It’s almost upon us….

The tree is up, decorations and lights bright, especially when dazzled by the firelight. Like most of you we aren’t quiet through with the shopping, much less the wrapping of gifts and getting them under the tree. It’s a busy time here. The Robbinsville Black Knight football team plays for the 1A State Championship on Saturday. There’s huge excitement all over this community and at my house as Elizabeth get’s ready for to cheer the team on in Raleigh. It’ll be her first trip there and she’s bubbling over about it. Winter is still teasing us here..with little traces of snow and bursts of cold weather, but I’m sure she will make a wholehearted appearance soon.

“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor ~~ such is my idea of happiness.”

                                                                                           – Leo Tolstoy

More of my time time has been spent in reflection here. Solitude can open me up to so many things. The regrets, not only of this past year, but all of the years pile on in my thoughts. Mistakes, to often made…and even repeated dog my mind at times. I find myself aware and seeking. Along with all of the team here I look in all of the cracks at the Lodge figuring ways to make us better, to lift us to the next level. Even as I feel all of those things, I also feel the warmth…and passion that we still have for creating this special place…for keeping the fires burning. That passion…or as we often call it, the “magic” continues to burn hot…..and that is what it’s really all about, continuing to learn, love and embrace who we are and what it is we do.

I don’t know whether I’ll have the chance to make another entry before Christmas from Snowbird Mountain Lodge, but I didn’t want the moment to get by without giving you my very best wishes for the Holiday and to send you warm, caring, loving thoughts for all that is and yet to be. The dogs are romping outside. Windy and chilly here on the mountain. Just the perfect weather for them. I think I’ll bundle up and take them for a woodsy walk….

In certain Celebration for the Great Adventure Ahead!

Robert Rankin

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