Funny thing. Do you ever find yourself having a pity party on any given day? No matter how much of  a positive person others view you, we all tend to have that party but, for some uncanny reason, we seem to be the only one who  ever attends that party. It occured to me today, when another realtor responded to me with these profound words, "well, Shirlee, it's the life we choose." Really? We choose to be stressed? We choose to be overwhelmed? Ah, we choose to  have no life, cuz, we never say no when someone calls at the last minute to see a property that we know they could wait another day. Really? We choose this life? Yep, wise woman from the far East who has no life.  Or should I say clueless woman from the deep South.  Years could have provided me with wisedom, wouldn't you think? However, today, this  realtor said off the cuff, "it's the life we choose."  Wow. She is right on.  No one made me give up a great job in the mid-west living in a fabulous townhome downtown in a metro city where I could walk to Orchastra Hall. Go to the latest broadway plays and shop in the finest department stores.Or have a fabulous training job with a Fortune 500 company.  Or have Saturdays with my husband by bicycling to Farmer's Market. A real Farmer's Market with fresh grown vegetables and summer sausage to munch on as we strolled along the  various booths while listening to authentic ethnic live music. Oh, martyr Shirlee. She had to give up our lives and move to the South to save my deceased mother's real estate agency that no one in our immediate family took much interest. Nor did they know how to run the business. Thought I had to save her husband from lonliness. Really?  My mother was far from being a sentimentialist. For gosh sakes, you would give her something she didn't like and before you knew it, that thing you gave her would wind up on someone else's body or whatever. She didn't hesitate about giving it away. So, why in the sam hill would she have cared if the business she founded, folded after she passed in 2002? She wouldn't! No way, jose' , as my granddaughter would say as a toddler. But, Mz Shirlee had to "choose that life."   Well, my friends it's certainly not a life anyone in their right mind would have chosen. Guess that clears up that mystery about my "mind."  Ha:)

Let's get to the bad stuff that came after Mz Shirlee decided to take on Sunset Bay at Bon Secour. Again, I didn't go after this jewel. It was brought to me by another large real estate company who just didn't like the development and due to their not asking for any referral fees from handing it over, it was evident later on that they thought, here's a sucker.  Grab it lick it and get "stuck with it. Ok, I didn't see dollar signs, I saw that omg, what have I agreed to..this large agency couldn't make it work.  The developer had strong expectations regarding traffic reports and those needed to be on his desk every Monday no later than 10am.  So the traffic reports were on his desk by 9am. And, because it's always been my nature to be overly detailed, that report was no exception.  While most of the realtors were using me as their entertainment during their meetings by laughing at the possibilities that I could be successful, the objective was to raise the prices. The product was quality and the prices were cheap. Folks wondered what was the catch. When the prices met the quality then properties began to sell. One lot went from $248K with a boat slip to $675K with a boat slip, and sold. Of course, those were the days when all prices on real estate were doing a quantum leap. And,  SSB was no exception. This developer was ahead of his time and this property exceeded the surroundings. Heck, all realtors would rather sell a condo on the beach. Why? Lord how mercy, it's an easy sell. Ching Ching.. But selling out in what most of them would call, the boonies, well, that's another story.  You liked it or you didn't like it.  We loved it and still do love it. 

However, it brought me  a lot of headaches and stress, without the money. The developer had me selling pre-sales on two additional phases. He built exactly what the folks put their money on. They provided a letter of credit and he built the Villas just as he promised. Of course, he was going to deviate somewhat and I jumped in and said, "you better stay with the plan that these folks bought into. So, he stuck with the plan. That was in '05. Sales were good, however, by the time the units were completed, we were in what is now known as a seemingly down market.  Being a detailed person I had been keeping detailed records/files on all the sales and the buyers. Every conversation we had with tthe buyers were followed up with an email. Those files on each buyer were thick as thick could be, cuz that was my work ethic. And, I always say when working with anyone, 'no guarantees on anything, except my work ethics.  Of course, when the market went down, they wanted to bail. The developer said, you signed, you close. And, he was right. If you bought stock and the market went down, do you think you could go to your broker and get your money back?  I don't think so.  As far as he was concerned they had no other choice but to close. After all, he didn't use any of their monies to build the Villas. He had a line of credit with the bank. Some developers take draws along the way. He did not. Nor did he ever pay me a dime. I actually paid for the power in both buildings when he bailed. That was money I didn't have, however, it would have left folks who had already closed without an elevator or plumbing. Even with all that, the buyers still felt that they had an option, whether they had proof or not.  File a lawsuit, against him, the realtor, whomever was involved. Now, they didn't have to have proof of what they were charging because they had a sleezy attorney, Adam Milam, who would sue his mother if he could make a dime. He wasn't prepared to face a realtor who had files thicker than Atlas Shrugged. Years of sitting thru depositions and sitting across from these plaintiffs who looked straight at my attorney and lied about me. Thank God I had emails to them, from them contradicting anything and everything they were saying. They, nor their sleezy attorney counted on my files being so thorough. In the end I won every lawsuit and gave nothing but strong advice. When you decide to sue someone, have proof of your allegations.  But, this is the life I chose. To carry on my mom's legacy with her company. She wouldn't be proud. Mom is up there looking down saying to me, "you silly girl, why didn't you stay in the big city and ride your bike to Farmer's Market. Who do you think you are trying to impress? Not Jean. She wouldn't have walked across the street to save the company  if it had been Shirlee's. Jean just didn't walk that path of being sentimental over anything.  Her husband? What happened to helpless Al?  He married less than three years to a banker who was 12 yrs younger than myself and  who saw his account after Jean passed. Guess she thought she was marrying a rich man and made no secret that they would travel. Well, some of that is true. She married a man who has a friend who pays the way when they travel. So, guess she still gets perks. Hey, it's the life  they chose. And, he'll  tell you he wanted someone to look after him but, who knows and as my mom used to say, "who gives a harry rat's ass."  It's the life he chose! It's the life we all choose. Oh, lord, would we like to blame it on someone else. Especially when we have those pity parties.  My daughter, the Chiropractor..hahaha. Not sure I'm not Jewish. Love Jewish people, I really do. They say it like it is...Going back to the Chiropractor, she says, "debbie downer" wahnwahnwahn