Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer Saturday Survival

It’s known as “turnaround day” here at Sandy Point Resort. Cabin renters checkout by nine in the morning, and we have guest-free grounds until 4pm, which is when the new weekly renters show up. It’s the most peaceful AND the most hectic period of the week.

Today’s turnaround went smoothly. We managed to get a jumpstart on two of our cabins, which we cleaned on Friday evening. The guests, who had young children, wanted to get on the road early to beat a forecasted storm, and make it back to their homes with a full weekend ahead of them to return to normalcy on Monday morning. And while we were sad to see them leave, we silently thanked them for giving us a leg up on our turnaround.

We also said goodbye today to two sets of personal houseguests—my nephew (a former whipping boy) and his girlfriend, and our dear, dear friends, The Rumbles. Johnny Rumble, aka John Pecunia, and his beautiful wife, Melissa, come each summer along with their adorable sons, Andrew and Nick. They couldn’t be more courteous, enjoyable guests and are helpful around resort. Johnny is like an ambassador—always getting to know all the guests on property. A noted professional disc golfer, this week he even took time to give lessons to a family from Madison. Imagine their THRILL when he drilled an ACE on hole 22!

This morning Melissa was up before my daughters—the actual cleaning staff—and helped do the heavy cleaning in each of the cabins. Her laugh is infectious and it gave us time to share (in person) stories and concerns that we normally can only relay by email. I forgot I was working because being with her was like working out with a friend.

Meanwhile, Johnny—who never ceased to entertain us by promising (among other things) to dance after dark—installed two ceiling fans and shared his tools with me all morning. Mike has always said Johnny is his hero, but no one is a bigger fan of Juan Carlos than I. Well, perhaps my admiration falls in line some place after Mel‘s and the boys’ (!)

So it was with a heavy heart that we said goodbye and thus began the 365-day countdown until their return to Sandy Point. We do have a few things planned in the near future, including their taking care of Willow’s soccer camp pick-up, Johnny’s return to the Northwoods Open and hopefully a spring trip out to Arizona. Whatever our future holds, we will look forward to it, enjoy it while it happens and feel sad when it comes to an end. All of it will come . . . and go . . . and come . . . and go.

Such is the revolving door that defines summer Saturdays at Sandy Point Resort.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Getting My LOON On

In our eighteen years of owning and operating Sandy Point Resort, this year—2010—has been the most challenging. It started out posing a problem because my daughters and I didn’t get here until the Thursday night before Memorial Day weekend. We flew from Tucson to Minneapolis to Rhinelander, and it may as well have been a flight from the earth to the moon because of the polarized climates and lifestyles.

Mike was here waiting for us and Stu, our caretaker, had the grounds in tip-top shape. Together these two capable, hard-working men had already weathered a full house and a full turnover. But I—mama bear—had a hard time adjusting overnight.

I went from being a single parent getting her kids through finals and school-yearend activities—to preparing our beast of a house for all our summer caretakers—to packing for three months—to getting our 50-pound bags to the airport. And then it felt like we were literally dropped from the sky into a completely different world with completely different demands.

My kids ran off in one direction (away from me) and the resort guests then entered the scene and pummeled me with their expected and typical questions and needs.

Meanwhile, we’ve been here for just shy of three weeks and I haven’t seen the sun in nearly two of those weeks. And while I LOVE running in the cooler temps, the humidity has made my lungs heavy and my hair so thick, I can’t get a brush through it.

This is our first week with “regulars” here—the people whom we ALWAYS look forward to having on property. They’re like family. I have workout dates and our girls have make-out dates. Whoops! Scratch that. Make that movie dates in the recreation house.

They’re having fun—as teenagers should—however, this year I have to toil harder to reel them in and make them understand that they also WORK here. And all that spending money that comes their way is NOT an entitlement, but rather, it’s hard earned. (Read: SUMMER JOB).

This mom-n-pop operation finally has the benefit of kids on staff, and yet it also has the taxing job of teaching our kids the meaning of family business and “work ethic.” After eighteen years and just when I thought I had the guests trained, damn it, I have to once again, deal with another stage of parenting children.

I have yet to determine which is my most difficult job.