With the challenges of the past two years that we have all observed and experienced worldwide, and the solitude it created for many of us, it provided time to reflect on my own life and give pause to what time I may have left in this beautiful world, and how I would ultimately want to spend it. Besides being a professional entrepreneur, I am also a mother of five, an active organic gardener, and have a desire to create homes that are more aligned to function hand in hand with the environment. Having been a career person for 40 years now, I decided this was the time to make a quality of life move and give back to others in a way that is both meaningful and rewarding…thus The Delsa was birthed.
While living in Texas and New Mexico most of my life, my family history stems from the east coast, and many of my relatives are still there. My favorite childhood memories are from our family farm in West Virginia. We spent summers with extended family taking care of the animals, growing food, taking long walks down the dirt road to the small general store, riding horses freely through the countryside, sitting out on the large porch in the evenings chasing fireflies, eating watermelon, and enjoying the expansive beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. Because of these wonderful memories, a decision was made to move to North Carolina, affording opportunity to be closer to family and to develop this retreat in a location that would be beneficial to the immediate community, and provide a haven for people from around the nation to get away, reconnect with nature, and be given opportunity to learn about ways to improve their lifestyles.
Badin Lake was identified as an ideal setting as it sits between the four largest cities in North Carolina (Raleigh-Durham Triangle, Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Fayettville), providing easy access from all sides. The Atlantic Ocean and the Blue Ridge Mountains are both only a few hours away and having the lake and the Uwharrie National Forest immediately available, makes this a perfect place to create a haven that nurtures us as human beings.
The Delsa has been registered as a non-profit with the state of North Carolina, and also holds the 501(c)3 status with the IRS. The entity has been created to provide a retreat that would include self-sustainable housing for staff to reduce the environmental footprint; two large green houses and open acreage to grow organic food that will be donated to local charities, food banks, shelters, and churches; 5-7 self-sustainable tiny homes that will provide temporary private accommodations to those that have a need to getaway and regroup - to those who are interested in learning more about healthier ways to live - for single moms who need to be cherished and have somewhere to relax with their children - for hospice refuge for those without family or comfortable surroundings - and for various other groups that would find solace at the retreat; and lastly a central gathering place for food preparation, educational experiences, relaxation, group meals and various events.
Many have asked how the retreat came to be named “The Delsa”. Delsa was a precious elderly woman I knew many years ago. She had a hard life, but you’d never know it when speaking to her. It’s a long story (which I’m always willing to share), but in the end I had to watch Delsa spend her last months alone and in strange surroundings. In her late 90’s she had been abandoned by the only natural family she had. Because of my own personal challenges at the time, I was unable to help her. Feeling as though I was watching with my hands tied behind my back and unable to comfort her, it created such a depth of sorrow in me that when she passed, through the flood of tears that engulfed me, I told myself that one day I would create a place for people like her – so they could be surrounded by people who cared, and likewise be in a beautiful environment to pass with dignity.
When this vision began to unfold, I knew this was it - and in her honor I’ve named it “The Delsa”.
Out of curiosity I went looking for the meaning of Delsa and was pleasantly surprised to find that it means “comfort of the heart”….how perfectly fitting. Here’s to you Delsa!