Lessons Learned at Open House

“Um…no. There should only be chocolate chip.”

At my open house over the weekend a delightful family came through — mom, dad, and two ridiculously cute little blonde, curly-headed girls.

They were all very friendly and chatty, and seemed to love the house.  The girls especially, who were quite taken with the outdoor spiral staircase leading to the upstairs lanai.  Seriously, those girls must have made at least 10 trips up and down, giggling all the while!  (Ah, to be possessed again of youthful knees and boundless energy that make one actually relish repeated stair-climbing, and not just in an attempt to combat a sagging posterior!)

The girls also loved the sunken living room, upstairs laundry chute, the brass dinner bell affixed to the kitchen wall (which only got about 4 loud clangs before mom stepped in with the “Okay, that’s plenty, honey!” directive) as well as the now non-functioning but still awesome intercom feature, with AM/FM radio options. (The house was built in the 1970s, if you hadn’t already figured that out.)

Yes, had the girls been granted sole decision making authority, I feel fairly confident I would have gotten them under contract on the spot.  Or at least I would have until my MASSIVE FAUX PAS was discovered on the cookie tray, which then called into question my judgement.

As delighted little eyes were taking in and little hands were hovering over the temptingly arranged tray, the eldest daughter, Molly, squealed in delightful anticipation of what she thought were fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies…only to have her little hopes dashed by my announcement that those were actually oatmeal raisin cookies.

Her hand paused mid-air, her features composed themselves into a mask of incredulity/dejection as she asked politely but still plaintively, “They’re NOT chocolate chip?!”

Me: “Oh no — sorry, sweetheart! You don’t like oatmeal raisin cookies?  Well, what about these ginger chewies?  I thought everybody would like those!”

Molly: “Um…no.  There should only be chocolate chip.”

Oops.  My bad.

With this pronouncement she gave me a polite smile to let let me know we were still friends, but I could see in her eyes her estimation of me had gone down substantially.  It was plain to see my lack of discernment about what should properly go on a cookie tray and what should not didn’t sit well with her.

So, lesson learned.  I am holding the same house open again this coming weekend and you better believe there will be chocolate chip cookies — and nothing but! — on that cookie tray.

You can thank Molly for that.

Veterans Day

Our humble thanks

November 11 is the day we honor the US armed forces for their military service.  Considering that we currently have about 1.4 million active service members serving in the five branches of the military — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard — out of a population of around 324.9 million (at this writing), I am especially grateful to the very small fraction of people who are shouldering the burden of our national security.

So… to all our military members, active or retired, let me share my heartfelt thanks to you for all that you do, and all that you sacrifice. (Also, a shout out to the military family members who have experienced or continue to live with the unique burdens of carrying on a quasi-normal life while your loved ones are off doing their duty.  I know that ain’t easy.)  We owe you all a huge debt of gratitude.

A few things for veterans around Austin, in no particular order:

Veterans Day Deals & Freebies

Austin Veterans Day Parade

Veterans Day Giving Back Programs

Veterans Services in Travis County

Also, not in Austin but a really cool place to check out even if only online:   the Veterans Memorial in Anthem, Arizona.  It features 5 staggered-size pillars with ellipses (representing the 5 military branches) which, at precisely 11:11 am each Veterans Day, the sun’s rays will pass through “to form a perfect solar spotlight over a mosaic of The Great Seal of the United States.”  Cool, right?  It’s some amazing engineering, and quite lovely to behold!  You can watch a time lapse of it it here if you can’t get out to see it in person.

A final note, for any active or retired military who are considering buying a home and would like information on VA loans, please feel free contact me.  I work with an excellent team of folks at Premier Nationwide Lending; they are extremely knowledgeable and caring, and have programs designed for service personnel and their unique situations.  Together we’d love to work with you to get you and your family into a new home — or if nothing else, a chance to say thank you in person.

Happy Veterans Day!

thank-you-veterans