Hi Vista Verde Staff,
This is the ‘REAL’ entry that I didn’t have the nerve to submit earlier. Vulnerability and all of that sappy "airing your laundry in public" nonsense. But after a hot bath and a firm talking to myself, I decided to send it anyway.
Thanks for running a quality place that makes us proud of guest ranching and all that it stands for. Well done!
P.S. I realize that entering twice probably breaks all the rules…but it was cathartic and served a purpose just to put it on paper! ;0)
Auld Lang Syne, really?
We have a tendency to gloss over the unfulfilled dreams, the lost opportunities, the missed connections…and become sunny-side-up Americans at the beginning of January don’t we? We turn into Cup-half-full sort of people. We drink champagne and toast the New Year with renewed vigor and hope. But…what about those unfulfilled dreams? Rather than champagne… should we open a bottle of Scotch and have a wake instead?
My husband and I met at a dude ranch in 1985. Young pups in love with nothing but dreams for a future paved with streets of gold. We held hands and promised each other that one day-when the time was right- we would return to our love of dude ranching and run a place of our own. Children came quickly and we weren’t willing to sacrifice our children on the altar of our own dreams. So they had a normal childhood and grew to be happy, healthy, stable, contributing adults. Dude ranching opportunities knocked on our door more than once during those years, but we held fast to our decisions and forged ahead trusting that the God Lord would bring about the desires of our hearts. One day, when the time was right.
Much later, we joined the dude ranchers association and began resurrecting our dream of ranching. We met incredible people and found that it is a rare ability to be able to listen to smart people who might disagree with you. We learned a lot about owning vs. managing, timing, resort spa vacations vs. working dude ranches with no frills. Through it all, we learned to savor the cut and thrust of differing views and opinions and began once again to fan the flames of our dreams and offer them up as prayers. Now we find ourselves with an empty-nest at the ages of 48 and 52. Would now be the time? Finally? Would it be a suicide course to willingly leave corporate America at this age…knowing we could never return? The economy is about to take the plunge off the proverbial cliff, we have a monster home in a wealthy zip code that would be near impossible to sell, we’re staring weddings and college tuitions in the face for three girls…and yet…the dream lingers. All of those aforementioned things are incredible blessings, not burdens, we acknowledge and offer thanks for! We continue to visit dude ranches when we can and have a notebook of “ideas-for-our-own-place”. One day, when the time is right.
So yes, we would love to have three days at Vista Verde, alone, without the kids, to dream again. Simply dream. We’ve been to your place for day visits, and recognize what a treat it is to see things done well.
So maybe I’ll hold off on the Scotch for a few more years and continue to toast the New Year’s dreams with renewed vigor and hope.
The funeral will have to wait for another time…or never. After all, I guess I’m a glass- half -full -sort of gal. Cheers!
Name: Ellen Hall
Company: Parker Core Knowledge Charter School