As I bake cookies in our unfinished kitchen I have a great opportunity to marvel at the cards and photos we've gotten this holiday season. We put them up on the wall with tape - the wall is going to be repainted anyway, at least that's what we said last year - and they have become a gallery. We only took down last year's pictures when we started getting new ones after Thanksgiving.
As I look at them I realize how much my real estate career has given me. Not just a place to go and people to meet, but entire families with whom I work and stay in contact. As an only child of an only child, I have few relatives. My birthfamily is spread all over, from Alabama to Minnesota to Kentucky to Rochester. Bob's family is here and ever-present, a wonderful gift. But there's always room for more.
I want to just tell about a few families, inspired by the baby pictures on the wall. This year we received a lovely photo of three children, all pre-schoolers. They are decked out in their holiday clothes, even the baby. I met the parents when I first started out. They were engaged then, looking for a home to live in for a bit before they built their own. They've married, enjoyed the births of these beautiful children, bought and sold a home, bought and built on land. I also work with both their families and friends. I just put on a new multi family in the city - another friend. I treasure their faith in me.
Another couple came into my life in a whirlwind. He had just taken a job with Welch Allyn and she had given birth to a tiny baby on New Year's Eve, six weeks prior to their entrance. We worked together to buy homes, but none were right. "No room at the inn!" we used to laugh. They eventually built a home in Camillus, and were happy there for a bit. On Christmas morning they would stop over and say hello with their now-growing little boy. After a couple years they returned to Georgia and family. We stayed in touch and when they visited would find me. Always on Christmas I received a letter. Last year was sad - the mother wanted another child, but somehow couldn't have one although she longed openly and prayed often.
This year the picture they sent was of a mother, father, and a maturing little boy holding a picture of his new sister, Hannah, who will join them in the new year from Korea. Huge smiles everywhere. I am thrilled for them, and for allowing me to stay in their lives despite the miles.
My last couple didn't send a picture this year. I met them at an open house in the city, and while the house I had wasn't right for them they remembered me. When the mother of the young woman, a Realtor herself from Buffalo, suggested they find a buyer's agent the couple suggested me. I met with the mother and we all found a great house for them, after many precarious moments. Through the process we became friends; Bob and I attended their wedding two years ago.
A year later the young woman's mother died of breast cancer. I was so glad she had seen them married. I knew they were busy with work and grad school and their commitment to the man's native Ghana, so I thought about them often but didn't call.
This Christmas they sent me an e-mail. The young woman gave birth to twins prematurely on December 4th. So I don't have a picture perhaps, but I have a website to track their babies' growth.
These are a few of my families and my babies - and as the snow falls and the cookies bake, I think about them all and thank you, my readers, for this yuletide indulgence.