When Toddlers Move In

Something truly extraordinary happened in 2020 for me. I had a pivot. That’s what my career coach Maureen called it anyway.

Pivot. What a beautiful way to describe one turning 50 and launching into a vocation never before attempted. For me it was venturing into the world of real estate which I had long desired to attempt.

Since even a ramshackle shotgun speaks to me, there was no doubt that I would enjoy my subject matter. I love a house, be they big ones, tiny ones, brand new, Yellow Fever-era. No matter the style I envision a tweak or two and picture a soul thriving in that very space; both bringing to life and being brought to life symbiotically.

John and I had the honor of meeting Habitat for Humanity and Fuller Center for Housing founder Millard Fuller on a few occasions. He explained succinctly the power of home:

“What Habitat does is much more than just sheltering people. It’s what it does for people on the inside. It’s that intangible quality of hope.”

Hope and home. Yes. Houses are not merely the mirror of their inhabitants but the frame inside which a life story unfolds; an entity whose square footage, kitchen and backyard serve as co-conspirators alongside those of us actually doing the living. These structures we call home not only shelter us but rejoice in celebrations, grieve in losses and ultimately provide a safe place to fall.

I had the honor of listing a home just two doors down this summer. A precious family bought it and this holiday adorned their home like a gingerbread house in the best way. The family has a toddler and I cannot fathom what magical stirring he feels when he sees the celebration on his roof each night. I highly recommend having as many toddlers in your life as possible, especially as neighbors.

As I walked this cold morning (more to gaze at the beautiful moon than to exercise) I was struck by the joy that their house emitted. There was no missing the much-needed joyful message in this very challenging year.

I read the lights of home as a little love notes to one another even if that is not the owner’s intention. The sparkles reach out to me in cheer and even hope like the star which guided people to the Christ child. Obviously the inflatable, Santa-capped Minion may not be a deep conveyance of the nativity mystery, yet it still brings tremendous hope and joy as I walk down Patton Avenue.

How about you? What does home mean to you?










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