Jan 13

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 13

I grateful that I have a career that I love.  I am grateful that I know that everything works out as it should.  I am more than thankful for the clients I have met that become more like friends by the time the journey to owning a home or selling a home comes to the closing table.  Today I am going to focus on just this one transaction because this home sale was bittersweet for several reasons and they just celebrated their first year home anniversary.

Jennifer and Ray came to me as a referral as what better statement of trust and great experience is there then when friends, family and business partners send you other clients?  After I hung up from our initial phone interview, Q&A session and game plan for what to do next I knew we would work well together and she would be right on top of her game.  I love my clients that are always responsive to what’s needed as it truly helps to make the process go more smoothly.  The weather was warm when we starting home shopping and they just couldn’t seem to find that right place for their family.  We looked at many homes and initially we looked at one in Baldwinville that needed some work and at that moment they were unsure.  Jennifer spoke as if she could envision her home there as she was placing kids in rooms, furniture and how the kitchen would be arranged.  That is how we Realtors know emotionally you are already invested and that is probably the home for you. But, they decided to keep looking.

Through the months of looking, talking, preparing and looking more Jennifer and I talked and texted everyday, texting becaame a great way for us to talk more often with our schedules it never failed that at some point THAT house would come back up in conversation.  As the weather grew colder and the inventory became sparse the home in Baldwinville became a front runner and the price was adjusted so we decided to talk another look.  This time they brought other family members to help talk out the work that was needed and what other issues to consider.

As we were going through the house I opened one of the upstairs closets and inside was an entire shelf wall full of yearbooks from Narragansett and I found the one from 1982 and showed Jen my high school photo… yes, we laughed.  I wondered who lived there and knew it must have been a teacher or administrator that had been in our school system a long time.  Then in downstairs kitchen cabinet there were the glasses that are in the picture below and it only further served to pique my curiosity.  Jen was in love with the fact that a teacher may have lived there and education was so important to them and you could tell that house had been loved.  It was dated, but well cared for.  I knew it was the house for them, but waited for them to make that choice.

We made an offer and it was accepted and my buyers were SO excited.  It was one of the best phone calls I have ever made because Jenn was always emotional in a great way whether it be tears or laughter. The sellers of this homewas the Bockus family.  Mr. Kenneth Bockus our teacher and principal and long time advocate for everything education in our district.  I loved that man as did so many others.  He treated us all with dignity and fairness and taught values not just facts.  His glasses, a suit and his mannerisms is what I remember most, but he was well respected and truly loved all the students.  It was an honor to be a party to selling this home.

During the transaction unfortunately Mr. Bockus passed away and I went to the wake.  It was a pleasure to meet all the children, although not under those circumstances, and they were happy to meet the buyer agent and were even happier when I told them I graduated from Gansett.  It was amazing to see all the photos and memorabilia and to celebrate a life well lived.  In my head I promised that the family that was moving in was perfect for their home.

The transaction had a couple of bumps in the road, but everyone was to thrilled to be selling and buying to one another it made it so much easier.  Being at the closing table with my buyers and the Bockus family was special.  They told some stories about growing up there and about their mom and dad and my buyers told them they would take good care of their home.  I cried.  They cried.  It was awesome.  I went to their house warming and it was so fun to have a tour of the house they started making changes too.  It was perfect for them and they were totally in love with the house and their neighborhood.

This is why I am a Realtor.  This is why my clients become more like friends.  I keep in touch with Jennifer via Facebook and to be honest we text every so often because I miss our daily conversations.  Thank you Jennifer and Ray for all the trust you placed in me on your journey to buying your first AND forever home.

A memorable home sale

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Jan 11

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 11

Today is the 11th day of the month so I thought it fitting that I write about what the number 11 means to me as it is my number. I see 11:11 all the time along with the number 11 everywhere like license plates, other times during the day, I won a scratch ticket on my birthday with the number 11. The other time I see most often is 1:11 and that’s usually the time I call it a night with working.  Today I knew I was having an open house  and I was getting ready and I needed to look up a phone number and BOOM there was 11:11 on my phone ~ I took that as a good sign that today would be a good day for the buyers to come out.  Yes, it was a very successful open house!

I was born in the 11th month and in November alone I took a picture of 11:11 or the time with an 11 for more than 1/2 the month with many of them being twice in one day.  No, I do not set an alarm to go off at that time, it just happens. There have been days where I have seen the time almost all day 1:11, 2:11, 3:11 and so on.  It’s been happening most of my adult life and in my later years instead of making a wish, I pray for someone that comes to mind or I send up an “I’m grateful today for….”.  This number reminds me to think of others before myself.  This number has always brought happy things my way.  This number reminds me I have a lot to be thankful and very grateful for.

I am not a numerology person, but I am attaching a link to just one article that has many different number explanations.

http://astrostyle.com/1111-make-a-wish/

I have been posting 11:11 on Facebook for a long time now when I see it and many of my friends now send me texts, or pictures from their phone or they post on my wall when they see it.  I’m grateful you all think of me when that number comes up.  Keep sending those messages because it always makes me smile.  (Notice I saw 11:11 on the 11th of November that was a TUESDAY and again on my birthday the 12th too!)

My Number 11

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Jan 10

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 10

This Christmas tree is in my bedroom. I have a traditional one too that has only been up since just before Chirstmas Eve.  I also have a small tree in my basement that used to reside on my porch and is currently undecorated because I hadn’t decided on a theme until today.  I love Christmas trees and I love the time of year from Thanksgiving through the New Year.  I leave two trees up all year and this one in my bedroom has the same decorations it always has had.  The other tree is usually some kind of theme.

This tree has decorations I have purchased through antique stores or gifts that have been given to me and there are also wooden plaques that have words on them that say love, family and angels.  There is a bear that my youngest wanted to place on the tree and a flag for how grateful I am for our freedom and those that stand watch. There is an angel that watches over our family and several stars that remind me of all my loved ones in Heaven. There is this one really special orchid bracelet that says #weloveclint that was sent to me while a good friend was fighting a battle with testicular cancer that didn’t have him just because he had cancer.  It forever reminds me to live out loud, love with all I have because time is short and that one person truly can impact a thousand people like a ripple in a pond.

The Christmas tree itself has it’s own origins and stories that are faith based that keep me grounded and remind me that I am here to help others and leave things better than I found them.  I am grateful that I can begin the holiday season with thanks, spend the holidays with friends and family that I love and that I can keep the spirit and the magic going all year long with the reminders on my tree.

 

Christmas Tree Day 10

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Jan 09

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 9

It’s been bitterly cold here with a high of -20 on one day and maybe 1 degree the next or a heat wave of 20 degrees. Today we woke up to snow squalls that brought with it several inches of that white fluffy stuff. When the snow finally stopped and the sun came out I ran out back to take this photo. I live in New England and I live here because I enjoy ALL the seasons. I love the Fall the best, yet Winter holds a special place too.

I am grateful I have an amazing place to call home and that I live surrounded by the beauty of nature. I love that during each season there are amazing things to look forward to. During the Winter my woods are a blanket of white and we can bring our dogs up back and they can run free. We see all kinds of wild animal tracks and we try to guess who’s been coming to visit. When the dead of Winter subsides you can smell Spring coming just around the bend. The birds come back and the songs they make wake me in the mornings as the sun begins to spill through the windows. When the temperatures reach the 40′s we think it’s a heat wave and are outside in t-shirts doing cleanup. Summer means green grass, deck furniture, grilling and friends around the fire place. It also means longer days and amazing nights watching the stars and the kids are home from school. I will say that Winter makes me truly appreciate the other seasons and it always has me make the most of being outdoors while I can.

Soon enough we will be complaining it’s too hot and oh my here are the mosquitoes and the ticks and …. it would be better if we sit back and truly appreciate each season and moment for all it’s worth. After Winter comes Spring and with it brings new beginnings for our earth and if we choose it to be, for ourselves.

Winter Wonderland Day 9

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Jan 09

OPEN HOUSE ~ 12 Stephens Way, Templeton MA

Come and view this beautiful single family home with an in-law unit this Sunday, January 11th from 1-3pm. 12 Stephens Way is located at the end of Baker Lane off of Route 2A in East Templeton.

This home is situated within .25 mile of the Gardner, MA line and .75 miles to Route 2 with other amenities just down the road.  This home has a very functional layout with an open concept 1st floor, the convenience of 2nd floor laundry, the in-law unit is approximately 750 sq ft of living space with one bedroom, bath with laundry and a small office nook.  The yard spacious with a fire pit and plenty of room for entertaining family and friends.  Oversized deck, wired for a backup generator and so much more.  This home should be seen to be fully appreciated.

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Jan 08

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 8

It’s Throwback Thursday so today I am going WAY back in the time machine to 2001 when my youngest was only around 5 months old. This feels like a gazillion years ago yet it all happened in a blink. It also comes with many moments that we have all lived through that are monumental in joy, sadness, achievements and challenges.

We are a blended family and when Zach was born Alan and I hadn’t been together for very long and we wondered how we would make it all work. I had 2 sons and one daughter and he had one daughter, affectionately known as the “rental that I acquired in a merger” and then we added another son to the brood. Alan has a nickname “Bundy” and somehow we became the “Bundy Family” and that’s how it’s been for the last 15 years.

There are many memories that I can name in just a few words that mean everything to me and I believe to all of the kids. The most important one being that you would never know we are a blended family. They all watched out for one another, they spent as much time together as we could have them and they grew together because we all chose to make it work. I will never say there were not rough patches, yet I would watch them grow closer through the adversity as well as the fun times.

Just a few of the moments that come to mind over the years that are special to all of us are these:

Kids Zone
The Barbie Car
The bicycle roller coaster around the block
The President Game
Post Office
Building Forts in each other’s rooms
Dinner conversations around the table
The teeny tiny apartment on 3rd Street
The Trampoline at 6am
Water Gun Fights
Family Photos

One of the best memories I have and I believe the kids too, is when we finally bought a home so that they could have a yard and more space for themselves and instead of sleeping in their own rooms I would always find them all either in the boys room or in the girls room. I knew then we had become truly a unit and they would always count on one another and be there for each other.

I feel so lucky to be a Mom and a Step Mom to these 5 amazing kids and so proud of the paths they are now traveling down that I get to be a part of in a different way. When we are all able to get together it’s a blessing and it’s so great that the dinner conversations are still eventful and always bring a flood of moments that I will treasure forever.

Our Family 2001

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Jan 07

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 7

This is my favorite place in my hometown of Templeton.  The common and the First Church.  I am grateful for the time I spent growing up there and who I am today because of the lessons I was taught.  The times that have been spent on the common for picnics and fairs and proms and weddings and just hanging out with friends and family are times to be cherished.  I took this photo the day after the ice storm and I had it blown up and put on a canvas that now hangs in my office.  It reminds me that there is always beauty even in times of crisis, but many times we have to choose to see it.  It may be difficult at the time we are walking through that storm, but if we try hard enough a glimpse of light will be there to shine down and warm things up even if it’s just a little.

I like this gentle reminder hanging on my wall because there are days where I just want to throw in the towel and go back to bed.   There are times where situations have just become overwhelming and it’s time to give up that fight…yet, there is always something to be learned from every experience and all I have to do is look up and there is my photo giving me that gentle nudge to keep going as the beauty is just a little bit further through the storm.

December 11 2008 Ice Storm First Church Templeton MA

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Jan 07

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 6

These two are only 6 weeks apart in age. They are cousins and they say your cousins are the first friends you make and Zach and Mitch are amazing friends. It’s been a blessing to have them be so close in age as all the rest of my kids are 8+ years older than Zach.  It’s been a special journey watching them grow up and become close and all around great kids. Zach and Mitch spend as much time as they can with one another as they each have their own interests and live in different towns so they don’t share time in school.

We have had many sleepovers where we have forts in the living room, a tent in the living room, a fort on the trampoline and now they make their own forts out of the bunk bed in Zach’s room. It’s great to hear them talking and laughing and scheming about how to get more time together (like spend the whole weekend or school vacation) and who will be the best adult to bribe.

I have lots of pictures of them together and they are ALWAYS smiling or making funny faces for the camera.  This one happens to be one of my favorites and along with it comes special memories.  I am grateful to have a nephew that wants to spend time with his Aunt and Uncle too.  Time spent with the boys comes with many laughs and good times and I hope it will continue through the teenage years.  I am more than blessed to have Mitchell be such a big part of our family and to know Zach will always have a cousin and friend he can count on for life.

Cousins

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Jan 05

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 5

All these photos are of my kids or all of us a family through the years of Christmas beginning in 2003 and the last one being a couple of years ago.  My kids don’t like taking these photos, they are a pain my you know what in order to even get them to stand together and I hope one day they will look at them and thank me for all those memories.

It’s amazing to me to look at them all together and see how much they’ve changed and grown up.  It’s a blessing to me that they all belong to me.  It’s always fun when we get together and share a meal as the conversations around the table can be anywhere from reciting lines from Sponge Bob, to knock knock jokes and then to impersonations from the oldest comedian.  They are times I treasure and times that I miss now that 4 of them are out on their own and making their way.

The holidays are stressful and they are full of too much commercialism in my mind, but when we are together it’s easy to remember the real reason we are sitting around the table or the tree ~ because we are a family and we love one another always and these photos always remind me of that.

Christmas Family Photos

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Jan 04

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 4

I am grateful I have a bedroom big enough to fit a huge chair and ottoman.  It’s a great place to be when I’m sick or when I just need to escape from the rest of the world and have some peace and quiet.  It’s a wonderful place to share conversations when the kids come in the room or when someone else needs to talk and it’s private and welcoming.  I love to watch TV or read or just sit and think.

The chest next to the chair was made by grandfather for my grandmother for their wedding.  I’ve had it since I left home at 18 and it’s come with me everywhere I’ve moved.  On top are my favorite photos of my family.  Inside it holds sheets, linens and blankets that were my children’s and those are tangible memories I will pass on to my grandchildren.  The chest is now an heirloom to be passed on to the next generation too.

During the morning I can see the sunrise and the daytime it’s bright and cheery and in the evenings when the sun is going down it’s a place of peace and tranquility that I treasure.

Cozy and Peaceful Corner

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