• Simone Penn

11 moves in 8 years? NBD.

It’s no secret the Penns have basically gypsy’d their way around Glenhazel for the better part of the last decade.


We’ve moved from: Penn Island, to the trailer park, to Hotel Khyber Rock, to The Pennthouse, back to the hotel, Suite 320, hotel, The Pennsion, hotel, EcoPod, Golan Heights and finally we’re back home in Penn Manor.


I’ve earned my fair share of discovery miles. Shopping; not travelling, but I digress…


2019 royally kicked my backside. I was showered in abundant brocha every single day but sometimes it felt like a cold shower with no soap.

So, as any responsible only child would do, I hauled myself off to the therapist the very first moment I could. Instead of going to the guru of all gurus (Steven Kaplan – yes he’s my shrink and no you can’t have his number) I decided to go see someone my husband and I had seen when we first conceptualised the EcoPod. It just had a nice full-circle ring to it.


I expected to be raked over the coals somewhat. Adrian Gore isn’t paying for me to discuss knitting patterns for an hour; but in hindsight what I actually got was two weeks’ worth of cognitive dissonance.


You see what this well-meaning therapist told me is, what I assume most people actually think of me, a thought that is certainly no stranger to the corners of my mind: that I’m 100% pathologically unwell.


Look, I do love me a good diagnosis, but this just actually wasn’t helpful at. all.

What I actually needed to hear was:

“Simone, no one is dead, no one is divorced, you’re together, your kids are happy, and everyone is safe. So you moved around a bit? You tried something and it didn’t work? Big. Damn. Deal!”

“Some people travel, the Penns buy and sell property, what difference does it actually all make if, at the end of the day, at the end of EACH day, you’re all together and safe and happy and loved?”


Why didn’t she say that to me?


I needed someone to say that to me but instead I had to say it to myself. Perhaps that’s the real therapy? Perhaps that was her M.O. all along? Either way it is very liberating to finally become one’s own personal, and wisest, advisor.


A few Shabbosim ago my husband shared the most beautiful story with me.

I forget the specifics but basically a family took an overseas trip. Upon their return the Rabbi politely inquired about their vacation. The mother regaled him with itinerary changes, missed flights, bus transfers, and airport queues, hotels, ferry boats etc.

“Isn’t it funny”, the Rabbi responded, “that were I to ask your infant were she has been these past few weeks she would simply respond; in my mother’s arms”.


The moral of this story is that no matter where we are we are always held tight, within the embrace of our eternal parent, Hakodesh Baruch-Hu. Wherever we are, we are always in HaShem’s arms.


I think that’s my feeling now. I can barely remember my address but I am here, with them, together, as always.


To quote the incomparable Walt Whitman; ‘We were together, I forget the rest’.



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