I moved to Bend, Oregon in 1978 and never dreamed that I’d end up staying for over 30 years. I was just 19 when I first arrived in that little town, and so much had changed over the years.
But by 2009, I couldn’t wait to leave. My kids were grown and off to start their own lives, my friendships had changed so much I could barely recognize them, and my business was no longer paying the bills.
It was time to move on.
I should back up a bit. I left out a lot of important details in yesterday’s post. Not sure why I skipped most of 2008 and went right to the end of that year.
Maybe because it was a year of change.
Working from my home office, early 2008
Being a realtor during the housing crisis was definitely challenging.
I got my real estate license in 2002 and quickly worked my way to top producer. But by 2008 I was not only no longer a top producer, it was all I could do to make enough money to cover my costs of being a realtor.
Something had to give.
Have you noticed she stopped writing her story? I wonder what’s going on. I mean, she was all gung-ho sharing all the details of her life before. Over-sharing might even be a better way to put it.
So what’s going on now?
Honestly, I don’t even know what gives her the right to share this stuff anyway. First of all, who really cares? And secondly, why in the world would she want to put herself out there for the entire world to see?
Kind of silly, if you ask me.
How do you see yourself? Does it match what you see in the mirror or in photos?
Growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s on the heels of the Twiggy movement, thin defined beauty. Growing into my body as a teenager and coming of age, I was super thin. And that image has stayed with me, even when the person staring back at me in the mirror has changed. Continue reading
Have you ever been in a tornado? I have. It is one of the most amazing, scary and even thrilling natural events I have experienced. The sound of a tornado is something that you will never forget.
Growing up in a small Mid-Western town, we would have tornado drills at school. And most of us had cellars, so we all knew where to go if there was threat.
You get no warning with an earthquake.
I will never forget the realtor that worked with my banks to ‘short sale’ my homes. She was a bitch.
Yep, I went there.
She treated me with such disrespect and down right contempt. I was already mortified and embarrassed, but this woman was actually enjoying kicking me while I was down.
And speaking of down, have you ever experienced bankruptcy? It is a life altering decision to make in the first place, but oh once the process starts you’re put into the “undesirable” category.
Which is where you will stay for at least 10 years.
Have you ever cleaned houses for a living? It’s hard work. Really hard. But if you’re good, like I was, it pays pretty decent money. And now.
Only it doesn’t pay enough.
I couldn’t keep my head above water as an independent realtor any longer, so I moved my license from ReMax over to a smaller company that only took a portion of any commission I made.
It was a defeat, but one I had to accept.
2007 was just an all around crappy year for me. Being a realtor who owned two homes during the housing crisis was a double whammy and just about sent me off the deep end.
Not only was I losing my homes, but my income had plummeted. And if you don’t know how it works for a realtor, let me explain.
We pay for everything.
I left you hanging, I know. I’ve actually tried continuing my story several times now. But I keep getting stuck.
I hated that time in my life and honestly it’s hard to look back now, knowing what happens. But the other morning, when I was thinking about it all, I remembered two important things
I got through it and survived. And, I learned an amazing life lesson
So, I’ve decided to just write and go from there. I left off telling you I was neck-deep in bills and my income had plummeted. I had two mortgage payments and was desperately trying to save my homes.
As I sat at my big dining room table, looking at all of the bills that were covering its surface and I made the decision to let my dream house go. The mortgage was twice as much as my old ‘70’s house, so the smart thing to do was to move back into it and try to stop the bleeding. Continue reading
You can do something to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Last week I posted an interesting article about the importance of sleeping in the dark for mental health. I mentioned that sleep is one of my favorite things to do, and it turns out deep sleep is also important for our brains.
My husband’s father had Alzheimer’s and now his mother has it. Because of this, we read just about everything we can about the disease and how to prevent it. I came across this TED post and found it very interesting. Continue reading
I purchased my dream house in May 2006, and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. Every thing about this place spoke to my soul. I truly felt as if I was “home” for the first time in a very long time.
The back yard was quiet and beautiful and I spent most of my summer days out in that yard or on the deck. Inside my house was decorated exactly how I wanted it. Everything was perfect.
I love this picture of my boys laughing and joking in my back yard
many days spent on that little deck
Everything was perfect
Except for the two house payments I had.
What if you could spend the rest of your life traveling… go anywhere and everywhere? In exchange, all you have to do is give up everything you own.
Your home, cars, toys, all of your possessions.
You can keep only what will fit into one carry-on suitcase.
Would you do it?
I had this stone topped antique table that weighed about 300 pounds that I absolutely loved. I bought it sight unseen from an antique dealer in Eastern Oregon. A friend of mine knew I was looking for an island table for my kitchen at my farm, and when she saw it, she called me right away.
The owner of the shop told me it was an old print set table for a local paper, back in the day. There was a twin to the table, but no others like it, and to this day I don’t know why I didn’t buy both of them.
Of course everyone who has helped me move that table from house to house could tell you why. There was a two-inch solid marble stone that slid into the three-sided wooden top.
And it weighed a ton!
Well, not really a ton, but you get my meaning. It took at least two strong men to move just the top of that table, and they were usually cursing me through the entire move.
But that thing had so much character. I thought it was black when I first got it home, but on closer inspection, realized it was just covered in ink. I used oven cleaner to get the stone clean, and started scrubbing the old wood.
Layer after layer of dark sticky ink came off to reveal a lovely dark walnut color. After several layers of ink were wiped away from the top, a beautiful old pitted stone presented itself.
It was a work of art.
Dating in my 40’s was so very different from dating in my 20’s.
When I first started dating, in my 20’s, I was wide-eyed and innocent. Every date was like a new opportunity to meet an amazing person. Or even to just have a good time. Dating in my late 40’s was so very different.
I was anxious, nervous, and guarded – as were many of the men I met. Most of the guys I dated were divorced, and the few that weren’t, I was suspicious of. What was wrong with them that they hadn’t found a partner yet?
That was the guarded, judgmental side of me.
I’m sorry, but getting older sucks.
Yes, I know, you hear so many of us touting that it’s wonderful and amazing and enlightening and empowering but in all honesty, I’d take my 20 something year old body, over my 58-year-old body any day.
The other day, I plucked a black hair off my chin that was at least an inch long! First, how did that happen? And secondly, how did I not see it until it was an inch long? I think the biggest reason our near-sightedness gets worse as we age, is so we don’t see that sort of thing on our partner’s face.
That and all the wrinkles.
Not like flu sick, more of just a chest/head cold. It’s not too bad, and I’m able to function well enough to take care of myself. But chores like laundry and dishes or cooking are a strain.
I’m even struggling to write, which is why I missed my post yesterday. Instead, I posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook. I put up a photo of me on my bike and asked a question: Do you workout if you’re feeling sick?
My husband’s job is in outside sales. Because of that, he is on the road a lot. Most weeks he’s gone three or four days, traveling around southern California, into Nevada and Arizona. It’s a good job for him, because he’s a bit of a wanderer anyway.
It’s good for me too, because I get time to myself to do my own thing. That, and the toilet seat’s down the entire week. But there are times I like to tag along with him. And that’s what we did this week.
It was fun riding shotgun and taking in the views along the drive. Continue reading
The other day I was desperately looking for a specific photo I wanted for one of my blog posts. If you’ve been following along, you know I use my own photos for my posts.
It was written and ready to publish, but I was determined to find that one photo, so I kept digging. I was pretty sure it was on an old hard drive of mine, so I plugged it into my laptop and poked around.
I didn’t find it there, but I did find something else.
It is something I wrote years ago, when I was trying to sort out some emotions I was going through. Wait, let me stop right here and find my courage.
Deep breath in.