Whew! Two kids, two full time jobs, two fishing boats, and now sporting camps! Are we crazy? Maybe. This has been a dream for so long; it’s hard to believe that now it is becoming a reality. Quite frankly, it’s the reality of it all that makes me realize how momentous this is. Not only will this be a significant “lifestyle” change, but it will also require every project management mult-tasking momma skill I have and every common sense trick Dana knows.
For the past month our lives have been consumed with Spencer Pond Camps. From long drives and last minute weekend meetings, we have shuffled kids, dogs, chickens, cats, etc to make it happen. And simply, what amazes me most is that somehow we have managed to stay on top of the laundry and even keep the house clean! To some that may seem like a rather mundane thought, but when you are juggling two kids with a full 50 plus hour work week, your weekends and evenings are like gold. The fact that the laundry has not grown arms and legs and escaped from the depths of the laundry room and crawled its way into every open space in the house gives me a great sense of accomplishment. That sense of accomplishment lasts about three minutes …until I think of all those blankets, linens, curtains, towels, etc at Spencer that all need washing this spring! Somehow in the midst of this chaos we also managed some “couple” time with a few sojourns out white-tail hunting on our favorite oak lined ridges. It has been a warm fall, not good for hunting as much, but very good for us, because it gave us more time to get into the camps and help the current operators close up the cabins for the winter! What I have not managed to do is get Christmas cards written or even purchased, any shopping done, or even thought about the tree…whoa…it may be time to shift gears for a few weeks!
So what are we up to? Our friends and family want to know. Quite simply, we plan on moving our life for six months a year to a remote pond in the heart of the Maine woods where we will be operating Sporting camps, or as my grandmother gently reminds me “housekeeping cabins.” Spencer Pond sits next to the Eastern Shore of Moosehead Lake; the name of the township is East Middlesex Canal Grant. For those that do not know, my grandparents owned and operated the camps for 25 years before selling it to Bob Croce and Jill Martel. I still remember walking through the woods and being told the camps had sold. I remember the angst I felt of change then, and its this memory that I hope will allow me to work with the guests that are probably in the midst of that angst of change now. The camps are near and dear to me. I also believe that this is an excellent opportunity for our family. This will allow my girls to experience a side of life that quite frankly gets lost in the everyday hub of corporate daycare and our busy life. To me that experience of direct interaction with nature and knowledge that Spencer will become to them as special as it is to me, is something valued beyond any words I can express.
It has been a busy week for us. I am so thankful for the enthusiasm, support, and knowledge that my family and friends are giving to us. We could not do it without you. So I want to use this opening blog to thank everyone.
First and foremost my step-mom and Dad! Dad is the official webmaster of Spencer Pond Camps and has surprised me with his determination to get it all up and running and get it perfect. He is my inspiration, as soon as I send something, he posts it. And I have a pile of unfinished pieces of web work I need to follow up on for him. Without him the website would not be anywhere near the level it is at…I’d probably have the home page done J My step-mom has probably not seen my Dad while he’s been up to all this foolishness, so I thank her for sharing, it is appreciated!
My gram and gramp. Wow! Gram has really stepped up to the plate. Offering handsewn potholders, Writing history, proofing letters, rounding up old guests, providing me with a depth of information and solid business advice. She also has answered EVERY single question I could think to ask, and has never once made me feel uncomfortable! I think of Gram as a very shrewd business woman, and value her input greatly. I also admire her, as I jump into this , I think of her all alone, flagging the mountain trail, cutting the driveway with a handsaw, or paddling guests across the pond in a canoe, and I realize, I truly did get off easy! Dana has been in constant communication with Gramp and I am sure those two will be inseparable in the months to come, or at least after Dana’s first attempt to run the dozer!
Then there is my mom and her friend who has donated cloth and they are busily sewing to replace any thread bare curtains! THANK YOU! For those that don’t know, I’m not much of a seamstress. I once tried to sew a pair of pants, and sewed them backwards. The legs were about 4 inches long, and the crotch….well the crotch was about two feet long. I was too proud to admit defeat and wore those new pants determined they would become a hot trend. (Needless to say they didn’t).
My girlfriends, Tamara, Isla, Kelly, Nikki. Wendi Lou. you give me the fuel to keep going and the inspiration to keep plugging on juggling. You may not realize it, but good friends are priceless, and I am blessed with so many.
My co-workers, Rich, Maggie, Bevin who let me ramble on and on as we make our way down the hall for coffee in the morning. I work with smart people, and they have allowed me to bounce ideas off them, given me solid advice, and supported me kindly the entire way. Although I do believe there have been a few jokes thrown in about outhouse scooping and wild loon sounds, weasels, and such.
Dana’s family, his mom and dad, his Aunt’s Cassie and Roberta, who have all been there with kind words, strong encouragement and the belief that we can get this done. Thank you!
And former guests, Chris Palestrant, the Spencer Pond Group, Bob Delaney, and others that have shared their photos, shown their support, and their belief that we will keep the spirit of Spencer alive! Thank you!
To Bob and Jill, thank you for sharing information and offering your assistance, we appreciate it.
Now the real work begins…from marketing, to dish soap, flannel sheets, woolen blanket orders…from solar systems, to bulletin boards, my to-do list is long and I think that the six months between now and the time the camps open in May will go painstakingly fast and slow at the same time.