I Don't Care Who You Are, This Will Make You Cry...We Let A Stranger In Our House...And A Friend Into Our Hearts

Real Estate Agent

I Don't Care Who You Are, This Will Make You Cry...We Let A Stranger In Our House...And A Friend Into Our Hearts

In early July 2011, I admit, we did something most people would consider a very foolish thing. We let a total stranger in our house.

It was a Sunday morning and my Chris and I were about to pull out of the driveway on our way to find breakfast at a yet to be determined restaurant, when I noticed a car was pulling over to the side of the road opposite our driveway. I asked Chris to roll down her window as I expected the solitary gentleman in that car might have a question or perhaps need directions.

"Do you live here?" the fortyfive-ish stranger asked,
"Yes we do," Chris replied.
"This is the house where I grew up," he said. "Could I visit for a minute. I won't take much of your time. I can see you are on your way out."
With that, I stepped out of the car and said, "Why don't you pull into the driveway and get your car off the road."

In the next minute, we were shaking hands in the driveway and he introduced himself as Pete Martin. He asked if the Kelleys still lived next door and pointed to the second floor bedroom that was his and described how the chimney ran right up through the middle of the room. I asked if he would like to tour our home. He happily agreed.

As we passed through each room, Pete shared some little memory about the room and about the house and asked if the lilacs were still behind the house where he had buried his much loved dog. I showed him that the lilacs, and most likely his dog, had been relocated to another part of the yard to make room for the pool that we now enjoy. Through this stroll down memory lane, Pete shared a bit about his life.

Pete told us he had retired from a military career in the Air Force and now lived in Tennessee. After over twenty years of service, he was still not ready to give up flying and serving our country, so he worked for a Government contractor flying special operations forces in combat missions over Afghanistan, and tomorrow, he would be on a plane going back there and not returning until September.

Out of pure coincidence, he was visiting a friend in Londonderry, NH and asked if he could borrow his car to drive over to North Hampton in the hope we might be home when he knocked on our door. He had made this drive some years earlier, and we were not home. :-(

When we finished the tour of the house, Pete asked us if we could take a few pictures of him with his mobile phone and we took a few with our camera. We exchanged email addresses to stay in touch. As he was getting ready to leave, Pete made it clear, that by inviting him, a total stranger, into our home, we had given him something he would never forget. We had given him, the WORLD....and yesterday, well, he turned around and gave it back to us, in a way I know I will never forget.

While I was at my first showing yesterday, Chris called me on my cell and told me we had received a package from Afghanistan from Pete. I could not get home fast enough from the showing.

Seated at the kitchen table, Chris handed me the package and asked me to open it. Inside, was an American Flag, a copy of the Stars and Stripes daily newspaper published for members of the military, a copy of the July 2011 edition of Freedom Watch Afghanistan magazine and the following letter and special presentation:

Letter From Pete Martin

American Flag

Special Presentation

Pete on Front Stairs

Now, most of you know I am a Pease Greeter at Pease AFB in Portsmouth, NH, welcoming our troops home from duty or sending them overseas to Iraq or Afghanistan. If you enjoy freedom, thank someone in the military. Maybe you could stop by Pete Martin's Facebook page and thank him. I know that's where I'm headed as soon as I publish this blog.

If you would like to know why I chose Seacoast New Hampshire to make my home, click here to email me, and I can make a real convincing argument for you to choose it too! Or, if you would like to do your own home search, sign up NOW on my website for our exclusive Home Scout Program.

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         John McCarthy

         Your Seacoast NH Realtor

         Bean Group
         1150 Sagamore Ave

         Portsmouth, NH 03801

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Comments (159)

John McCarthy
North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH

Hi Sarah & Lester ~ Hope all is well! You are so right. I can't walk past the Lilacs without remembering Pete's dog. LOL!

Jun 05, 2014 04:16 AM
John McCarthy
North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH

Hi Will ~ I can't say exactly why we invited Pete to tour his childhood home, other than I choose to look for the good in people. Yes, you can be easily disappointed, but the reward usually outweighs the risk. Thanks for stopping by!

Jun 05, 2014 05:05 AM
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Yes, I have tears in my eyes and in my heart and soul. Beautiful story. Going back to our childhood and our treasured memories is a type of a miracle gift - like the gift you gave to the stranger and the gift he returned to you.


Jun 05, 2014 06:45 AM
Rachel Khoury
Tailwinds Mortgage - Highlands Ranch, CO
Your Wingwoman for Colorado Mortgages

This is an incredible story, Pete sounds like a great man.

I find it sad that is is now a generally accepted practice to NOT let strangers into your home. 

A perfect example of Hebrews 13:2. "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.

Jun 05, 2014 01:09 PM
Frank Iglesias
Working With Houses, LLC - Atlanta Real Estate Investments - Lawrenceville, GA
Atlanta, GA Real Estate Investor

What a story, John! Thanks for sharing...

Jun 05, 2014 01:16 PM
Bill Dean
Haggerty Team St. Louis, Mo. - Fenton, MO
William Dean - Broker, Salesperson

Great Story!   Reminds me of the first place I lived for a brief time in 1972 when I got back from Nam.  I still drive by that area and always hope I can catch someone outside to ask them if there is still a toilet and kitchenette in their garage!     Not as bad as it sounds, only stayed there a few months and rent was $20/week!  Had to go thru a breezeway and knock on the door of the house to use the shower.  Fun times back then. lol

Jun 06, 2014 03:27 AM
Wayne L. Brown
Franklin Advantage Inc. - Alpine, CA


What an amazing story. Blessings to you all.

Jun 06, 2014 04:33 AM
Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

Great story - thanks for brightening my day!

Jun 07, 2014 08:43 AM
Alicia Clarke
Seattle, WA
Putting the Social in Marketing

What an incredible story, John. Thanks so much for sharing! 

Jun 11, 2014 02:33 AM
Lisa Friedman
Great American Dream Realty - Essex, VT
35 Years of Real Estate Experience!

John, I absolutely love this story and it brought tears to my eyes. I will certainly visit Pete's Facebook page to thank him for his service. I would also like to thank you for being a Pease Greeter - what a wonderful thing to do!

Aug 18, 2014 01:58 AM
Cheryl Lucas

Made my eyes leak... http://youtu.be/nBgM5ZRzzjI

Jun 02, 2015 01:18 AM
Dr. Peter p. Audette

Thank you Pete, for your service and dedication to our Country and it's Flag. Chris, a life long Friend and John, a Facebook Friend, are indeed two extraordinary people who show, by example, their love of Community and Country.God Bless All!

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