Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It’s Not Getting Easier


Twenty Years. The traditional symbols for 20-year wedding anniversaries are china and platinum. The gemstone is emerald, the flower is day lily.

We, however, are not celebrating 20 years of marriage. We passed that marker in 2009. We are celebrating 20 years of owning/ operating our business, Sandy Point Resort and Disc Golf Ranch. So, using the traditional symbols, perhaps it might be appropriate to take a china plate and throw it like a Frisbee toward a disc golf basket made of platinum. We could do it in the midst of a full-growth, emerald green summer shortly after the day lilies all around the property are in full bloom.

In spite of our 20 years at Sandy Point, we’ve only been going back-and-forth between the Northwoods and the desert for 15 years. We started this yo-yo lifestyle when expecting our youngest daughter, Camille, who will celebrate her 15th birthday this summer. When she and her sister, Willow, were babies we definitely had an ideal plan for the ideal lifestyle. Yes, we moved twice per year; however, we had a solid six months in each location.

That was a time when people said we had “the best of both worlds,” and we nodded our heads in agreement. Now we nod our heads and grimace. How naïve were we to believe going back-and-forth would get easier instead of more difficult?


Let me illustrate just two items putting a damper on our best-of-both worlds scenario these days:

#1. Airlines are a business suffering in this economy like any other. We currently cannot find flights from Tucson to Rhinelander (45 minutes from our resort). The closest we could get at Christmas was Minneapolis/St. Paul (four hours from our resort). This May we can get to the Central Wisconsin Airport, which is an hour-and-a-half drive. We used to get flights for $300-something. Now they’re more like $700-something. Multiply that times three, and then figure the astronomical cost of gas for Mike to drive back three weeks ahead of us. Ouch.

#2. The Tucson Unified School District recently informed the community that the 2012-13 school year would begin on AUGUST 2. Smack dab in the middle of a Sonoran summer, our kids will be plucked from their Wisconsin lake-home paradise and dropped into the scorching desert to cut short their much-needed (and well-deserved) summer vacation. And we will lose 50% of our cleaning staff while facing an entire month of a full house at the resort. Mom and Pop can’t leave the mom-and-pop operation, so, I’m currently wondering, who is going to take care of our kids in Tucson while we’re trying to keep the business going?


Yes, indeed, it’s the best of both worlds. What an AWESOME plan we had 15 years ago. Even then, I don’t think anyone told us it would be easy. But I honestly didn’t believe it would get this hard.


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