Twenty years ago, my husband’s job loss forced a change in our lives. After many years as a major Richmond, KY employer, Phillips Electric moved to Mexico. Unemployment hurts; it is hard to admit, and it can be embarrassing. We all have been touched by misfortunes, haven’t we? And what happens after a set-back? We get up, dust ourselves off and begin anew.
We can think of life as a game. We either take daring chances, or we play it safe. We decided to be daring. We decided to reflect on our specific talents and put them to use. Mine was hospitality, decorating and organization. My husband, Richard’s was bookkeeping, handyman maintenance and talking to people. Teamwork rocks!
We found our niche and historic downtown Richmond, KY needed us. We opened Bennett House B&B and Events. This business rests in a beautiful architectural jewel located in the heart of Central Kentucky.
Now, almost twenty years and five grandchildren later, it is time to find another daring entrepreneur with a plan to move forward in life. Here’s looking for someone to step up to the plate!
Where do you Live in the Bennett House?
“Where do you live?” This is a daily question, both from B&B guests and the general public. Do you live in the big house or in the house in the back?
We have lived in the big house for nineteen years. We built the house out back eight years ago to provide long or short term rental options.
“But where do YOU live”, I am asked again and again? We live all over! An upstairs bedroom and bath provide our personal dressing and bathing spaces, clothes closet and the ‘no one is allowed to see’ space. We watch TV in the upstairs den, sleep in our bedroom, eat in the dining room and cook in the kitchen.
B&B ownership is the ultimate form of hospitality. We meet the nicest people from all over the world. They come back time and time again. Some claim Richard and me as family. They invite us to dinner and pay for our meal. You can’t beat that!
B&B owners are the face of our community. We provide a snapshot of our local people, places, and things to do. Best of all, we live here in the big house. All over!
More Changes in Life’s Adventure
Life is full of beautiful little moments if you take time to appreciate. Our Bennett House guests often refer to ‘eye gifts’ or ‘visual presents’. “What’s that?”, you might say. Beautiful or unique moments that one can see–you open your eyes and soon move on to look at something else. Perhaps your eyes focus on something you are not familiar with. It’s the way we witness change.
Look at ways life has changed at our Bennett House. This contraption below was an easy way to open the furnace door allowing black-gold coal to feed the fire.
It was certainly easier and cleaner than creeping down the narrow basement steps over a hard dirt floor and shovel dirty black coal in the monster furnace. Today’s guest enjoys the warmth of energy efficient technology while casting their eyes on change.
Kentucky boasts the motto, “coal keeps the lights on.” In the early 1900s, Bennett House had gas lights. Today these eye gifts remind us of times past. Moving on to another eye gift, these beautiful brass chandeliers below were changed from gas-powered to electric. They hang in the spacious parlor and the joining formal dining room.
Yes, change is evident. As we plan for change and moving on, the For Sale sign goes up. Keep in touch!
Changes in Life’s Adventures
Why age Gracefully when you can age Successfully? This magazine ad caught my attention. It spoke to me as I am about to experience a change in life adventure. After nineteen years as a Bed & Breakfast innkeeper/owner, my husband Richard and I decided to put our property on the market. We hope to transition into aging successfully by enjoying our family, grandchildren, traveling, exercising and focusing on maintaining a healthy diet with new and nutritious foods. I welcome you to join us in this adventure and see where it takes us.
Our first order of business was to clear out, throw away and donate twenty years of collecting and antiquing. We joined the national movement of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo (konmari.com). This enlighting concept of junk clearing caused such a surge that many thrift stores were forced to limit donations.
We started in our clothes closet. Everything was dumped in a large pile and sorted with the theme- Does this bring joy to your life? It wasn’t long until we both grasp “Joy” with both arms and embraced it like a great opportunity–for someone else to enjoy this huge pile and get on with our life. Our local clothing banks were elated–especially with the warm winter items and cold weather predicted. Our house closets seemed to breathe an air of relief as well.
Next, we tackled the books. We are both readers. At this point, I must tell you two years ago I culled my self-help and personal motivational books which I regifted to my daughter. So why was I so surprised when ten bags of books made the donation trips. My usual book donation site is Madison County Public Library (www.madisonlibrary.org). But a major renovation/remodeling project created a different “Joy” opportunity –Half Price Books (www.hpb.com/088) in Hamburg shopping mecca. Originally, I would drop off books, collect my few dollars and head to another shopping venue looking for a way to find Joy in spending my money. But then I remembered Marie and hurried home to continue “tidying up.”
There’s more to come, but for now, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
I can run out my back door, cross Fifth Street and I am at the library. It is one of my favorite places in town. There is always excitement there. Young people, old people, interesting people, moms, dads, grandparents. The list goes on and on. I like to look at the people on the computers. Some are reading the news, others are shopping, many are looking for jobs and then some are just looking. I think they are like me–trying to figure out this machine. Speaking of computers, they even have a man who will help you with your computer, for free! His name is Mark. Read More
Let me introduce myself. I am Rita, co-owner of this historical bed and breakfast in the heart of Richmond, KY. In another life I worked as a County Extension Agent for the great University of KY. I taught adult education classes on topics such as food and nutrition, arts, wellness, parenting, finances and decorating.
Fast forward and now I put all these lessons learned into hospitality and entertaining. After decorating, making window treatments, sampling recipes and gardening at the Bennett House Bed and Breakfast, I decided to share some of my best ideas. Read More