Allegan County News & Union Enterprise

Otsego Library hosts book event with Terri DeBoer

By Jason Wesseldyk
Sports Editor

You’ve seen her on your TV for more than three decades.
Now, you can see her in person.
Terri DeBoer, the longtime meteorologist at WOOD-TV and founding co-host of the station’s lifestyle show “eightWest,” will be at the Otsego District Library at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 7.
At the event, DeBoer will read excerpts from and lead a discussion about her debut book, “Brighter Skies Ahead: Forecasting a Full Like When You Empty the Nest.”
Copies of “Brighter Skies Ahead” and its companion journal will be available for purchase and autographing. Attendees will be able to bundle the book and journal for $25.
“When by book launched (last November), the leaders at the Otsego Library reached out to me about coming and having a book reading,” DeBoer said. “I will be answering questions about ‘Brighter Skies Ahead’ and the empty nest journey and reading sections from the book.
“I’m looking forward to being there and meeting everyone.”
The genesis of “Brighter Skies Ahead” came about from DeBoer’s personal experience.
With husband Bill, DeBoer raised three children: son Jacob, 32, and daughters Jacqueline, 29, and Jennifer, 24. As the children grew up and moved away, DeBoer found herself facing one of the most challenging times of her life.
“Life changes are difficult,” she said. “We see the challenges in adjusting to life as a newlywed or new parent. The most challenging adjustment for me was going from a very busy household, with more to do every day than hours in the day, to almost stillness with too many hours in the day and not enough to do.  
“My children were involved in so many activities and sports when they were growing up, so when they all moved away, my calendar and my household became very empty.”
That feeling of emptiness came despite have a fulfilling career and being involved in multiple community activities.
“I figured if I was having such a difficult time with this transition into the empty nest, others must be having that same challenge,” DeBoer said. “So, I decided to write a book about this transitional period in life.”
The book is structured in 50 short chapters and divided into nine distinct sections: The Grass Is Greener in the Rearview Mirror; Birds of a Feather (Friendships); The Actual Nest (Habitat); Self-Improvement Time; Forecasting a Healthier You; Natural Resources; It Can’t Be Sunny All the Time; Flying Lessons; and Bless This Nest.
Topics covered include everything from mental and physical health to the importance of friendships to relationships with adult kids to faith.
“I also explore looking forward to that next stage in life, by maybe starting a new career or going back to school,” DeBoer said.
Response to the book has been overwhelmingly positive, with “Brighter Skies Ahead” holding a rating of 4.9 out of 5 on Amazon based on 28 reviews.
Among the adjectives used to describe the book are: refreshing; inspiring; inspirational, up-lifting; encouraging; insightful; easy-to-read; outstanding; authentic; and powerful.
“The comments from readers have been terrific,” DeBoer said. “It means a lot to me.”
After deciding to write a book about dealing with the realities of being an empty nester, DeBoer reached out to an executive she knew at a large publishing company in January 2020. After writing a book proposal and meeting with the team at that company, she received a book contract.
“I now had a deadline for my project, so I spent the all of my free time for the next few months researching and writing my first draft,” DeBoer said.
But as the impact of the COVID pandemic hit the publishing world, DeBoer’s publisher went through a reorganizing phase. During that time, her initial contact person lost his job and approximately 100 author contracts were cancelled.
DeBoer’s contract was among those.
Eventually, DeBoer teamed up with her initial contact person, who helped her get a new publishing contract and “Brighter Skies Ahead” was released on Nov. 9, 2021.
“The loss of the initial contract ended up being a blessing to me, as I was able to not only release my first book but also the companion journal I created,” DeBoer said. “My original publisher would have not likely moved as quickly on this companion project.”
Throughout the process of writing the book, DeBoer gained a better understanding of an ironic aspect of parenting.
“It’s interesting to think about the fact that the better jobs we do as parents for our kids, the more likely they will eventually leave us,” she said. “We want to raise them to be confident, independent, successful people. And when they become those things, they will leave us.”
While “Brighter Skies Ahead” features several pieces of advice about dealing with the reality of becoming an empty nester, a few tidbits stick out for DeBoer.
“My biggest advice is for empty nesters to realize there is another big part of life still waiting for them after they have raised their kids,” she said. “I also want empty nesters to know your kids aren’t leaving you. They are instead going toward their own future.
“You will continue to be important and essential in their lives. In very different physical way, yes, but they need you to still be there for them.”
If you are interested in scheduling DeBoer for another event or having her come to speak to your organization, visit for more information. Autographed copies of “Brighter Skies Ahead” and the companion journal can also be ordered at that website.

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