January, and it's time to focus on Hay Lake Lodge and Cottages. Because we are a seasonal operation, we have the luxury of being able to put the Lodge on hold over the holidays, and concentrate on enjoying family. But now it's half way into January and time to think "Lodge" - for part of each day at least!
I do have the pleasure of snowshoeing our trails. As I followed my own tracks the other day, I found myself thinking about the intersection of "Business" and "Family". Every working adult knows about this balancing act, but those of us who run our own businesses experience this interface in a more intimate way, and no business meshes home and business more than hospitality.
Hay Lake has been my family's home for more than 30 years, but it is also a public place where people come and go. It is a privilege to live here, and it has been possible because we invite guests to share Hay Lake with us. We came to Hay Lake when our son was 6 months old. Picture a restaurant kitchen with playpen and rocking chair. The dividing line between family home and guest areas can become very blurred.
Back in the day when we served dinner, guests would sometimes choose to eat in the kitchen with us. Our son and daughter learned early to greet people from all over the world, which has enriched their lives. On the other hand, I can remember my 5-year old daughter telling me I loved the lodge more than her!
Because we were raising our family here, we were happy to have guests with children. At one time, the children of visiting families were our children's Summer Friends, as we called them, as opposed to their School Friends they saw the rest of the year. In a family business, everyone learns to pitch in.
The lodge became automatic summer jobs as Doug and Laura grew older, and they gained skills that have stood them in good stead. I have even been able to leave during the summer, knowing that guests would be registered, cabins cared for and any emergencies would be handled.
Hay Lake is our home, and we have celebrated anniversaries, weddings, and reunions. Guests have become friends, and have celebrated with us. Two granddaughters now help me collect trays and register guests. The Family Business is still a Business for Families and for anyone who is looking for that quiet "Privacy With a Personal Touch". We hope you'll join us this season - and I'm rested and ready to think "Lodge" :)