November Newsletter 2018


By Dale Dauten

Rhonda Amundson has only been in her new volunteer job at The Resort a few weeks but she’s already earned a nickname: Deco Guru. That’s “deco” as in “decorating” and she’s agreed to head that team. When we asked her how she’d gotten that assignment, she chuckled and said, “I was standing too close to Ann when she said, Can you help?” She’s referring to new Activities Director Ann Christensen, and Rhonda was being modest (more on that in a minute).

Rhonda pins a nametag on the newest resident of The Resort in time for the Halloween party

Long before she was known as Deco Guru, Rhonda was known as “Coach” – that’s because she had a career teaching high school Health and coaching girls’ volleyball, track & field and gymnastics. Those teaching days were in Roseville, Minnesota, and her first year of coaching was the first year of Title IX (elevating women’s athletics to the level of men’s). Rhonda became one of the pioneers in the enforcement of the new law. Being paid less than her male coaching counterparts, she filed a grievance, which, after multiple delays, succeeded in her getting equal pay.

Given her coaching credentials, we wondered if she’d been an athlete at the University of South Dakota, where she earned her degree. (After all, she looks like she still might leap onto a balance beam and do a few walkovers.) But, no, not gymnastics; she was on the rifle team, and became one of the first women to receive a letter in shooting at USD. That happened only because she took a pistol class and her instructor was so impressed that he asked if she’d ever competed. She hadn’t, but ended up on the team and even considered trying out for the Olympics… then she got married instead and followed her husband to Minnesota.

They had a daughter (who now lives in Iowa on a farm, raises show pigs and works for the Iowa Pork Board.)

Rhonda eventually retired, and she lost her husband to cancer, so she seized the chance to explore, hitching up her 22’ travel trailer, often rendezvousing with a group with the charming name “Sisters on the Fly.”


The Sister’s Book by Irene Rawlings

It was on one of her other jaunts that she visited a friend at The Resort. Like so many people who visit the place, she didn’t want to leave. She says, “I looked at all the other options and this one just seemed to feel good. It felt like home.”

So, even though she felt she wasn’t ready to buy a place, she ended up looking at one, buying it, having it gutted, adding a bedroom and bath and Arizona room and moving in last year. Wanting to meet people, she started volunteering… and that led to her being volunteered by Ann. Which brings us back to how a former coach ended up working on decorating. “Even though I’ve always been sports-minded,” she explained, “I still have always had a love for the arts.” One of the ways that love expressed itself was in her becoming a master basket weaver. She got so good that she went to art fairs and sold her wares, including her own line of equine baskets. (The photo is of an Appalachian backpack that she made for her daughter, a traditional item that originated with fur trappers.)

If you attended the Halloween party, you got to see the work of the Decorations team. If not, we have photos to share of the preparations, where residents of Silveridge joined in getting ready for the joint event.


Tim Furlong of GDS


Tim Furlong, the man heading up internet/HDTV project, sounded upbeat when we spoke to him last week. His overall assessment: “We are definitely getting there — the major construction at The Resort is almost done.” The major construction includes most of the infrastructure, including the amplifiers which boosts the signal.


What’s left? Replacing the green pedestals and hooking up more homes. As for the latter, the plan calls for installations to work the same way they did last year – residents sign up at the office and a work order is issued and put into the queue.

“We’re finding,” Tim says, “that a lot of people need lines replaced. And we’re also seeing people who’ve bought cables, sometimes spending a lot of money. Please let them know they can save that money – the installation cost of includes all installation materials.”

Homeowners still need to have a router and a modem, but Tim recommends anyone buying new ones get a combo unit (router and modem). (“I’d only get separate units if you’re a gamer.”) Which combo units work best? “It needs to be DOCSIS 3.0, and any of the major brands work – Motorola, Netgear or Linksys – and you can find them at most any store that sells electronics.”


Thank you to those Resort residents who’ve been so gracious in welcoming neighbors from our sister park, Silveridge. Work is continuing to rebuild Silveridge after the big storm that caused a partial roof collapse in the main building. As you can see in the photos below, the new beams are installed and the replacement carpet is being placed in the ballroom.