- boys will be boys. Tomorrow we’ll move all the tables and chairs to storage for the spring and empty out the kitchen so they can get some major work done in there as well. The carpets come up next week and then we’re off to the races. Dace has relocated his office to his house over by the Sunday pasture. I’ve moved much of the equipment to my home office and Ben is going to stay it out upstairs until his new office is ready in the new Lodge addition.

We followed up the demolition party with a thank you dinner and party for all our staff. It was nice to close off the season giving our appreciation for all that the team brought to the ranch experience. And we got to hear some pretty fun stories in the process. The party closed down with a great slide show put together by Rusty. It really captured how much more there is to working at VVR than just a job. Now many of the crew are heading off to their next adventures in life, and some will be coming back for the summer. We thank this amazing crew and hope you get to cross paths with some of them in the future!