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These Middle School Student’s Didn’t See It Coming

They came for a Rock concert but they left changed and inspired.

Rock singer/songwriter Robb Nash, who walked away from a recording deal, is speaking life to youth who are contemplating suicide. He’s been given 800 plus suicide notes from young audience members – notes they carried on them, ready to use! After hearing Robb’s story, they turned them over to him, resolving to live.

A few weeks ago, I volunteered at one of his supershows at the Burton Cummings Theatre. Sixteen schools came to see him over two days. We’re talking about 3000 middle school students who were bussed in for a ‘rock concert’. Little did they know, it was so much more than that.

The kids were in for a surprise.

Then again, so was I.

At one point I was up in the balcony behind a few rows of middle schoolers. At the start of the show, they’d been screaming, cheering, and whistling, all excited to see a rock concert. Now, toward the end of the show, the electric guitars had finished riffing and Robb was talking, sharing a story about when he’d first been inspired by a wealthy man back when he did the morning show at a local radio station.

“The man was generous,” he said, “and told me, ‘Go find out what this city needs!’”

Robb had gone out and spoken to the homeless, then reported back to his boss. “Their feet are cold,” he told his boss.

“Okay,” his boss said, “go find out their shoe sizes. Then let’s get them some shoes!”

Robb set to work on it, and his boss ended up spending $43,000 buying boots and sleeping blankets to deliver to people living on the streets.  And as he helped deliver those precious gifts, he was deeply moved to be part of something big. Something that was about someone else. “It felt so good.” Robb said, and it was this huge act of generosity that inspired his own philanthropic career.

The row of kids in front of me sat straight, listening to every word. Then, all in a moment, Robb said of his boss, “And this man did not ask for recognition!” He’d done it just to do it. To love. To give.  The second he said that, the whole section of middle school students stood to their feet in a unified, silent ovation.

I thought my heart was going to explode right there! I blinked back the mist that formed, and smiled with pride and hope.

These kids may have come for a rock concert, but they would leave inspired. Moved. Literally moved to their feet by the kindness of others.

Later, in the comfort of my own home, I was scrolling through Robb Nash Instagram feed, and noticed the general takeaway wasn’t how loud the drums were, or how much the entertainment blew them away. Most of the comments – and these were from KIDS! – were about how the stories that evening had inspired them.

Their inspiration may have been a surprise to them, but it was also a soul-satisfying surprise to me.
I don’t know what can refresh a person’s faith in humanity or brighten one’s day more than stories of generosity and kindness, or the sight of rows of middle schoolers rising to their feet simply because they are too moved and inspired to remain sitting.

I wondered at the seeds that had been planted that night in their young hearts. There would be future philanthropists and givers because of the stories shared that night.

We just don’t know how powerful the seeds are that we sow.

Keep on sowing.
Somewhere, someone is watching, maybe someone you’ll never meet who sees you from a dark or distant balcony, and they notice you. They see what you’re doing, and are impacted by it. Maybe the person whose life you change is in the emergency shelter tonight, and the thought running through their mind is you.

The seeds we sow are powerful.
Sow them wisely and with great love.  

The Robb Nash Project does not charge for doing their shows. If you feel inspired to plant a seed by a financial donation you can do so directly through their website. Who knows, your donation may save someone’s life.

How to Get Home Buyers to See Your House for Sale (Most People Forget This One Secret)

 

 

Agents ask it. Sellers ask it.
Everyone who has ever hosted an open house asks it.

“Where are all the buyers?!?”

When putting your home up for sale or offering an Open House, you might hear cricket sounds.

There are a couple of reasons for that, and they’re not all bad. Also, there IS something you can do to find those buyers and get them to see your house. I’ll share that secret in a minute. First let’s figure out what’s going on.

 

Why is No One Looking at My House for Sale? Two Possible Reasons:


It’s You

If a few things about the listing itself are off, it won’t matter what you do, it won’t grab attention.
Troubleshoot the basics of price, condition, and location:
Is the price too high?
Is the place in need of renovation or updating?
Maybe everything’s fine and it’s just that the location is undesirable (in which case, just be patient. Those just take longer. They just do.)


It’s Not You at All

If everything is right – the price is reasonable, the location is good, and the place is in great condition, then there may be something else going on.

It’s probably one of two things:

It’s the market
Lots of external things affect home buying and selling. It’s a market. Like gold or the NASDAQ, activity speeds and slows based on circumstances like tariffs, seasons, supply, demand, national economy, and politics.

Is the economy in a funk right now? Are interest rates rising? Employment falling? Tariffs being slapped on lumber, affecting all kinds of industries and jobs and thus, income and affordability? If so, don’t worry!  Buying and selling will continue until the end of time. It might mean though, that things will take a bit longer, so be patient.

It’s the internet

Here’s the other thing. The most likely thing. My favorite thing.
You may think people are not looking at your house, but they actually ARE!

It used to be that showings required cleaning up your house, packing up the kids, and parking at the end of the street for a half hour while they look through every room of your house.

Used to be.

People don’t look at houses like that anymore.

Sellers are like home buyers – they don’t actually want to pack up, leave the house, and spend valuable hours of their evening or weekend to browse houses.  And, thanks to virtual tours and even just the immense number of photos available in the property listings these days, they don’t have to!

Online showings are good news for the buyer AND seller. Heck, it’s good news for the agents too. It saves us all valuable time.

The trick is to remember to COUNT it.

Chances are, even if people aren’t calling you up for an in-person peek at the house, they ARE LOOKING. They’re just doing it online.

How do I know?

Because that’s where I live. I’m a tech-savvy marketer and I watch the stats.  Every time I post a listing, I see how many people are marking it as a favorite. I see how many people view the video tours I create (and the 3D image tours too!). I can see the traffic to my website – where it’s coming from and which listings they’re looking at.

They ARE LOOKING!

It’s just not in the same way they used to.

How to Get People to See Your House For Sale

Now here’s the trick.

If those online looks don’t turn into eventual in-person looks, that does tell us something.
That’s a clue that something needs a tweak.

That’s when the basic elements need to be re-evaluated. Is it the price? Condition? Location?
If those are all good, then evaluate the market.

Chances are you’ll find the problem in there. Tweak what’s needed (even if what’s needed is simply more patience), and carry on.

 

The best thing you can do to increase online and in-person views of your home is to remember that this is a live, ongoing experiment. It is also not the 1950s where people buy things because you say they should. The modern consumer is much more discerning, so this requires patience. It requires testing and tweaking.

Be flexible, be open, and keep tweaking your listing until it meets the needs of that discerning modern buyer.

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Selling a House? How to Use Technology to Get Eyes on Your Real Estate Listing

Whether you’re a real estate agent or a homeowner selling privately, getting eyes on your property listing is a challenge. Every year the internet seems to expand and our ability to effectively reach local potential buyers seems to shrink. It feels like our listing disappears in a sea of other properties, other agents, and other “ads”.

It’s one thing to get people to look at the house itself, but it’s a completely different thing to get people to even just look at the listing.

THAT’S where the first decision is made – in the buyer’s first impression of the property listing.

So how do we get them to FIND and LOOK AT our listings?

 

What Doesn’t Work

 

Basically, what doesn’t work is old fashioned off-line tactics.

The days of advertising in newspapers and showing listings to walk in traffic at the office are long gone.
People don’t shop like that anymore. (When is the last time you said, “I’m looking for a house to buy; please pass the newspaper.”?)

There are those who believe “online marketing” is unnecessary. These are the people who put up a For Sale sign at the end of the driveway or post a bulletin at the local gas station, and wait for the phone to ring. Perhaps they’re even agents who believe that social media and websites are unncessaary.

Their motto is, “if it worked in the past, it will work in the present.”

…Except it really doesn’t.

Times have changed. Consumers have changed. And the way people shop is completely different than in days gone by. If we want the eyes, we need to get with the times.

 

What Works

If you know HOW people house-shop, you know WHERE to reach them.

HOW people shop is online. Want a book? You go to Amazon. Want to order photo prints? You go to Vistaprint or Walmart online. Looking for a house? You go to MLS.ca.  (Notice no one’s first go-to is the gas station billboard.)

 

Three Specific Things I Use That WORK to get Eyes on my Listings

 

As a real estate agent, I rely heavily on technology to get eyes on my clients’ listings. I’ll share with you some specific things I do that work. Some will work for private sellers, others will only be applicable to real estate agents. Either way, I expect you’ll find something helpful to get more eyes on your listing.

Thing that works for me #1: 3D Online Home Tours

The 3D virtual home tours I create allow online shoppers to tour my sellers’ homes without even leaving the comfy sofa. (Which means my sellers don’t have to leave their sofa either, or do a last minute panic-clean for the showing.)  I reach HUNDREDS more people with these tours than I would without it. That’s hundreds of more pairs of eyes on each property I list.

Thing that works for me #2: Descriptions that are DIFFERENT

“Your ad stood out to me immediately!” I’ve heard this frequently, and it’s often because of the words I use to describe the house for sale. The property description is an opportunity many people don’t use to its potential. I strive to grab attention by using unexpected descriptions, and it works.
Most descriptions look the same: 3 bdrms, 2 baths, 1500 sq feet.  Mine are different.

Here’s what I know; people are not buying bedrooms and bathrooms. They’re not shopping for square footage, they’re shopping for a dream. A place to settle down and grow roots. A place to build memories or grow a family. THAT’S what I speak to, and I use the property description to do it.

Tip: How can you write a description that speaks to what people are REALLY looking for?

Thing that works for me #3: Social Media

Everyone and their dog things social media is easy and that anyone can do it.
Which is true, but it’s true in the same way that ‘anyone can cook’. Yes, we can all use a pan and spatula, but there’s no guarantee we know how to make food taste good…

Using social media is one thing; doing it in a way that GETS CLICKS is an entirely different thing.

There’s psychology involved. Timing. An understanding of Facebook’s ever-changing rules and algorithms – all of this makes a huge impact in the effectiveness of your posts. Then there’s the art of knowing when to ‘sell’ and when to ‘be yourself’

Are you getting eyes? Or are you turning people off (and being blocked) because you’re too busy pushing and shoving your listings down their throats?

Tip: Social media is SOCIAL. Instead of selling a house, tell stories, play games, and make it about the social interaction. The advertising aspect is secondary.

 

Want to get your listing in front of buyers?

-Tina Plett, Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate

Is the Family Homestead a Thing of the Past?

 

“When we moved here he said he could live here the rest of his life,” my aunt told me one day, speaking of my uncle, “and he did.”

My aunt and uncle had found the perfect-for-them country homestead, and bought it with the intention of living out their entire married life there. Many decades later, after raising children, making changes to the house, spending countless hours in the shop, and making a mountain of memories, he passed away.

He had wanted to live on that acreage for the rest of his life, and that’s exactly what he did.

As a real estate agent, I see people buy and sell their own homes often. Every few years we up-size to accommodate our growing families and growing budgets, and then we downsize when life gets smaller.

 

Is the idea of that forever home or the family homestead a thing of the past?
I think it is. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I still remember the way a client of mine told me the story of her family homestead fifteen years ago. She was in her seventies. “My husband had a hard time letting go of the farm,” she said, “but moving to town was right for us.”

Early in their marriage, they’d found the perfect farm for them. They made their living there, started their family there, and added on to the house as those kids grew. As the farm business flourished, they continued to re-invest, building on to the barn, and growing their enterprise.

“I still remember planting the shelter belt,” she said. Her eyes went distant with remembrance. “We planted hundreds of trees in a row across the field, and hauled water out there 5-gallon pail by 5-gallon pail.” Her eyes flickered back into the present. “Those trees are tall, mature trees now.” After a pause, “It’s hard to let a place go when it’s so full of memories like that. So full of hard work.”

 

Back in our parents’ day, people would find a property and build their life there. They’d live there, they’d pay off the mortgage, and even die there.

Things have changed. Today, no one expects to pay off their mortgage before they die. We don’t find that one place to stay. We move frequently. When life changes, instead of changing the property to suit our new needs, we sell and buy something else. We don’t have that same attachment. We love the place we’re in, and then we move and love the next place.

I have to wonder; is it a bad thing? Where we live, that place we call home, is a big piece of who we are. It contains our memories, allows us to revisit the past and wrap ourselves in the warm, cozy blanket of those comfy memories. Are we missing out on an important part of our past then? Are we losing a piece of us when we move all the time?

 

I doubt there’s an easy answer.

For the one who was moved from home to home as a child, they might feel a deep need to root in a forever place, to feel that stability and commitment.

For the one who feels at home wherever they are, or feels a need for change, moving from place to place may be the breeze of fresh air they need.

 

All I know is that either way, whether a person moves every few years, or sets their life up on a forever property, the story is the same; it’s about finding our home. That place where, for however long, we belong. We create memories. We build our life.

 

Which is more like you?
Are you the forever-home type, or the change-it-up type?

 -Tina Plett

How to De-Stress When You Don’t Have Time to Stop (A 3-Minute Read You’re Not Too Busy For)

In the last wisps of summer, it worked out that I got a surprise day off. Oh, magical day!

The minute I discovered I had a day free of emails and phone calls and anything work-related, (a complete rarity for a real estate agent, btw), I grabbed my folding chair and towel and hit the beach. One last time, baby! Here we go!

I drove out to a nearby beach and plunked that chair right in the water, where I sat for the next few hours, sloshing my feet in the cool water and digging my toes deep into the wet sand. I didn’t scroll my phone or even read a book; I just memorized the view, soaking it in, trying to absorb enough to last the winter.

I watched clusters of young children splash in the water. A toddler wandered at the water’s edge near his mom, walking all wobbly and off-balance with raised legs, and plopped face-first into the water. I watched a father and daughter play in the water, tossing a ball back and forth, and smiling. It reminded me of how my husband used to do that with our daughter, tossing a Nerf football, laughing together. Now, years later, each of them still has those memories because they took the time to do it in the first place. I reminisced, people-watched, and may have even dozed off right there in my chair. Eventually, as all good things must do, it ended and it was time to return home. Goodbye, beach. Thanks for the memories. I left with my chair, my towel, and a heart emptied of stress and filled with peace.

 

Mine is a career of haste. Of dashing. Of chasing down deadlines. Not figuratively, either – I’m literally racing against time in my car to courier time-sensitive legal documents from one place to another all the time. And connecting with people day in and day out at one of the most stressful times of their lives. Mid divorce. Mid bankruptcy. Mid health crisis. Mid-downsize. Many people are swirling in a critical-mass need to sell their home or buy a new one. It’s a hectic pace.

But I love the rush. I do. I love the challenge of racing against time, of problem solving under pressure, and most of all, of helping people through these difficult times in a way that gets the job done and also makes them feel heard. Understood. Not alone.

But it can be stressful, and in all that swirling twirling haste, a person can lose their marbles in a big way if they’re not careful.

 

How to De-Stress When You Don’t Have Time to Stop

You may not have time to sit at the beach for hours (or anywhere else, for that matter). Me either! But decompressing is critical, and there are quick ways to get it done.

Big De-Stress Tip #1: Don’t wait until “later” or for that ‘big chunk of time’ before de-stressing. It’s  as useful as waiting to win the lottery. Later is a time that never comes.  Instead, sneak moments of rest. Those can be collected from all kinds of corners.

 

Once you’ve got that down, it’s more about HOW you de-stress than it is about when or where or for how long.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

 

Sing.

Yes, I’m serious. For me, singing is a major stress reliever. When I’m working from my home office, I’ll take five minutes – that’s all it takes! – and belt out some tunes that have me dancing, swaying my arms, and laughing or crying. This is what decompression looks like, friend. Even on a drive to deliver a document (especially if it’s a highway drive where people can’t really see you), you can get in some fantastic tunes.

Scroll.
One of my favorite ways to decompress after a long day is to scroll my Facebook feed and check out what my friends are up to. I’ll dote on the photos of their kids, and snicker at a comic, maybe even send an encouraging note to a friend or two, and go to bed feeling connected with people. Loved. Having loved others.
Disclaimer: Your feed may need to be filtered for this. If your feed is a depressing place full of life-sucking drama and negativity, it may be time to block and unfriend. There is no need to tax your already stressful life with more negativity. Just sayin’.

Solitude.

Taking five minutes to ‘check out’ of life can really save your sanity. Being fully engaged every minute of the day is unsustainable. It just is. Take five minutes. Alone. Don’t check emails, don’t return messages.

Be absolutely, completely unproductive.

For me a quick fresh air break is another way I change gears to be “in the moment.” Perhaps a walk to the flower bed and back. Or a moment on the deck. Getting some affection from the dog can put a smile on my face any time of the day!

Play a game on your phone, do a word search, or crack open a comic book. Google something completely weird (that’s not at ALL related to work or personal stresses) – like Flavors of Beer or Weird New Scientific Discovery, or Hairstyles for the Balding.

Let yourself PLAY for a few minutes.

Then, and here’s a big secret people miss – refuse to feel guilty. You did not waste time, you invested it.

 

What’s a favorite 5-minute de-stressor of yours?

The Chivalry of this Fifteen Year Old Blew Me Away

 

The silvery-haired woman stepped into the utility room of her new house to receive instruction on how to maintain the furnace and various mechanical doodads.

She’d been recently widowed and had spent the last weeks and months searching for a home for this new chapter of her life. It was a huge undertaking for her to prepare the house for sale, then de-clutter and pack. She sifted through thousands of items, each holding their own memories, and went through the process of letting go of them. Of letting go of the house and all of its memories too. It was a challenging process. And that was just the selling part of it – there was still the process of looking for a new place she had to walk through.

Every step of the way, I was amazed to see her family right there, in the house, helping her with every piece of it. Her sister, her children, even grandchildren pitched in. In particular, one fifteen-year-old grandson seemed to be there often, helping sort and pack her things, helping move.

On this day, possession day, I’d arranged for the home seller to meet with my buyer to give her the rundown of maintenance. There, in the utility room, my silvery-haired buyer stepped up to the water pipes for instructions. The buyer’s sister and the fifteen year old grandson and I all crammed into the small room with her.

The seller bent and pointed to a valve. “Here’s how to release the pressure on this valve…”

It was good of him to take the time and explain it all, but I wondered how much the woman would remember or understand. Through their whole marriage, her husband took care of the mechanical aspects. Suddenly, all this maintenance was dumped on her. Not only did she not know how it all worked, but it was a LOT of detailed information to take in at one time. I wished there was a better way.

The grandson, I noticed, had been watching with intense eyes as the seller pointed to this and that. Then he said something that nearly made me gasp. “How often should I release the pressure on that valve?”

I? As in, he would do this for his grandma?  I glanced at the buyer’s sister, who wore a look of surprised tenderness.  My chest swelled with such joy I thought I would burst. I looked away, afraid I might bawl my head off. The air in the room seemed to thicken with emotion, but the buyer and even the boy didn’t seem to notice.

He was intent on listening to every single instruction. There was no Grandpa to take care of her anymore, and he would see to it she was not left alone and overwhelmed.

Most fifteen year olds would be hanging out with their friends or in front of a video game, but this gem of a person was sacrificing his weekends and summer days to clean, pack, move, and watch over his grandma, perhaps reciprocating her loving protection and guidance of him.

It was a deep joy to witness. One of those moments that floods you with a new hope in humanity.
These are the moments I live for – moments of hope and joy and love.
And what an honor to behold them and be invited into these moments as a part of my work.

In those moments of stress or worry, cling to the good memories. The inspiring stories you’ve witnessed or somehow been a part of. Remembering them will brighten even the darkest day.

What’s a lovely story you’ve been a part of?

-Tina Plett

Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate

Surviving the Storm – Self Care for a Hurting Heart

Recently we got together with our pastor friends. Our conversation was like a breeze of spring air in a stale apartment. It had been a rough week and our visit had been a refreshing oasis. There’s something powerful about connecting with others who are likeminded and who build each other up and encourage each other, isn’t there? Whether in work, relationships, parenting, or our own spiritual, mental, or emotional health, these moments of refreshment are critical.

A Realtor friend and I were talking about life and the stresses we’ve come through or were in, and reflected on how to survive or even thrive in the storms. After some thought, I said, “We have to remember where our strength comes from.”

There is so much stress, competition, rejection, rudeness, and disrespect in this world – it’s bound to pound us into the ground sometimes. It’s in those moments, when the days are hard and long and we wonder if the sun will ever shine on us again (have you been there?) that we need to feed our spirits.

Where does your strength come from?

For me, I don’t have enough strength in myself, so I rely on someone else’s. I draw from God’s strength. If I’m having a day, I’ll crank up some worship tunes, lift my hands, and pray the words with Lauren Diegel to bring to life the dry bones in my life. If you haven’t heard that one, give it a listen! It’s such an anointed piece, spoken passionately and from the heart, it moves me to tears.

 “But we know that you are God, yours is the victory,
we know there is more to come that what we may not yet see
so with the faith you’ve given us, we’ll step into the valley unafraid.

We call out to dry bones, come alive!
We call out to dead hearts, come alive!
Up out of the ashes, let us see an army rise.
We call out to dry bones, come alive!”

These are the words that revive my heart on a day when it’s feeling dry. I’m reminded that regardless of how situations look to me, they’re not hopeless. I’m reminded that everything, even whatever my storm at the time, is in God’s hands, and He is a loving Father who cares for me. This truth has pulled me through the darkest times in my life. Divorce. Single parenting. Death of loved ones. And so many more hard days.

 

I want to build people up. Being an encourager is who I am. If I’m not doing that, I feel like I’m dry and empty inside. In those storms, when circumstances have tossed me around so hard I feel like I might come apart, it’s impossible to encourage others. Unless I refuel from my Source. With His strength and love reviving me, I can be who I am. Even on those dark days.

 

If you’re in that storm right now, I just want to encourage you to find your source of strength, and draw again from that pool of refreshment. Take that time to care for yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Connect with people who will build you up and who you can encourage, too.

 

What has helped revive your heart in your own storms?

 

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

Isaiah 42:16 NIV

 

When Helping Isn’t Helping (And How to Avoid Being Taken Advantage of)

Some people have a niceness problem.

And it’s not just Canadians, either.

They’re the helpers. They want to help. And be nice. And for sure be polite. (That might just be Canadians…)

And it can be a problem.

Especially in business.

Especially in a service industry where our whole aim is to SERVE. A person with a heart to help others can easily end up being taken advantage of.

This happened to a couple of real estate agents who, in their desire to help, were taken advantage of by a …  “client” (I use the term loosely). A young man (let’s say) began shopping for houses with an agent and made an offer. Things were looking good. Then, while that offer was still pending, he approached a completely different agent and made another offer with them. Both agents worked hard to serve the man.

What the not-quite-a-client didn’t seem to know or care about was that agents talk. To each other.

So the agents found out they were each working with the same young man who had told each of them, “Yes, yes, I definitely want to work with you.”

If you were the third agent he approached, (and there was a third!), and you knew all of this, what would you do? He’d smile at you and tell you precisely the kind of house he’s looking for. He wants to raise his family there. Maybe he’s even an immigrant or cancer survivor with a story of redemption that will culminate in this first home he’s about to buy. And he wants to buy it with YOU!

It’s a hard thing to say no to, especially for the helper at heart, because it’s a chance to be kind to someone who needs it, and to help them, and to be a part of an important story.

But sometimes being nice isn’t actually nice.
This would be one of those times.

Here’s a free piece of wisdom to take with you: loyalty is a two way street, borne of character and not words.

Maybe you’ve heard it said other ways.
Once a cheater, always a cheater.
Talk is cheap.
Liar, liar, pants on fire.

They all kind of mean the same thing.

But here’s the freeing part. You don’t have to say yes. Even a helper at heart – even a Canadian one! (oh bah!) – can say no.

Listen, if someone of questionable character is smiling and serving you sparkling words and promises, look away. Chances are those beautiful words will burn you. I give you permission to walk away. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.  And it’s completely okay to turn customers away. (In fact, it may be one of the best things you do for your business!)

Do you have a niceness problem? 

Tina Plett, Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate

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When Home is Where the Memories Are (Sometimes you CAN Go Back)

My Mom, my sisters and myself in photo.

 

I just got back from our annual weekend family vacation, and my heart is full. For years my mom’s family has reunited on the shores of Moose Lake. Cabins and campers and tents fill with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandkids – anyone who can make it. It’s our (almost sacrosanct) annual tradition. And with Mom’s family of 13 kids, each with their own big families, it’s a big, bustling gathering full of laughter and memories that fills me so full of contentment and thankfulness and joy I could burst.

 

The thing is, I don’t particularly care for Moose Lake. It’s a place for boaters and fishermen, neither of which describes me. I’m a beach person. I want to bury my toes in the sand and wade into shallow water. There’s not much of either at Moose Lake. ‘Why can’t we go somewhere else?” I ask every now and then, “The Whiteshell? Grand Beach? ANYWHERE ELSE?”

 

But I know the answer before the words leave their lips. “Because this is where we always went with Grandpa.”

 

It’s where he taught his 13 children how to fish. And the grandkids too.
Year after year, it’s where we heard him laugh as he joked and grilled the day’s catch in flour and butter.
It’s where we can look at the dock and see the memory of him walking side by side with a grandson, poles and tackle boxes in hand, heading for the boat.
Here, he is alive. Every camping spot, shoreline, and sunset brims with memories. It’s almost like being together again.

 

This year I stayed in the very cabin Grandma and Grandpa used to stayed in, right on the lake’s edge. As soon as I swung the door open, it felt like home. Every evening I opened the windows and let the endless lapping of the water against the shore lull me to sleep. In the morning, I’d make coffee and drink it on the porch that overlooked the sun-speckled water. When I was younger, I used to have coffee with them in that same porch. I’d brew pot after pot and serve Grandma, Grandpa, and the aunts and uncles who would gather on the shoreline for their morning schnetke conference.

 

I sipped coffee on the porch, looking out over the water, and remembered those who were not with us this year.

 

One time I’d ventured to tell Grandpa some joke I’ve since forgotten. His eyes pinched closed and his mouth spread wide as he laughed this incredible bubbling laugh, sputtering Low German words about how it was ridiculous. Later, he felt badly about laughing at it, which makes me snicker to this day.

 

Uncle Jake would come up the path carrying a fish he’d caught. He’d hold it up proudly and grin goofily, eager to boast about his prize. Some would be dutifully awed, others would mock its size, neither of which would disappear his grin. He has been gone for years but I remember him every time someone comes carrying a catch. 

I was glad that my Aunt Tina was able to get time surrounded by family. All the changes with Uncle Gary’s passing this year have been exhausting. I hope she got refreshed in every way. Some of my cousins have lost a father recently and some of them have had to lose children. John, Marty, Alicia, my heart has been grieved for the loss they have suffered.

 

Just last year, cousin Jeff brought his drone to take high tech pictures. As we all gathered around tables for the potluck supper, he flew the drone overhead taking videos and photos. Then we sat around eating while looking at photos of us eating. He grinned proudly, too.
Months later, he passed away. He wasn’t here this year. We did get to see his beautiful wife and children. 

 

It’s interesting how, even though I don’t see extended family much, as soon as we come together here, we are instantly comfortable. There were so many hugs. It was so… familiar. Like a favorite cozy blanket. I mean, I felt so comfortable I didn’t wear make-up or do my hair at all that week. I felt accepted and cared for just as I was. There’s something about familiarity that satisfies us on a soul level, isn’t there?

 

It’s that belonging and familiarity that I think we seek when we’re looking for our own homes, too. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a client say about a house, “It’s perfect. It’s everything we wanted… but … I just don’t want to live here.” or, when they find that homey feeling, they’ll say ‘I don’t know what it is, I just … feel at home here.”

 

For me, that often happens in a 1 ½ storey home. There’s instantly a feeling of it being a loving place. Probably because it reminds me a lot of Grandma and Grandpa’s place, which was a cozy, familiar 1 ½ storey that filled with good memories with loving people.

 

Home really is where the heart and its memories are.
It’s where we seek and find belonging with those we love.

 

What are some places that feel like home to you?

Tina Plett, Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate

Press Release-Tina Plett

Tina Plett Has Been Recognized Among the Top in Her Industry by Noticed©

https://www.newswire.com/news/tina-plett-has-been-recognized-among-the-top-in-her-industry-by-noticed-20532266

Noticed celebrates its newest member, REALTOR® Tina Plett

 

Tina Plett, REALTOR®, Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate, has joined Noticed©, an invitation-only service for distinguished professionals. Plett has been chosen as a Distinguished Real Estate Professional™ based on peer reviews and ratings, dozens of recognitions, and accomplishments achieved throughout her career.

Plett outshines others in her field due to her educational background, numerous awards and recognitions, and career longevity. Having been featured in Top Agent Magazine among other honours, Plett brings a wealth of knowledge to her industry, and, in particular, to her area of expertise, Winnipeg’s real estate market. When asked why she decided to pursue a career in real estate, Plett said:

“I wanted to do something where I could still serve people one-on-one. I was looking at my personality profile, and I knew I was good at sales, so I just needed to find something I could sell. It had to be something I believed in, and real estate, to me, is extremely personal and meaningful, because being able to plant roots and have a place you can call your own is completely life-changing.”

In the last four years there has been a 253 percent increase in people using Google searches to find homes, so they’re not going to each individual brokerage like they used to. When I saw that statistic, I knew I needed to be able to tag my listings to be found on the searches, and I have made sure to stay technologically savvy to be able to do that.

TINA PLETT

REALTOR®, SUTTON GROUP-KILKENNY REAL ESTATE

Plett joined Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate in 2010 and has since built a thriving business that is based on client satisfaction. Five years later, she partnered with Eniko Crozier, and together they have developed a mission statement of being “Attentive from Sign Up to Sign Down.” Tina’s success over the years has received numerous distinctions from her company, such as the Director’s, Executive, and President’s Awards.

As a thought leader in her field, Plett prioritized continuing education and has earned various certifications, such as the Certified Real Estate Team Specialist (C-RETS) and the Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE®) certifications. She also attends the National Association of REALTORS’® annual conference to keep up with current trends in real estate. In particular, she noted that there has been a dramatic increase in the usage of Internet searches to find properties:

“In the last four years there has been a 253 percent increase in people using Google searches to find homes, so they’re not going to each individual brokerage like they used to. When I saw that statistic, I knew I needed to be able to tag my listings to be found on the searches, and I have made sure to stay technologically savvy to be able to do that.”

For more information, visit Plett’s profile on the Noticed© website here: https://noticed.co/members/tina-plett/29b21b11039afea3

Noticed© has written this news release with approval and/or contributions from Tina Plett. Noticed is an invitation-only reputation management service that is dedicated to helping professionals stand out, network, and gain a competitive edge. Noticed selects a limited number of professionals based on their individual recognitions and history of personal excellence.

Source: Noticed©

 

 

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