We thought we had it all figured out. VA summers are hot. We love the outdoors, not like backpacking and tent camping love the outdoors, but like sit outside with a glass of wine love the outdoors. Colorado is a dry heat. We had a manager for our VA based business that said “you need to open a CO division. ” That’s all we needed to hear. Colorado was the promised land. It’s where life was cooler and visions of sugar plums danced in our heads. We could surely put our business that we had worked so hard at in the hands of a passive aggressive employee/manager. Anyway, we were going to duplicate our operation in Colorado. Sure, that would be easy. Off we went, sold the house loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly. Swimming pools? Movie stars? The first two years were great. Getting used to the snow and the winds of Estes Park was 180 degrees from what I had experienced, but surely we could do this. We bought a small office space and put out ads to attract employees to the beauty of Estes Park. We waited a week, then two. Nothing. Hmmm, why weren’t people replying to our help wanted ad? We found a few retired people, but after a couple of weeks, they decided they really loved being retired more than re-entering the work force. We finally found a web developer that lived about 45 minutes away. He whined the entire time about the drive to work, so when we had the bright idea to open a retail store down in the valley, our one employee jumped at the chance and moved to our retail store location. My son followed suit and moved to the local retail store as well. Well, it’s just you and me kid. Back to Laurie, me and the dog. Certainly people would want to drive an hour to work in the beauty of Estes Park, then drive an hour back home. We lived in Estes, so it was only a 12 minute drive for us and housing, at least year round rentals were hard to find in Estes Park. Whoops, guess we should have researched that. Meanwhile, back a the ranch, there was a storm a brewin’ , but it took us a couple of years to catch on. We were sure that we had made the right decision in our hiring as well as our decisions as of late. Our “trusted manager” was enjoying his new found lack of accountability. He decided that he shouldn’t have to work 8 hours per day, so he just worked 6, then 5, then 4. When I would call the office, his standard line was “everything is going fine.” I believed it for two years. I wanted to believe it. You see, if I had of listened to my gut, my gut would have said, “you better keep an eye on this guy”. You’ve heard, “While the cats away, the mice will play.” He took that to an entirely new level of which I will not elaborate, but when we were approached by our staff as to what was going on, well, let’s just say, he is no longer with us. This was the beginning of the end. The end of my living in la-la land mentally. All of a sudden, the past 2 years of what had been brewing back in VA started to come to light. How could I have been so blind? Well, we will just hire another manager. In our attempt to want to right the ship again, we threw in a manager, trained her for a couple of weeks, then went off again to Colorado. Guess what, she didn’t work out. Surprise, surprise. It’s been almost 2 years since the firing of that first manager. We didn’t re-hire another manager. We managed it remotely from Colorado, but it slowly became evident that this was not working either. The hard decision to sell our home in Colorado and move back to Virginia was not easy, but that is where we are. We can’t just let the business implode so that we can stay in Colorado. I really don’t want to stand on the street corners of Boulder holding a cardboard sign. We must do what we must do. I am sure that I will learn a lot more in the coming months. There are lessons to be learned. I can’t afford to do this all over again. I must do more research, pray and not let my decisions be run by my emotions. We all have Plan B’s in our lives. This just happens to be like Plan K for me!