All Work and No Play…

Everyone at the Antlers seems to work a little too hard… and sometimes this can cause certain special days to be over looked. Some of us decided that we needed to relieve the tension and celebrate a birthday! The first major task was getting the Boss out of the building so we could start working on the party plans, that proved to be harder than we thought because he seemed to be enjoying his meeting.

 

Once the meeting was over Randi Accountant Extraordinaire/Human Resources Guru, and Magda Queen of  Sales/Master of 4 languages proceeded to hang the Balloons to start the celebration, good thing Randi is tall. Amy Reservations/Bionic Woman, kept watch at the front desk just in case the Boss decided that he wasn’t quite done working for the day. Katie Jane of all Trades/Foodie tirelessly filled the balloons with air and  Greg Director of Nothing/Bowling Aficionado, supervised the process and helped to tie the balloons off.

It was a difficult task but we got it done in record time. I think some of us even enjoyed ourselves! Now all we had to do was hang out and wait for the Birthday Boy to show up… When he did arrive, even with the festive mood he couldn’t resist doing a little work!

Randi and Magda worked all night making cakes for everyone to enjoy, and it turned out that there was another birthday (Aniceto’s) to be celebrated so we all got to sing twice.

Since we couldn’t get everyone to totally enjoy themselves with the temptation to work so strong we decided to play hooky and go skiing. It was hard to tear ourselves away but we did our best to enjoy it.

P.S. Don’t tell the Boss!

“As the Antlers Turn…..” scene 15

What do you want first, the good or the bad news?

Although we did not win the “Grand Prize”, we did win.  I haven’t written the e -mail to anyone yet explaining our good fortunate, but when I do it will go like this:

From:  G Ziccardi

Subject:  Lottery Results

Do not quit your day job.  The big winner is from New York and I’m sure, whoever he or she is, that individual needs the money more than us.

These are the results of our 100 tickets (checked and then double checked because I couldn’t believe the results the first time).  Of the 100 tickets, 3 of them were in the money.  One ticket for $2, one for $3 and the last for $7.  Divided by 20 players, the net profit is $0.60 each. 

Not included is the Service Charge ($0.77) that everyone is responsible for and the Fuel Surcharge ($0.67) that recently has been levied.  After re-calculation, everyone owes me an additional $0.74.  I have decided to forgo these additional charges.

Any problems with that?  If so, have your people call my people and we’ll do lunch.

Greg

A few souls called and wanted to know the results on Sunday morning.  I felt like I let everyone down.  Randi was first.  “Should I buy that trip to Switzerland?” she asked.  I only said “No, but you can buy some gas for your car and come back to work tomorrow.”

I saw Lora this morning and she seemed convinced and confident when she asked “Did we win?”.  Thank God she got a radio call and had to walk away before I said anything.  I’ll break the news to her Monday.

Amy just wanted a new golf bag.  “Fortunately, I don’t need $5 million for that.  I’ll manage.”

Chris Ratz seemed more concerned than I thought he would be.  “What do you mean we didn’t win?  I already told my father he could use Tom’s Cadillac and stay at Elsa’s new house.”

My mother was probably most upset.  I promised her the first $100K.

The real good news is we are all back where we belong.  No new hassles in our lives, just the routines we are accustomed to and do so well. 

The bad news is the Power Ball Jackpot is getting close to $100 million.

“As the Antlers Turn….” scene 14

What are we going to do with $335,000,000 ?

This is how it went today.

I overheard the amount that someone could win in the MEGA MILLIONS  drawing that will be held tonight, Friday, March 25.

With relation to our national debt, it’s an eye droppers worth.  With relation to what I have in the bank, it’s an oil tankers worth.

I thought  to myself “self, if we could all chip in as a group, we could raise the odds of winning this thing and make some national press for the Antlers at the same time.”  I approached the potential participants through the day and collected $100.  One hundred chances to win $335,000,000.

The odds of getting hit by lightning tonight have now been reduced to getting run over by a jet liner at Eagle County Airport.

After I purchased the tickets, I sent this E-Mail out to the 20 participants.

From:  G Ziccardi

Subject:  What to do with 335 million$’s

Ok,you guys are in.  (Lora:  tell Martha, Bertha, Elsa, Lorena, Darwin and Carolina that I have their $5.00 as well.)

I collected $100 and we purchased that amount at the most appropriate place for this sort of thing.  The liquor store.

Each ticket printed is for $5.  Twenty tickets total.

They are locked up in a sealed mayonnaise jar as I write this.  We will look at them together in the back office at 9:00 AM  on Saturday morning.

If you are compelled to look at the results before we meet, please do not share the knowledge for the sake of others that want to be surprised.

In all likelihood, this is where we all will be on Saturday morning…. Estimated jackpot for the MEGA MILLIONS drawing on Friday night is $335,000,000 – in half for the cash option is $167,500,000 – less 29% tax is $118,925,000 – divided by 20 players $5,946,250 each.  Everyone OK with that?

I’m doing a blog on this before the drawing and everyone has to answer this question or you don’t get your share.  WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THE 1st $100,000?  (Don’t write back and I will answer for you.)

(ROB and MAGDA.  You guys don’t give me $5 by 7:30 PM on Friday night, I will sell the ticket to me and really screw up the math.)

Greg

Here are some of the responses I received today (and I need to edit some comments because people have a tendency to be self absorbed when they fantasize.)

Magda:  “Up to $250, I will buy a house in Edwards with a garden for Izzy to play in.  Then I will travel to Europe and visit friends and family for a month.  Then I will go visit friends and family in South America for a month.”

Katie:  “I agree with Rob.  But first I would buy that Austin Healy I have always wanted. Everything after that is travel.”

Chris Ratz:  “What’s an Austin Healy?”

Chris A:  “Land….(a smile on his face and a tear in his eye)…lots of land.”

Rob:  “My first $100K goes to pay off some debt…..along with a whole bunch of the next $100K’s.  But that’s SOOO boring.  The real question is what to do with the real first “post debt” $100K?  An epic cruise would be nice, but they probably don’t take dogs, so that’s out..  Maybe a 6 month road trip in Evelyn’s new ride…WITH the dog. $500 day allowance.  That ought to cover some pretty nice digs, killer meals and some memorable golf (for me) and spa treatments (for her).  Ooooooh I can hardly wait.”

Elsa:  “A house….and a car…and a new truck.”

Chris Ratz:  “A new truck and then the rest goes into a 5 year CD locking in interest at a generous .009%.  You guys will all have so many toys… I’ll just use yours when your on vacation.”

Tom:  “A Cadillac.”

Darci:  “I’ve been to Disney World, so I guess I plan a trip to a beach that has attractive servants bringing me fruity cocktails with little umbrellas.  I will stay as long as I want to.”

Randi:  (Oh my God.  She’s going to Switzerland, renting chalet’s, Africa, Kilimanjaro, wants to discover a new species, English huts, the Red Sea, Mars, Jupiter, and it goes on…………)

It’s 7:28 PM and the drawing is about to change our lives.  Gotta go.  Results in the next day or two…..

(I wonder who is going to cover for all this vacation time?)

“As the Antlers Turn….” scene 13

I need to get half serious.

One sheet, pillow case, towel, wash cloth...at a time.

It’s very busy around here. 

The snow is “epic”.  The atmosphere is festive. Grand-parents, parents, kids, cousins and friends are all having a thrill. 

Un-noticed while the outside world spins is the quiet man. This particular person is working as hard as anyone at the Antlers this time of year. You need to know what goes on downstairs and what he does.  A few facts and history.

One of the requirements on the original job description stated “individual must have the ability to work independently”.  Aniceto Quinones was looking at the classifieds in 1994 and jumped out of his chair and ran to the kitchen where his wife was cooking his favorite meal.  “Ilda, Ilda, I found the job I want.  I’m going to the Antlers to tell them I’m their man.”  Millie Barela hired him that week to take care of the overwhelming laundry situation we have here.  Ever since, he’s been the first here in the morning, one of the last to leave at night and he takes his job very seriously.  On average, Aniceto works 10 hours a day because he wants to and as Randi put it “we have to force him to take a vacation.”

He told me “I love my job and it is very important not to fall behind.  If we miss one day it is very hard to catch up.  Our guests would not like drying themselves after a shower with a wash cloth.” 

“So how much laundry is there Aniceto?”  He got out a scratch pad and started writing numbers down and then multiplying them by storage closets and whoa.  “Many thousands every week and do not forget that I have to do bath mats, bedding and throw rugs.”  He also tears and squares linens and towels that are not up to standards for guest use.  Those are recycled for housekeepers to use as rags.  He washes those as well.

The laundry facility that Aniceto calls his home away from home, is not what it was 15 years ago.  With one washer and two dryers, he managed until our 2000 building expansion which incorporated 22 additional condominiums.  It is now equipped with the newest and most efficient machines available. 
 

Two commercial washers and three large capacity dryers are his co-workers for most of the day.

A few questions for the man.
“Do you and Ilda have any kids?”  “Yes, four and one grandson.”
“When you do take vacation, any place special?”  “Cancun or Durango, Mexico.”
“How about hobbies?”  “Not really.  But I do enjoy my walks along the creek everyday.”
“Football or Soccer?”  “Football and not the kind that John Elway played.”
“Favorite Food?”  “Chile Relenoes.”
“Beer or Wine?”  “Beer.”
“Dog or Cat?”  “Dog.”
Lunch is fun. Sometimes it’s nice to be out numbered.

(Honorable mentions need to go to Cristobal, Darwin, Macario, Calletano and Bryan who fill in when Aniceto sleeps, and who could forget Igor.)

Greg z.

“As the Antlers Turn….” scene 12

Who is Marie Roberts?      

In scene 11, I had mentioned an item I bid on at the Vail Valley Partnership Awards Banquet.  It was a silent auction and I never bid on anything for several reasons.  First, I don’t need a ski vacation package and second, I’m a very frugal (cheap) individual.  But I did fall in love with one particular item that was innocently lined up with all the other items.      

As I walked by the tables looking at the donated vacations, massages, chiropractic visits, CME rides, dinners at various restaurants, hot air balloon rides and so on, I stopped and began to stare.  I was frozen to the floor in my borrowed Italian loafers and my eyes focused on the only item I would ever bid on.       

I looked at my friend and said “I’ve got to have it.”      

Just a couple of regular joes at the golf course

A Fifty Dollar bill was a lot of money in '67.

She said “It must be a guy thing.”       

The clipboard that held the sheet to offer a bid on this treasure simply stated “Minimum Bid – $250.  (increments of $25 please).       

I thought to myself and then explained to my friend  “I’m going to scare the hell out of any one else that would even consider bidding on this.”      

“What’s your plan” she asked.       

“I’ve got to get rid of the high rollers” I explained.  “I’m going to bump this bid to $275.  That will put people in their seats.”     

She looked at me stupefied, and to kind to say what she was thinking.  She did, however, say “I don’t think it will hold up.”     

I then explained “This money is coming from my new skis fund.  It’s all I have.”     

She then said “If you plan on buying new skis for $250, you better take a time machine back to 1967.”    

“Your brutal sarcasm is beginning to test me.  Why don’t you go and get us a couple of martinis.  I have some paper work to fill out.”    

I then scribbled in my bid and printed my name legibly on the clipboard.  It was 6:30 PM.   

I went back to our table.  It was time to eat.  Then it was time to check the bid sheet.  No more names. Then it was time to dance.  Then it was time to check the bid sheet.  No more names.  My plan was working.  I did scare the hell out of the high rollers.  It was 8:30 and the bidding closes down at 9:00.  I announce to everyone at our table that I wasn’t getting new skis this season.  I started to cry.   

I looked at Chris and said “I need new skis. I don’t need a picture of Arnie and Jack.”   

Everyone at the table overheard my conversation with Chris and no one had any pity for me.  I reasoned with myself and told the group “I need to give something  to my son when I die.  This will be perfect.  I’m going to buy it like a man.  Lets dance.”  

It was now 9:30 PM and went back to check the bid sheet.  Low and Behold!  Another name and a $300 bid.  It was Marie Roberts.  I looked at my friend and said “I don’t believe this.  She’s probably a trust-funder. Lets dance.”  

My friend said “I saw this Marie when she collected the item.  She was not a pretty women.”  I was puzzeled by that remark.  

The hours passed and the night was through.  I quietly walked home and thought about the only thing I ever wanted to give my son when I die.  How disappointed he will be.  

I managed to get a hold of this picture of Marie.  If you see her, could you tell her how disappointed I am.  

Let the truth be told…….When I returned home that evening I opened my door and threw my keys on the kitchen counter. Right beside the picture of Arnie and Jack. 

I, again, was frozen to the floor.  A Post-It Note was on the picture and it simply said “Thanks for being you.”  

Marie Roberts

NO MARIE….THANKS FOR BEING YOU 

“As the Antlers Turn….” scene 11

                      

 Lets play dress up.                    

 For those that live here and for those that visit on a regular basis, we know this is a casual town when it comes to attire.  So when there is an opportunity to put on your Sunday best and “jet set” with other locals for an evening, we jump all over it.  The 8th Annual Vail Valley Partnership Awards Banquet and Gala gave us the opportunity this past weekend.  This is the same Gala that the Antlers received Business of the Year in 2003 and Green Business of the Year in 2008.  We were nominated for “Happiest Table at the Banquet” this year… and we won.                    

Happy to be there all dressed up.  Happy for the adult beverages and dinner. Happy for the winners of this years awards.  Happy for the live music and dancing that everyone at our table enjoyed and participated in.                    

I do mean everyone.  Rob seemed just a bit out of character when the band struck it’s first note and he was twirling to the beat.  It lasted for quite awhile and he was finally tapped on the shoulder and asked to “take a rest.”  His shirt tails exposed and his tie slackened, he reluctantly walked off the the dance floor and began to mingle.          

I stand by while Rob plans his access back to the dance floor. (Security is in the background.)

 Chris got into a bidding war over who would be his next partner (the girls were lined up at the door for their chance, just like high school when they stood by the gymnasium door.  I heard one say “He’s such a dreamboat, and look at him dance!”  She then placed the back of her hand over her forehead and fainted.                 

Pick me, ohhh, pick me.

  This years Gala Girls included Randi, Stephanie, Darci, Amy, Katie and Magda.  They took charge as usual.  What a bunch of dreamboats in their own rite.  They not only showed us guys what fork to use and wiped the pudding off our ties, but made us extremely proud to be in their company.           

At one point Chris needed "protection". "Go hide in the bathroom Ratz and I'll tell you when it's safe".

The Gala Girls enjoy a common soft drink. But where is Magda?

 
This years event was held in the Ballroom at the Marriott.  In addition to the scheduled events for the evening, there also was a silent auction that preceded the festivities.
 I mention this because for the first time in my life, I bid on something and I wanted it. 
 A black and white of Arnie Palmer settling a friendly, $50 wager with Jack Nicklaus after a private round of golf.  Beautifully framed with the $50 bill encapsulated with it.  It was titled “The Bet – Circa 1967″. 
My bid held up until late in the evening.  Marie Roberts scratched her name on the bid sheet and offered more than I was willing to spend. 
Does anyone know this person?  I really would love to get my hands on that piece of art.  (This actually is a story within a story and I will let you in on the little secret of “her”  identity later.)

Sharing an enchanted moment with Marko. "Hey big boy, wanna' dance?"

 When I was asked to attend this years extravaganza, I spoke for all of us when I said “Sometimes I feel we are the most fortunate people in the world.”    

Marie, are you out there?  Give me a call.   

  

    

Randi explains to Magda “It’s bad enough when someone else wears your dress, but I wore the tablecloth!”

   

“As the Antlers Turn”….scene 10

Vlasta, Jack and Gerda enjoy a glass of wine while we enjoy their company at the Wine and Cheese gathering on Tuesday

One of the pleasures of working here has been the opportunity I’ve had to meet and get to know the owners and guests that call the Antlers Hotel their home away from home. For those of you that don’t know me, I’m not shy, and if you should ask me a simple question like “How’s your day going?” it has often taken me a half hour to answer.  What I really enjoy is asking people about “their story” and absorbing what they have to say. I have heard some great testimony about success, failure, family and just life in general over the years.            

Meet Vlasta Giese, Jack Joseph and his bride Gerda.  Each one of them have a story that easily could be put into novel form.  I have chosen to keep this at 700 words or less and write the “made for movie” screenplay later.  If all three look happy in this photo, it’s because they are.  “Don’t sweat the little stuff” is what Vlasta will tell you any day of the week.  Jack and Gerda would concur.           

Vlasta Giese is 88 years young and came to this country from Czechoslovakia in 1949.  She will tell you “I was very fortunate to get out.  It was just after the “Ruskiis” occupied my country and this, just after the Germans had left.”  I asked her when she started skiing and she said “I remember before the occupation I hiked up to Krkonosky with my friends.  We had to walk all the way and it took many hours.”    (Fun Fact:  That translates to skiing for more than 70 years.)  She has been coming to the Antlers to ski and hike for nearly 20 years. She also requests that we open the pool early so she can swim her daily laps.        

Gerda Joseph, age 81, left her native Austria in 1948.  She also experienced WW II and the un-welcome occupation of Vienna.  She will explain “As a child, I don’t remember being frightened as much as I was bewildered.  To this day, I don’t believe that anything else has compared to that experience.”  She also learned to ski  “after taking street cars to the city limits and hiking for miles through the Vienna Woods”.  After her migration to the States, she managed to attend Colorado College as an exchange student and returned to the University of Vienna and received her degree in 1952.  (Fun Fact:  Rob LeVine also attended Colorado College so that means Gerda was there before he was born.)        

Jack Joseph was born in 1926 in Chicago and he will tell you “Even if you’ve never picked up a history book, you probably know there were a few things I lived through that were not considered the best of times in American history.”  He also admits that “I don’t have as much experience skiing as Gerda.  I only started sometime in the early 60’s after I married her.  For me, my skiing adventures began at Indian Head Mountain in Upper Michigan”.  He thought for a second and continued, “I think they had about 300 acres of terrain back then and 400 feet of vertical.  Vail gives us a little more to enjoy”  he said with a wink and a smile.      

Jack and Gerda purchased a condominium at the Antlers in 2008 and stay for several months during the winter season.  You can spot both of them every morning at 8:30 AM heading to the gondola.  “We like to get out there before the crowds.”        

Vlasta likes to sleep in.  “I want it to warm up a bit before I hit the slopes.  Besides, the “hunks” don’t get out there until later in the day anyway”. 

Trust me….if you have not met these people in your life…be patient…and they will introduce themselves…and just make you happy…because you know them.

Greg Ziccardi

“As the Antlers Turn….”scene 9

This is the Vail Police dispatch office.  We just received a 911 call from one of your guests……….”

It was Tuesday if my mind serves me correctly.  We are in full swing at the Antlers.  Guests have arrived from all corners of the planet and there is a festive mood as the holidays are upon us.  The CME vans are pulling into the courtyard and dropping luggage wherever they can find a place to put it.  Parents are unfolding themselves from the vans and some have that look of stupefaction that stems from the 16 hours of travel to get here.  There are the usual greetings from the front desk “cool kids” as they help with luggage and get our travelers situated.  The children immediately run to make snowballs and start tossing them at the cool kids.  Mark takes one in the cheek and says not a word.  Happy, Happy, Happy.

This is pretty much the order of the days this time of year.  Check-ins, check-outs, answer a lot of question with regard to restaurants, lift tickets and ski school inquiries.  The Engineering department will get calls to fix TVs and DVD players that are not broken, fireplaces that will not light and rooms that are too cold.  It is the usual kind of thing that we handle in a typical 18 hour day. We have pride in ourselves and always remain professional even though it can get a bit repetitive.  It’s what happens after the 18 hours, between midnight and 6:00AM, that gets interesting and certainly not routine.

I was the on call manager this particular evening.  As long as I’ve been doing this, I’ve never been totally at ease when I finally do fall asleep.  Kind of like “sleeping with one eye open”.  I’m always thinking in a comatose state “Will there be a pool fire tonight or a noise disturbance that is unexplained after investigation?  Late check-ins are always common.”   Nonetheless, if I am woken up in the middle of the night, it’s nearly impossible to fall back asleep.

I have a phone in Unit 101 that belongs in the Smithsonian when I retire it.  The ring tone is unique and LOUD and it has never failed to make me leap from bed when it is activated.  There was a ting-a-ling at 3:00am this particular morning and the Police  Dispatcher explained the call.  “A guest from another unit just dialed 911 and apparently there is someone locked out on their balcony.  He is yelling for help.  I have sent an officer to the Antlers to investigate.”  The challenge was in front of me.  I will beat the officer to the punch and rescue the guest before the officer gets here.

I threw on some boots, and a jacket over my pajamas.  There was no time for make-up….  a guest needed to be rescued from the 10 degree temps.  I hustled to the back of the building  along the bike path and sheepishly started to yell up to the balconies above me.  “Hello.  Is there anybody up there?  Hello.  Can you hear me?  Hello.”

Finally there was a response to my bellows in the dark.  “Dude.  I’m over here and I’m freezing my …. off.  There’s something wrong with this door.  It doesn’t open.”  He was only a few floors up and I assured him that help was on it’s way.  I hustled to the 3rd floor to consummate the rescue.

I entered the unit within a minute or two and thought it was peculiar that all the lights were on, the TV was on and 3 digits past earsplitting, and something was cooking on the stove.  I thought to myself.  “This guy works nights or he has some serious jet lag going on.”

I noticed immediately the cute, little pooch in the Antlers condominium.  He didn’t come running over and greet me as an intruder with a snarl or a bark.  He was sitting directly in front of the sliding glass door, his tail wagging back and forth.  He turned only his head around and said “Are you here to save my Master?”  I answered “Yes” and opened the locked door.

“Ohhhh thanks dude.  How does this door work anyway?” he asked me.  I showed him and said “If that’s it, I’m going back to bed.” 

 He said “Thanks again dude.  I’m going to eat my dinner.” 

 I didn’t want to have a puzzled look on my face but I know I did.

The police officer showed up just as I was leaving  and asked me “Is everything under control?” 

 “Routine….almost. Thanks for coming by.  I’m going back to bed.”

“As the Antlers Turn….” scene 8

“Only the Cool Kids”.  

Here at the Antlers, it’s a job title and the translation is “Front Desk Personnel”.  We lost a few from last season and they have been replaced through an arduous hiring process.  Darci and Chris will screen millions of applicants and ultimately decide who will be accepted to join the crack staff.  This seasons winners are…….

Sara Bangert from Buena Vista, Colorado.  She loves anything that is done outdoors.  She is recently married, loves kids, has an education degree, and a great smile.

Mark Dupont is from Morgan City, LA and still has a bit of a draaaawl.  He operates a bed and breakfast with his wife in Palermo, Sicily in the summer and returns to the Antlers to make coffee in the winter.  His hobbies include Guinness and a Movie. He also has a great smile.

Joe Pellar is from Schererville, IN and is a huge bear lover.  I thought that was why he moved here but realized after conversation that he was speaking of the Chicago football team.  He is involved in politics and loves to ski when he’s not working.  He is single, available and looking.  Look at that smile.

Dan Curtin came here a few years back from Traverse City, MI.  His football team is the Detroit Lions and that’s why he moved here.  An avid skier who loves the snow, he also hikes hundreds of miles in the summer. I’m not sure of his personal status, but I do know he’s never on the mountain alone, if you catch my drift.  Warm / Fuzzy smile.

Tyler Schiffer has assumed some of our front desk “geek stuff”.  He hails from Boston but does not speak the language.  Mr Big Time Boarder / Skier, he also is single, available and looking.  From what I’ve seen, he runs in a pack.  All smiles, all the time.

Ryan Leland is new this season but not at the Front Desk because he would not fit.  I think he’s like 6’10”.  He is the newest member of the Engineering Staff.  Originally from Seattle, he does everything in the snow.  Personal status:  has a girlfriend that is 5’2″.  Another continuous smile type.

Speaking for myself, I like everyone that has joined the Antlers Staff this season.  I asked Darci and Chris “How do you widdle down all the applicants to a few and then manage to hire such good people?”

Ratz then told me of the secret interview question “Do you know how to smile?”

Coming soon “I was on call the other night when a 911 emergency came through at 3:00AM…….”

“As the AntlersTurn….” scene 7

Let’s review.  If an accident (or incident) should happen to you and it’s totally unexpected, it ultimately makes you wiser.  It’s also been said “That which does not kill you, makes you stronger.”  The point I am trying to make here is that we all bounce back in some form or another.  Allow me to continue with a few more examples.

Magda had a surprise last year.  I remember when she told me that her and Tony were pregnant.  “I don’t even know how that happened” is what she told me.  How often have you heard that from a couple that is still reeling from the news?  Of course they knew how it happened.  They just weren’t expecting it to happen.  Now they are wiser and “do things” that will prevent another “accident”.  (May I share a little of my own experience with you Magda?  When I had my first “I don’t know how that happened”, we “did things” to…and my second child was born 13 months later.  There are some destinies we just don’t have any control over.)  Congratulations!  Isabelle is a beautiful, little girl. 

Darcy was walking to work one sunny, dry, gorgeous morning and missed a step by Billy’s Restaurant.  After the tumble, she came to rest on her back and was mad as hell.  “No excuses.  That was really stupid and my shoulder hurts.”  It still hurt in May, June, July, August, September and in October the doctor diagnosed the problem.  She works everyday in pain and you would never know it.  (I only know it because she reminds me a half dozen times a week when we have coffee in the morning.  Don’t mention this to her when you check in.) She is scheduled for surgery in the Spring. 

When I saw this picture, it reminded me of that scene in “The Wizard of OZ”.  After further review, it’s Amy.  Her setbacks can be read in the American Medical Journals. Too numerous to mention is an understatement.  She will greet you at the Front Desk during normal business hours with a smile and if you need to talk to her anytime after that, she has a private line at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic.

Our most recent mini-drama involves Randi.  A couple of Saturday’s ago, she was simply gliding to chair 17 after a Yonder run when she created a traffic jam.  She just fell.  “I’ve fallen” she said to Danny “and I can’t get up”.  She has been working around here on crutches and will be having fix-it surgery on the knee this week.  “The doctor says I’ll be back in just a few weeks.”  In the mean time, we miss her on the slopes and the bowling team (not necessarily her average, just miss her on the team).  She is quite the trooper and only cries when she is alone.  Time goes by and she will heal and be dancing at Oktoberfest before you know it.

  Finally, I need to give  myself an honorable mention.  I slept the wrong way two weeks ago and my neck is still stiff.  I whine and cry about it everyday to anyone that will listen.  But I’ll be alright.  I’m wiser now and I avoid sleeping on the couch, between the cracks.

We have some new employees on the “Only the Cool Kids Staff” and I’ll be introducing you to them soon…..