Well, it has been a year since I wrote a blog. My web guy is nudging me and I love writing these, but life has been fairly intense over the past year, so I have not taken time to write. Maybe you will better understand why with this blog. And I am setting my intention to write more frequently in this year of 2019.

In brief review –

I spent several months of the latter part of 2017 getting the Colorado house packed up and ready for the move. During that process were the final aspects of buying my new dream home to open the B & B in Northampton, selling my Colorado home to pay for the transition, and driving across the country for four straight days with 2 dogs and 3 cats and my best friend, Sue, and our son, Cody, who was driving the second moving truck. Sadly, my bearded dragon had passed in the summer of 2017, so Mango did not accompany me on this latest move although she (really a he, we found out at the reptile vet a few years ago) was a lively traveler from New Orleans to Denver in 2015!!

Then, upon arrival in my new digs, the construction began and continued for about two intense months during which time all three of my cats got stuck within the house in varying places and times, but finally were rescued (the 2 girl cats had actually been trapped under the new subfloor of the bathroom attached to the Strawberry Fields guest room for over 72 hours!). One of my dogs (a rescue who is fearful-aggressive with strangers) could not wrap her sweet head around the fact that we had a peaceful, poet tenant living in the 3rd floor apartment, so within the first month I had to ship Pepper back to Denver to my bestie, Sue, who is loving her up for me until they move here at some point in the future. Lots of animal trauma, but eventually the construction was finished and the house now boasts two guest rooms with private baths on the 2nd floor – Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane. You can find them listed by those names on Air BNB. I also finally got a new web site created by my fantastic web guy, Brian, in New Orleans, so take a look if interested at some photos of the place: www.thepomeroyinn.com.

Thinking life was settling down a bit, I got a big surprise: the New England summer!! It hit Northampton and surrounds with a vengeance, bringing hot and extremely humid days to our lovely Pioneer Valley in which Northampton is nestled. It felt like a New Orleans summer sans AC. Ugh.

Plus, I was finally aware of having moved to a new land where I knew no one!! A bit of a shock, for sure, and at times, felt really overwhelming. I was facing a steep learning curve in many ways. I was exhausted and very hot and miserable for a while and could not imagine how I would ever learn everything about his big, old house – and have the energy to get everything done on my own.

Moving right along, nothing good or bad lasts forever and that was the case of the heat wave. Finally, we transitioned into a delightful, although short-lived fall. The New England countryside, my neighborhood, and really everywhere around here just blazed with color and cooler temps. I learned what heaven is.

In that process of weathering the changes that seemed, at times, insurmountable, I began to grow a sense of confidence in my ability to handle things as they arose. I began making friends with some very quirky, intelligent, and most of all, fun people who live around me in this vibrant, eclectic town. I started singing with a rock and roll choir of about 200 song-loving souls (Rock Voices for anyone who wants more info on the group). The director is wonderful and the group singing is a blast. I started joining community boards and walking elementary school kids to school through the Walking School Bus program. All of a sudden, one day I realized that this is truly becoming my new home!!

The guests who have stayed with me, thus far, have been an interesting mix of college-related, business, and East Coast (for the most part) tourists coming to walk and eat and ride bikes and hear music in this great area. Sometimes we chat on the large, screened side porch while drinking coffee in the morning or drinking wine in the evening, and sometimes I only see them at check-in.

I travel to New Orleans regularly and Denver less often, but several times a year. I see my adult son and daughter frequently; they are the primary reason I moved here; Cody lives in Manhattan and Marissa in Boston. We visit each other every month or so either in their digs or mine. Holidays were so fun in this 1868 old beauty where the first Mayor of Northampton lived in the 1880s and many notable folks have visited and/or lived over the past 150 years. Our family and a few friends made it a very warm and loving time.

So far, running the B & B (Special Permit from the City of Northampton, so I am legit!) has been a blast and just what I needed and wanted to do with my life post-childrearing. My kids are incredible and having them leave home, although I felt as though I had been preparing for it since they were born, left a gargantuan abyss in my life for a while. Looking for deeper meaning and a sense of daily purpose was a central thread of the last few years. I think I may have found the right mixture in this place: enjoying folks who come in and out of my life through the B & B, being closer geographically to my kids and their developing adult lives, and continuing to defend clinicians in Louisiana and Colorado with a few Louisiana adoptions thrown into the mix now and then (my happy law).

Life is good. Taking on a new dream, a challenging adventure, has turned out to be a growthful experience for me in a big way. Didn’t someone (maybe Kelly Clarkson? But originally Frederick Nietzsche) say, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!” (Nietzsche’s actual words were: “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”)

So, my first blog of 2019 advice for all is this: consider what you have always wanted to do that you have been putting off. Is it at all possible? Is it something that would fill your soul with love and excitement?

Then, hey, like NIKE says, “Just do it!”



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Deborah M. Henson