Just before sunset this afternoon, I escaped to the front porch swing with a glass of wine and a long-lost book from my childhood. I'd spent the day taking care of the dogs, going to church, fixing one of my signs that got knocked over by city mowers, visitng my mom, and finally making it to the grocery store.
I was pooped.
It was an overdue appointment with myself, the book, and Belle, who joined me on the porch and dozed on her bed while I read.
This whole past week has been exhausting, although not necessarily in a bad way. One of my listings had multiple offers, and while I hate telling anyone they lost, it's the best scenario you can wish for for your seller.
I've also been busy trying to snag a lease for out-of-state buyers who are moving to Austin next week. They want to get a feel for Austin before buying. I don't blame them, but I think they finally believe what I told them about leasing being tougher than buying in some ways.
And then there are searches for other buyers, promotions for other sellers, and the neverending need to get more clients in your pipeline.
It felt good to slip away from all of that for half an hour this afternoon...
I searched for this book for 40 years, before finally coming across it last year in an online bookstore, priced far beyond my budget. My son Daniel - more of a booklover than me, if that's possible - came to the rescue and bought it for me as an early Christmas present.
When it arrived in the mail, it was like seeing an old friend for the first time in so many years... but I was so busy at the time that it sat untouched on my bookshelf until last week, when I decided I'd had enough of just reading real estate books and magazines. I was ready for an escape, the kind only a work of fiction can provide.
And what better escape when you're pressed on all sides with grownup problems, than to dive back into your childhood?
These small iris-shaped flowers line our dirt road again. They never appeared last autumn, I guess because of the drought, so what a sweet surprise to spot them popping up this year.
After a brief rally, Max has gotten picky about eating again, changing his preferences from one day to another and turning his nose up at whatever we're offering more than actually eating.
Consequently, he's gotten weak again, and has skipped the past two morning walks, although he still climbs the hill from his doghouse to lounge in his porch bed, and he seems very happy there, occasionally barking to prove he's got our backs.
So Belle and I have gone on without him. She's in such a hurry to cover a lot of ground but get back to check on him that I've ended up having to run to keep up. It's been good for both of us.
Thursday evening's forecast included a line of thunderstorms passing through, thanks to a cold front.
Somehow it passed by us without so much as a drop, but then stalled for a few hours so that we had the most amazing lightshow on our horizon, like a strobe light caught inside of a huge cloud.
Daniel and I stood in the middle of our road watching it for at least half an hour, totally mesmerized. There was no thunder, no rain. It was one of the weirdest, most beautiful things I've ever witnessed.
I took several shots without much hope that I could actually capture it. I'm pleasantly surprised they came out as good as they did, although none of them truly did it justice.
Earlier that evening I had joined a bunch of other Austin Realtors for a networking party at The Thinkery, a new children's museum. We're members of Broker Underground ... essentially a Facebook group where we can promote our listings, find properties for our buyers, share information about vendors, and keep up to date with what's happening in Austin real estate.
While it's true in a way that agents are competing against each other, it's also true that we have to work together to help our clients and help continually improve our industry. Events like this, where we come face-to-face in a relaxed environment, help us connect... plus they're just a lot of fun and a great way to relieve stress.
Last Sunday I was lucky enough to sit on the front row at a house concert and listen to the music of Shake Russell, Michael Hearne, and Mike Roberts.
I can't tell you how many times I've heard some of those songs over the past four decades, but they still go straight to my heart and soul.
I've missed keeping an official record of my weekly sweet! moments. I plan to start it back up and invite you to do the same, because...
The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions - the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasurable and genial feeling.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge