Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why Are You Always Smiling?

Yesterday after a rather dry meeting around a conference room table at the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, the chairman of the committee spoke to me.

He said, "Why are you always smiling? You must know something nobody else does, 'cause you are always smiling."

My reply was "I am just a happy person. Thank you for saying that." He said, "No really, every time I see you you have a smile on your face."

That made me think of many years ago when as I walked to the unit where I worked, people would stop and ask me why I was smiling. It happened almost everyday.

In truth, the circumstances of life at the time were not "smile inducing", however at the very core I was a "happy" person, and it just showed up on my face.

There was a point when I realized that no one was asking me "why are you smiling?" It was kind of like when no one asks you where you get your hair done anymore -you know it's time for a change!

That is what I did back then - I made a change. Out of a career that was not keeping a smile on my face, and into a way of making a living that is part and parcel of my life.

As Confucius first, and then later Harvey McKay said "Find something you love to do, and you'll never work a day in your life."

So yesterday, I was reminded of that time, and realized what a fortunate person I really am. Years ago as I left for work on Perdido Key - selling real estate along the beach on Florida's Gulf Coast - it occurred to me that I was humming, and almost skipping to get to work. That is when I thought " I love what I do and it shows!" Which became my business slogan.

No truer words have ever been spoken.

The photo above is of my daughter and our puppy Katie nine years ago right here on Perdido Key, Florida. It became the first advertisement for my real estate brokerage company with the slogan "We love what we do and it shows!"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mike in Paradise

Over the course of the last week a listing client of mine has moved his 30-something son, Mike to the area to oversee a construction project.

Mike, who works with the family business is an energetic, confident and obviously adventurous sort. His respect and affection for his parents is evident, and they must be very proud of him. Apparently he enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school and spent his four years in Japan and other far away places.

It was quite enjoyable to hear him share his "stories" with my husband, a Marine aviator of Vietnam vintage, and at the end of their exchange to hear the young fellow say "Semper Fi". Wow, what a brotherhood Marines share.

What is especially fun for me is to see how the everyday life of Perdido Key living is "taking hold" of Mike. He came prepared with fishing gear, his motorcycle, and his curiosity.

His recently acquired barbeque grill has been getting a workout while he enjoys the views across the intracoastal waterway to the north side of Perdido Key.

He says he has been tossing a line in the water on a regular basis, and catching fish right and left! Ah, the island life!

Since Mike likes to cook, I told him about Perdido Bay Seafood, right under the bridge near Publix. For extra adventure, I gave him directions to Joe Patti Seafood - what an eye opener that will be!

One day while picking up his mail at my office, Mike said, "you know after you are here for a while you realize everywhere you look there is water!" I told him my favorite sight is topping the Theo Baars' Bridge just before sunset. The intracoastal waterway looks like a river of fire glowing with the reflection of the sky. The gorgeous National Seashore - Johnson Beach stretches to the east and Perdido Key lies ahead to be explored.

I expect Mike will find it hard to go back to the center of Florida when his work is completed here. Perdido Key grows on you, and in you. Hopefully soon Mike will call this wonderful place "home". (pictured above is the view from Mike's digs, click on the photo for details)