From: Sunflower Hill <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: January 8, 2021 at 9:38:49 AM MST
To: Robyn Officer <email@example.com>
Subject: The Closing of a Book
I sent the following email out last night to roughly 70 of our most special VIP guests. There was a moment of truth just before pressing the send button, knowing I was about to let the cat out of the bag (gulp). Lots of nice replies are coming back, but also some shock and sadness - many didn't see this coming.
Emily is working on a follow up letter that I will format and send out to guests early next week.
Dear Barb & Horst,
When the year 2020 came to an end, the 31st chapter of a special book was concluded. This book was not written on paper as much as it was on minds and hearts. Its pages are filled with stories of hard work, kind people, friendship, happy memories, and of course sunflowers. The first pages were written by my parents, Richard & Marge Stucki in 1989, when they took hold of a vision and started to shape it into reality. It has been a family endeavor from the beginning with five Stucki children (and several of their children) being involved in meaningful ways during that time. I've been very fortunate to be a part of that history and to contribute to the writing and living of the last 24 chapters of this special book. We always envisioned and planned for the eventuality of this day, but now that it is here, emotions are mixed. When I finally turned over my keys and walked away from the inn this past week, I wasn't sure whether to cry or do cartwheels.
Although the Stucki book of sunflowers has closed, another has opened. The inn has been acquired by a forward thinking benefactor. And with the drive, enthusiasm, and passion of a very capable person, Emily Niehaus, the inn will continue on for a season. But just as a caterpillar is not destined to remain a caterpillar forever, over the next couple of years, the inn will undergo a transformation. Emily also has a vision, a very noble and worthwhile one which we will share with you in a subsequent email. We couldn't be happier in turning over the reins to anyone else.
As for me, Terri and I plan to stay in Moab. We love it here. We are adjusting to life as empty-nesters (with our last two sons in college). I'm planning to spend the next couple of months completing some projects at home, and allowing my brain to relax and just decompress (this last year was a doozy). The needs of the inn have usually trumped the needs at home, so I have some makeup work to do. Our piece of the pie will provide us with a retirement nestegg, but I'm not ready to pull that lever yet. At some point, I will venture back out into the job market (where a 9 to 5 job sounds rather appealing).
There are a lot of things I won't miss about the inn, but you are not one of them. It's the friendships and connections we've forged over the years that has made this adventure so worthwhile and enjoyable. The inn was the magical place that made it all happen. I will forever be grateful for that.
A while back, I came across the following conversation between Pooh and Piglet (thank you A. A. Milne for your masterful insight). It captures so well my own sentiments as I cross a significant threshold in my life. I have taken the liberty to slightly adapt some of the original wording.
"it's been a difficult year," said Pooh, "and this transition has not been easy."
There was a pause. "Do you want to talk about it?" asked Piglet.
"No," said Pooh after a bit. "No, I don't think I do."
"That's okay," said Piglet, and he sat beside his friend.
"What are you doing?" asked Pooh.
"Nothing, really," said Piglet. "Only, I know how unsettling an uncertain future can be, and sometimes I don't want to think about it either."
"But goodness," continued Piglet, "The future is so much brighter when you know you've got someone there for you. And I'll always be here for you."
And as Pooh sat there, working through in his head how hard and unsettling the past year had been, while the solid, reliable Piglet sat next to him quietly, swinging his little legs, he thought that his good friend had never been more right."
Thank you for your friendship and loyalty over the years. Best wishes to you in this new year, 2021, and beyond!
: ) Gregg (Terri and the clan*)
*We had all 9 of our children (and 12 grandkids) here the week before Christmas. They all wanted to do one last fling at the inn before it sold. We had a wonderful time together, with lots of reminiscing and picture taking.