Genesis of the Idea
Three years ago, Linda and Bruce Erley’s third and final son moved out of their home into his college dorm. Returning to their now empty and considerably quieter home, they soon discovered they had unwittingly entered a new season of life…empty nesting. For more than two years, they found themselves drifting through their home life, unsure of who they were individually and as a couple, what their goals were and what they should do with their new found time and resources.
In their mid 50’s, they decided that they needed to embrace this new season of life and explore what it had to offer. They began to take weekend “one-bag” trips (together and alone), looked into classes from ballroom dancing to CPR, converted the kids rooms from “museum status” into friendly and inviting places the boys or other out-of-town guests could enjoy.
During this time of exploration, they encountered many neighbors, friends as well as complete strangers who found themselves in the same place in life. They all began to share some of their experiences which Linda dubbed as “empty nester adventures.” Bruce, who owns a marketing agency and is an entrepreneur at heart, saw a gem of a potential business idea in the term and quickly registered the domain EmptyNesterAdventures.com.
Intuitively, Bruce and Linda believed that there were many parents (both single and couples) who were entering this new season of empty nesting just as clueless as they began their parenting phase of life 20+ years earlier.
They researched the topic extensively online and principally found information on the emotional upheaval of the empty nester, but very little information or opportunities related to the empty nester’s “lifestyle”.
Bruce & Linda are confident there is a potential demand for an online community of people experiencing the same season of life. Pattered after other similar sites that connect lifestyle groups such as Gannet’s momslikeme.com, Bruce utilized his entrepreneurial skills and Linda’s background as a women’s group leader, civic volunteer and corporate concierge, to design a community that explores and celebrates the life of the empty nester.
We hope you enjoy EmptyNesterAdventures, contribute your thoughts and experiences and invite your friends to join in on the conversation. After all it is…Your Life. Rediscovered.
Who We Are
Married 28 years, Bruce and Linda first met in 1978 while traveling with a cast of the international, educational and performing arts program, Up with People. No love at first sight for this couple who whose cultural backgrounds proved a challenge-Linda a Southern Belle from Baton Rouge and Bruce a brash Yankee from Connecticut. Proving once again that opposites do indeed attract, Bruce and Linda became close friends and then fell in love, marrying on December 30, 1982.
They spent the first 10 years of their lives together living in Tucson, AZ where Bruce continued to work for Up with People in marketing and sales as Linda left a career in fitness training, dance and office administration to become an at-home mom for their three sons, Christopher (born in 1985), Matthew (1986) and Patrick (1989).
They moved their family to Colorado in 1995 when Bruce’s employer relocated there, a move that felt like a homecoming for them both as Linda made many ski trips to Colorado as a girl and Bruce attended Colorado State University.
Bruce and Linda’s personal Christian faith has always been the cornerstone of their lives and their marriage. Though EmptyNesterAdventures is a nonsectarian site, you will likely find Bruce and Linda’s faith walk reflected in many of their posts.
Linda grew up in Port Allen, Louisiana, a quiet town across the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge. The third born of four sisters, Linda filled her adolescent life with dance, animals and friends. She graduated from Louisiana State University 1977 and immediately left to travel around the world for more than four years as a performer and dance captain with Up with People.
As a fulltime mom-at-home for more than 20 years, Linda made her boys her focus, spending many hours volunteering at their schools, supporting their hobbies and sporting activities and being the Kool-Aid mom on the street. She also moved into leadership roles at her church and eventually helped to found an independent women’s bible study for which she served as teaching leader.
In 2008, following their youngest son’s departure for college, Linda returned to the workforce as a corporate concierge for a large technology company, an idea “re-entry” position for her as it called on her organizational, logistical, management and communications skills, all finely honed after two decades of supervising three very active sons.
Linda has always been a writer, regularly journaling, writing articles and bible studies. You are likely to find her posts to be both intuitive and entertaining as she weaves her sense of humor and positive perspective into her reports.
Bruce’s early youth was spent in the suburbs of Chicago and the middle and high school years in the Hartford, Connecticut area. The third born of four boys, Bruce was a drummer in a garage band during high school and was always enterprising new cottage businesses to sell to friends and neighbors.
Bruce traveled with Up with People as a student participant in 1973 and then attended Colorado State University receiving a B.A. in Journalism in 1976. Upon graduation Bruce began an 18-year career with Up with People moving through marketing and sales positions until he was the Vice President of the department at the time of his departure in 1995.
Current, Bruce is the President and CEO of the Creative Strategies Group, a full-service sponsorship and event marketing agency based in Denver, Colorado which he founded in September, 1995. Creative Strategies Group (CSG) specializes in sponsorship and event marketing consultation as well as forging partnerships between corporations and events, festivals, nonprofit organizations and other properties.
Bruce is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America and a Certified Festival & Events Executive (CFEE) by the International Festivals and Events Association.
An entrepreneur at heart, Bruce loves enterprising new concepts and building support for these products and services. He is also a skilled writer and regularly speaks at conferences and conventions across the country and around the world.