Monthly Archives: June 2013

Mother’s Day with Jake

About four years ago Mother’s Day was approaching and all of my kids were out of state and Mark had to work. Every day feels like Mother’s Day to me so I didn’t think too much about it and then Jake Paquin called and my day changed. Jake, one of Bryan’s best friends, invited me to the Cherokee for breakfast so I wouldn’t have to spend Mother’s Day alone. He also invited his beautiful mom, Colleen, to join us.

Jake, thank you again for a wonderful Mother’s Day. You are my favorite!

Colleen, thank you for sharing your/our amazing son with me on Mother’s Day and thank you for always treating Bryan as if he is one of your kids.

Send A Simple Gift of Love Today

Over the past few months I have received so many prayers, beautiful cards, gifts, letters, e-mails, texts and phone calls. I feel like the luckiest person alive. Thank you!

Because I have been showered with so much love, I have a special request. I am asking that you send someone else a gift of love today.

You may have a teacher, coach, mom, dad, brother, sister or friend you really appreciate and love. Maybe a co-worker or stranger did something nice for you today. Surprise someone with a love letter or a simple text telling them how you feel. It is so much fun to give and receive a beautiful message and can change a bad day into a beautiful day.

Working at Transnation Title

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In April of 1983, six months after Kelly was born and Chad was two and a half years old, Mark and I decided Chad needed some sharing experiences by playing with other children so I started looking for a part-time job and thought Chad and Kelly could go to a babysitter. After looking for a couple of weeks, I landed a full-time job at Transamerica Title, now known as Transnation Title. I wasn’t sure what title insurance was and certainly did not understand my new job, but I accepted it thinking it would be a great opportunity for my family and me.

My new job was full of learning experiences and I worked with some great people that were very patient with me and taught me what they knew. Our home life was an adjustment with two little kids, but Mark and I managed like everyone does.

About three months into my job we were eating fish and I thought I swallowed a small fish bone. A week went by and the feeling of the bone in my throat didn’t go away so I visited an ear, nose and throat specialist. After the doctor scoped my throat and didn’t find anything he asked, “Have you experienced anything new in your life lately?” I said, “I started a new job about three months ago.” He asked if it was stressful and I said it was. He told me that stress can show up in many ways in our body and he thought the feeling of a bone in my throat might be because of stress. A week after my doctor’s appointment my fish bone feeling went away. It was stress related.

Throughout my 27 and a half years at Transnation Title as a Marketing Representative I learned so much about myself. Today I look back at my career and this is what I feel. My job in sales was life-changing for me. I met so many wonderful friends in the business. Working at a title company helped me gain knowledge about real estate, which is still valuable in my life today. My job challenged me outside of my comfort zone but I tried not to let it show. I was stressed giving a presentation to a room full of people, I was nervous when I had to golf with my boss and two vice presidents from Community Shores, but I survived. I loved coordinating client events but was nervous walking into a real estate office or bank on a cold call. I felt great after I did it.

Even though Transnation gave me great tools and superb sales training I still struggled asking my clients for their business. I finally figured out why it was so difficult for me. My parents taught me it wasn’t polite to ask for something unless it was a necessity. I know this sounds silly but to ask my customers for title orders just didn’t seem right to me. I knew if they gave me an order, my co-workers would give them a great product and great service but asking never came natural to me. So the only way I felt comfortable was by getting to know my potential customers first as a person and a friend and then as a customer. I made many friends over my years at Transnation, even if they didn’t give me their business.

Another thing I had a hard time with was recognition awards. Because I was in sales, for some reason sales people and managers were the only ones in the company that could qualify for spectacular awards. Because I worked with great people, my sales numbers looked wonderful and I happened to earn two amazing vacations, one to The Ritz Carlton in Orlando and another to The Ritz Carlton in the Camine Islands. Mark and I loved the trips but I thought my whole office should have been invited to join us. One person in an office does not deserve the recognition especially when you have a great team of co-workers working hard.

I want you to know that my friends at Transnation are bright, amazing and work hard. All around my job at Transnation was wonderful and the best part is I made lifelong friends. I have been retired for almost three years and when I walk into the Transnation office, I still feel at home.

Before I end my Transnation story, missing from the photo above is a special friend, Teresa LaVigne. I first met Teresa 20 years ago because she worked for my competitor, First American Title, and she was well-respected in the real estate community and my biggest competition. She finally came to her senses and came to work with me at Transnation about 12 years ago. We bonded immediately and have felt like family ever since. Pictured below is Teresa and her beautiful 100 year old Grandma, Oma.

Family Candlelit Dinners

The thought of having a nice dinner together after a busy day at school and work seemed like the right thing to do. I dreamed of having our whole family together sharing amazing conversations about their day and about their thoughts. That is not exactly how it turned out.

Our kids would fight instead of talk. Kelly thought her brothers were chewing too loudly and smacking their lips while eating. Kelly and Corey are both left handed so they had to be positioned at the table just right so they didn’t hit a right handed kid. Chad would tease his sister and brothers and Bryan and Corey would instigate trouble. It wasn’t what I dreamed of and I really wanted to find a solution.

Mark was our cook and almost always prepared a well-balanced meal so the least we could do was sit and enjoy his prepared food and each other. After many nights of fighting, Mark and I decided to make dinner a little more special, especially if we weren’t in a hurry to attend an evening event. We started by setting the table, turning down the lights, putting soft music on and lighting some candles. At first our kids thought it was a corny idea but they eventually accepted it and liked it, plus it stopped some of the fighting.

As our kids got a little older, they would invite friends from school to have dinner with us. I think some of the friends enjoyed our candlelit dinners and others thought it was silly. Whatever it was, it helped us find some harmony at the dinner table, most days.

My Dad’s Moments

 

Lucky for me, my life started out great because I grew up in a loving home. I am so appreciative that my parents provided me with stability and balance.

My Dad was kind, gentle, honest and generous. He loved to laugh and he wasn’t afraid to laugh at himself. Today, I can still hear his precious laugh. Because of my dad’ great sense of humor, I would like to share some of his moments that we called “Floyd Moments.”

  • One sleepy morning, my dad woke up and accidentally put on mom’s glasses without noticing. He went about his business only to discover his own glasses on mom’s face.
  • Dad was having surgery and was instructed by the doctors to take a laxative the day before his surgery. He had the date mixed up and took the laxative two days before his surgery. He laughed when he found out and had to repeat the medicine the following day.
  • Dad went to the car auction for the first time to purchase a car. He came home with a two-door green Plymouth. What was he thinking with nine children? He said to my mother, “I just raised my hand.” Mom shook her head, turned around and walked into the house without saying a word.
  • When we were young, my dad used to make us go down to the Causeway and pick dandelions so that he could make dandelion wine. We tried to pick fast so that we could get out of there. We wanted to put our picking bags over our heads so that our friends would not see us.
  • Dad was a practical man. Before he would throw shoes away, he would repair the soles several times. Once he even spray painted the kids’ green Impala. He painted the car gray and it was forever known as the “Gray Ghost.”

“You taught us how to laugh, what a time, what a time. You never said too much but still you showed the way. And I learned from watching you.” 

David Gates

My dad died March 2, 2002.

Happy Father’s Day, dad! See you in the funny paper.