VG’s Donut Shop, in Cardiff, that great little beach town nestled between Encinitas to the north and Solana Beach to the south has seen its share of history over the last forty years. There is a lot to be said for a business in North Coastal San Diego County that has withstood the ups and downs of our economy, attitude changes, dietary demands for sugar and then, oops — no sugar, and the tidal flows of our personally changing lives. VG’s, online at vgbakery.com, has seen it all and still produces the best donuts, baked daily TWICE for us to wake up to, or finish off a night, around 5 am. Even more amazing, maybe only to a marriage counselor who believes that life is about relationships, is the fact that VG Donut & Bakery is a third generation business still owned by those who started it. What must a family have gone through to create and maintain such a legacy? Having never met a single Mettee family member, I am only surmising the possibility that VGs Donuts (which stands for Very Good) exists because the Mettee family has navigated through life admirably. As in any relationship, we pay tribute when we recognize a long journey that continues successfully.

Marriage is a lot like a multi-generational business. Two people encounter one another in a way that leads to blissful hope brought on by hormonal influences elevating our baser desires to the miracle of procreation. Sort of the way a couple of folks decide to start a business producing incredibly delectable yummies that can only elevate coffee in the morning on the beach to the level of utopia. OK — I may be a bit dramatic but stay with me on this. To ensure the success of this business/marriage, its founders must be willing to take on the journey of a lifetime. This escapade is every bit the feeling of a bike ride from Oceanside to La Jolla where all terrains test and rest. The ride is filled with exhilarating downhill coasts through restaurant row in Cardiff, to the uphill trudging of Torrey Pines State Park that make you want to fire up the barbeque with your quads, to the restful straight-aways along Carlsbad beach that last just enough to keep you willing. And, that is just the first part of the journey. For a business, this means licenses, build-outs, joining the chamber, hiring and product decisions; for a marriage it also means licenses, moving in together (the build-out), anticipating and having a child or 2.5, appliance upgrades and kindergarten. Then the “real” work begins.

Real work in both enterprises demand participants to be open to learning from mistakes and incorporating all those lessons into a life that is in constant flux, known as CF. The challenge with CF is that no one really feels safe and stable unless they dig themselves into an abyss of a “see, hear, and speak no evil” existence. That person won’t succeed in relationships or life and is boring to be around. The rest of us pretty much swing free and afraid with the winds of change. How can this possibly be a good thing? It forces us to open ourselves and our relationships to other people who are also participants in the CF life. They bring us new solutions and understanding such as reading self-help and do-it-yourself plumbing books. If you question my hypothesis, talk to an eighty-year-old couple with a long marriage about traversing life together; or, talk to a retired or active business person from SCORE (volunteer business consultants) who will “honestly” tell you about the life of their business. I say “honestly” because some individuals find it impossible to share their most profound learning experiences because they were precipitated by ERROR! Yup, no way around it — on the slopes of Big Bear, if you aren’t falling, you aren’t learning to ski…and cruising just gets boring and someone will run into you anyway. By now, you may be wondering: where is the good news?

Good news: Your long life on the planet will be rich with the rewards of connection to other people, experiences to pass on to the next generation of life-embracers, meaningful gatherings, and the knowledge that the Constant Flux life is only made better by donuts from VGs. Particularly the Apple Fritters, warm, with milk — you can feel the generations in those donuts!

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