How I Learned... To really LIKE my mom

Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) DRE# 00809499

I've always loved my Mom. She was a realtor for 20 or so years, and is awesome. Hard working, willing to do anything, and people love her. What's there not to love?.  But in 1997, I learned that I really LIKED her, too.

It started with a phone call.  "Sal... I just signed up for a trip to the Mediterranean.  10 days.  I'm going to Greece, Egypt, Israel and Turkey.  Wanna come?"

I thought of when I spent 9 months in Europe at 21 and lived in Greece for 4 months.  I'd die to go back.  I thought of my husband and 2 young kids. I thought of the expense.  I thought "are you kidding... that's out of your world, baby".  Then I remembered what our office admin had told me... "You never regret the times you say yes".

My mouth stayed still, but my tongue started lifting towards my teeth.... "yyessssss" it hissed... much to my amazement.

Mom on a Cairo camelMy Mom was 74.  We flew to  Athens a few days early.  Hike all over the joint?...  Mom's in.  Eat souvlaki off the streets... "Delicious". Wait patiently while I buy silver earrings .. no complaints.   We're on the boat... no demands.  She's happy doing whatever, while I lay in the sun.  Read, bridge, gamble... she doesn't care.  She claps while I enter the dance contest.  She's totally self entertaining. We get to Cairo.... Ride a camel?... "Hell yeah, you only live once".  Explore the burial chamber of the Great Pyramid?... "I'll wait here... you go. Take your time."  Any side trip I want to do... she's all in.  At the end of our trip, she stays for a 14 day side trip to Turkey... she's seventy-friggin-four!

In a London muffin shopAnd all the while we laugh. Mutual chuckles.   Stupid school girl giggles.  Belly laughs.  Spit-your-food-out-on-your-plate laugh.  "You think I'm thtupid, you otta thee my shister...sthe walkth like thith ..."  Busts us up every time. My Mom never gets down.  She's so happy to be travelling, she'll take anything and everything.  It's all good.

When we travel my Mom turns into the funnest pal you could imagine.  And smart.  She reads all the time... historical novels, biographies, anything written well.  She ends up being the smartest, most well rounded person in any travel group we've been on, adding fact and lore to any discussion.  I'm so proud of her... proud to have been birthed by her.

And attitude?  She wrote the book.  We were in Switzerland once, at Lake Lucerne.  Walking around, she suddenly gives me a stunned look, reaches up to her mouth and pulls out half a crown.  "Oops... fell out."  Same day, we're getting off a boat, and BAM, she gets a raging sciatica nerve tweek.  She can barely walk.  But she does.  Later that day, she's resting in our room, and notices she has hives all over... big red splotchy itchy welts.  What does she do? She laughs at the absurdity of it all.  "Come to Switzerland, loose a tooth, break a leg and erupt in a rash.... You go ahead honey, I'll be fine".  And she was, with a little pharmacy run, ice and aspirin. Next day, good to go.  Nothin gets her down.

Mom in the Cairo BazarreShe and I have continued to travel... to Europe, Egypt again, Patagonia, Europe again with my daughters, and China with my daughters.  And all the while she's positive.  Squatty potties in China?.. "Fine".  There's only 8 of us on a ship that olds 400? (on the Yangzee)... "Strange, but aren't we lucky, we'll have the staff to ourselves". Taxis on strike in Greece?... "Let's walk".  Later, Greek food gives her a "run for the money".  She stands at the sink of the National Archeological Museum woman's restroom, her dimply butt on parade for whoever may walk in, and rinses out in the sink (you might want to avoid that bathroom if you ever go there!)  We skeedadle outta there pretty fast, collapse onto the sidewalk, and laugh hysterically.  What else ya gonna do?  She'll still spit her milk out if I mention that day. That was the day ROTFLMAO was invented.

Mom and me in South AmericaHow can you not like an indomitable spirit like hers?  Her glass is always half full. She always wants more.  She gives us all hope that old age doesn't mean it's over.

If I called her tonight and said, "Mom let's go to Timbuktu", she'd ask what time the plane leaves. 


Don't have a Mom like mine?  Then BE one. 




Check out my other posts that might be of interest.....

HOME BUYERS AND SELLERS..........Buying a Home, Selling a Home, Loans, What Happens if....

LOCAL INFO................................. Fair Oaks, Carmichael, Sacramento, Folsom, Citrus Heights

ABOUT SALLY DUNBAR.................. How I learned to...., Personal stuff, My Wordless Photos

OTHER STUFF............................... Inspiration, Attitude, Humorous Stuff, Charity, the Economy

TECHNOLOGY, BLOGGING ............. Active Rain, Technology

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Your Fair Oaks Realtor for homes for sale in Fair Oaks and the Sacramento Area of California.... I'm your gal (Sally Dunbar). I'm occasionally knowledgable, periodically humorous, and always willing to tell you everything I know.  What more could you ask for?

Here are the newest listings for Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Carmichael, Gold River, and Roseville - all CA, of course.

More Blog posts by Sally Dunbar at www.FairOaksHomesAndMore.comSally's Website at to search for all homes in the MLS, and for tons of information for buyers and sellers.  You'll find schools information, market statistics... you name it, I got it!  Come visit me.




Sally Dunbar, 35 year Broker Associate, Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks, CA (916) 524-1548, "Your Fair Oaks Realtor"


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Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes & Beach Cities Homes in L.A.

My mother flew to LA for a visit when she was 83.  She could not wait to go to the beach--one of my favorite photos shows us both in swimsuits enjoying the surf and sand.  She said yes to life and always had big plans.  Moms like ours are great examples.

Apr 18, 2009 05:57 AM #25
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

And Norma, that's probably why you are such an adventuresome spirit.  My Mom wouldn't be caught dead in a swimsuit, but at lest she rode a camel!

Apr 18, 2009 01:58 PM #26
Jeff&Grace Safrin
F.C.Tucker 1st Team Real Estate - Valparaiso, IN

My Mom was a funny social spirit and every trip with her was a adventure of meeting strangers that turn into frinds ...memories that bring smiles even today - she was killed the day after we came back from a family vacation in 1997 and I cherish that last trip especially.

May God Bless you Sally and your Mom and children with many, many more happy, healthy years & Mothers Days together!



p.s. small world,,,there is a fair oaks indiana also- we have a lovely listing there

May 05, 2009 07:07 AM #27
Roy A. Peterson
Domicile Analysis of Texas - El Paso, TX

Sally, loved the story of your adventures with mom, it almost sounds like an "Indianian Jones Movies" but in the female version. So Sally I do not know if you were referring to me as the " Home Inspector from Texas", but here I'am, Happy Mothers Day" to you and your mother.


~ Life is Good, all the way from the corner of Texas.


Happy Mother's Day

May 05, 2009 07:45 AM #28
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Sally - You are truly a blessed soul!  Not only do you have a wonderful Mom but you're also a wonderful Mom.  Guess you learned from the best.

My biological mother and I were never close growing up.  I left home right after I graduated from high school and I put myself through college.  I haven't seen her in almost 20 years.  Sad? Yes, it is but for some of us, we get to a point in our life where we have to make a conscious decision to be happy, which often means removing all the unhappy and unhealthy relationships from our lives in order to move on.

However, 14 years ago, I was blessed with getting the best MIL in the whole world.  I even tell her every chance I get that she is the Mom that I wish I had been born with.  She's a lot like your Mom in that she LOVES to travel.  Hubby and I went on a cruise with them (Papa Jack too) a few years ago.  One of the best trip's ever.  They travel all the time (they're retired) and hopefully some day soon, we can join them again for another trip.

I hope you and your Mom have many more Mother's Day's together Sally and that you also have some new adventures and journey to explore.  Life is grand and enjoy every day you have.  It's truly a blessing.  :)

May 05, 2009 08:43 AM #29
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Sally, I read and write in the blog area too much. I see I have already been here LOL. I love this post BTW. Your Mom is a gem.

May 05, 2009 09:05 AM #30
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Grace - I'm so sorry about your Mom, but I guess looking at the positive side of it, you were able to send her off with wonderful memories for you all from your vacation.

Roy - LOVE the flowers.  My mom will love them too.  Thanks pal.

Donne - Some of us are Moms because we birthed a kid... some are Moms because we've earned the title.  Some do both. Your MIL IS your mom.... she earned it.  The other one didn't.  So happy Mother's Day to your MIL.  And plan another trip soon....

Gary - Yep you already figured out where I get my wild gene.  At least the adventuresome one.

May 05, 2009 10:06 AM #31
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

What a great mom, adventurer, and partner to go through life with in your corner !

Happy Mom's Day to your Mom this week ! - she sounds like someone everyone would love to have in their family :o)

Cheers Sal !


May 05, 2009 01:59 PM #32
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Shel - You are right about my Mom being my adventurer and partner.  And she is definatley in my corner.  Just think, buddy.... your little Preston will someday be interstellar blogging about the infuluence his diddykins was on  him... and how he helped him write his first blog... at age one week.

You're the bomb.  My Mom will be a surrogate gramdma if you need one on the West coast.

May 05, 2009 02:39 PM #33
Andrew Haslett
Van Warren Home Inspections, NAHI CRI - Fort Knox, KY
Heartland of Kentuckynulls, Best Home Inspector

To Sal's mom:

You've got a great kid there!

You taught her right. 

"You never regret the times you say yes".

That's the best Mother's Day gift ever.

May 05, 2009 03:10 PM #34
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Sally, Happy Mothers Day to your mom. I know how special mothers are and you are so luck to still have your mom around...

Your building consultant for life in Nashville, TN


May 05, 2009 09:34 PM #35
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Andrew, thanks you so much.  That saying is so true.

Michael.... I'm sending it to my Mom now!

May 06, 2009 06:31 AM #36
Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK

Sally, your mom sounds like a great lady who knows the meaning of living life.  I'm fortunate to have a mom with the same attitude... and heaven knows we're better for having them in our lives!  A very Happy Mother's Day to our beautiful moms...and to mother's everywhere. 

May 08, 2009 06:02 AM #37
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Jesse & Kathy - Hooray for you... and happy Mother's Day to you and your Mom!

May 08, 2009 06:42 AM #38
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


Happy Mothers Day Sally's Mom :)


May 08, 2009 10:31 AM #39
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

TLW - she didn't need to have a hearing aide to hear that roar....

PS... after reading your post on ROAR.... THAT's my Mom!  She's pretty outspoken.  She even got fired by her real estate broker, who loved to booze it up for lunch, and when she objected, she was fired.  But she thought he was an idiot for that, and she refused to leave. She like the other agents, and simply refused to let him fire her.  She ain't no shrinken kitty cat.

Happy Mother's Day to you, TLW.... hope you're doing OK without Jerry.

May 08, 2009 11:41 AM #40
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ

Dear Sally's Mom,

Both you and your little girl have lots of reasons to be proud. My mom is long gone and I wasn't blessed with children, so on May 10, 2009, I am going to celebrate vicariously with you and Sally.

Continued love, health and laughter!

May 09, 2009 05:33 AM #41
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Irene - that's awesome.  We'll include you in our celebration.  I'm actually going to my neice's home with my daughter.  Then tonight, my daughter is doing a BYOM party... bring your own Mom.  She's invited a ton of her friends and their Moms.  Pretty cool, I think.

May 09, 2009 05:44 AM #42
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ

Dear Sally's Mommy! (For a long while, as I got older - my mother would say from time to time - I miss you calling me "mommy" - so I thought you'd get a nice smile thinking back to the early years with Sally!)  Since I've already been here once and made a comment - I'll simply say to you, cherish another special day with your family, but be careful - Sally may blog about it! -- Gabrielle

May 10, 2009 12:26 AM #43
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

******* Mother's Day update *******

I sent a copy of this post with all the comments to my Mom, and told her to wait to open it until we were on the phone together.

I had her read it out loud.  She was stunned.  she laughed... just like I knew she would.  Had she been drinking milk, she would have spit it all over the table.  She almost fell apart at the part about the Athens Archeological museum. then when she got to the origin of ROTFLMAO, she had to quit and wipe her eyes.  She didn't know that, not being a comuter person.

She loved Roy's roses, and all of your comments about your Moms.  Thank you all for contributing to one honkin great Mother's Day.


May 10, 2009 06:24 AM #44
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