“As the Antlers Turn”………18

Twenty Minutes on Thursday Morning.

It’s October and it has gotten quiet in Vail happy valley.

The staff uses this time to prepare for the upcoming ski season.  Housekeeping is fall cleaning the condominiums to a ridiculous level, the maintenance staff is tightening knobs after they clean and the front desk is sending out confirmations for the anticipated winter guests.

It’s 10:40 in the morning and suddenly Darci, working the front desk, completely alone, chatting on the phone with a travel agent, can only watch as things UN-ravel in front of her.  She dropped the phone.

One of the three guests staying with us fills her cup at our world class coffee station and gives a polite smile and good-bye to Darci as she pushes the lobby door open.  She just wants to enjoy the sunshine on the other side.  Darci smiles and waves to her while still talking to the travel agent.  Our guest walks through the opening with an Antlers cup and the door falls off.  The top hinge has let go.

The UPS guy is coming across the courtyard with a stack of packages on a dolly and he thinks the guest is holding the door open for him.  Actually she is balancing the 100 lb door with one hand and holding her ceramic Antlers coffee cup in the other.  He peaks around the packages he is wheeling and says “Thank you.  Great day isn’t it?”

Darci is now on the radio saying “Someone from maintenance please come to the front desk!”

“Give us a minute.”  was the reply.

NOW”, was her response.

Meanwhile……Magda walked into the Lobby and wanted to help after she saw the situation but she didn’t know Miley, (Rob and Evelyn’s dog, who he was tending for the day because Evelyn was out of town) was behind the closed door of the office.  She opened it and Miley immediately ran past the UPS guy and toward the opened door that was still being held up by the guest who now has dropped her Antlers mug that has shattered on the cobblestone.  The UPS guy helped her after realizing what was going on.  He propped the door up against the wall.

Darci yelled to Magda “Get the dog!”  She got back on the radio with her next announcement.  “Does anyone know where Rob is?  His dog is out and he’s fighting with Maggie in the courtyard”.  (Maggie is Chris’s dog and apparently they didn’t hit it off.)  Miley ran to the wild, not interested in a dog fight.  Tom, Ryan, Cayatano and Magda split up on the back side of the property. I was on the fourth floor and heard this exchange.

“Anybody see her?”

Tom:  “I’m on the bike bath.  She’s going west.”

Ryan:  “Did you say east?”

Cayatano:  “I see her.”

Tom:  “See her too.  She’s on her way up Forest Road.”

Magda:  “Please, please, please get her.  I’m the one that let the boss’s dog out.”

Tom:  “This dog is friendly until you get close.  Then she bolts.”

Ryan:  “It’s a Border Collie.  They’re friendly and smart.  She’s playing games with you.”

Tom:  “I don’t have time for games.”

Darci is now on the phone calling Rob’s cell.  “Miley got out.”

Rob calmly assures Darci that it will be fine.  “I’m in 506 and I’ll be right down.  I’m sure she is already having separation anxiety and is looking for me.”  He hangs up the phone and runs toward the creek thinking “Evelyn is going to kill me.”

I come down to the lobby and see the door leaning against the wall.

“What in the world is going on?”

Darci looks at me and says “All I know is I’m the only one here, the phones are ringing like we’re giving away free units for Christmas, dogs are running through the lobby and fighting in the courtyard, the front doors are falling off, everyone is out looking for Rob’s dog who is probably in Eagle by now and (she takes a deep breath) it’s only eleven o’clock.”

I turn and look toward the courtyard and Rob is riding one of the cruiser bikes and right behind him is Miley.  Her tongue waging in the breeze and a smile on her face.

Ryan comes back to hang the door and Tom meets with a contractor who has just pulled in.  Normal again.  Except for Darci who decides to take an early lunch.  She walks away and I hear her mumbling “You can’t make this [expletive] up.  I’m going to happy hour.”




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