It's New Year's Eve... Time For My MeMe

By
Real Estate Agent with New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County

I must admit... I have been very tardy in writing my first MeMe.  One reason I have given myself is that I really didn't know what to do. First of all... who would want to know these things ?  Then, I thought about how fun it was to read some of the Meme's I have read.  So, here goes... I'll give it a try.

Some time ago, my friend Margaret Woda emailed me.  She wanted to play "tag."  But... it was MeMe tag.  Now, I like to write, but for the life of me I have just struggled with what to put in my first MeMe.  So, I thought, and thought, and basically thought myself into "writer's block."

Then came my friend Elaine Hanson. She wanted to play tag, too. And yes, it was MeMe tag.  What to do ?  What to write about ?

Finally, Heather Elias MeMe'd me.   Ok... so now I am going to look very foolish in front of three people I like and respect... by sitting here with my silly case of MeMe writer's block.

So... I have just gone to the mirror, looked at myself, and said... Just Do It !

Five Things Many People Don't Know About Me.

1) Between 1987 and 1993 I worked for several national new home builders in the Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland, Washington DC market.  At first I lived in Columbia, MD. After about eighteen months... when it appeared that most of my sales activity was going to be centered in Northern Virginia, I moved to Alexandria... off Little River Turnpike.  I loved the area.

I had taught junior high school before I entered real estate, and since I left teaching, I had felt such an empty spot inside of me... a spot that could only be filled by finding a way to "give back" to the world that had brought a measure of good fortune to me.

Since my degree was in Psychology, and since I have always been what I call a "good listener", I decided to volunteer at one of the Crisis Center Hotlines.  Since I was still relatively new in the DC area, I was not sure where the best place to volunteer would be.  I started calling some of the local cities, asking about the various "hotline" possibilities. I called Fairfax, Centerville, Alexandria, Arlington, and even back up in Columbia, Maryland.

There were some really worthwhile possibilities, but something was missing.  After a while I thought... the answer... it's right there in front of me.  So, I called into DC. I spoke with one of the intake persons at the Washington DC Suicide and Crisis Center Hotline.  We chatted for awhile, and at the end of our conversation, I was invited in to do an "intake interview."

In I went.  I was asked to meet the intake person at a third location... one that was not where the Crisis Center hotline actually was located.  Privacy was considered essential due to the crisis nature of many of the incoming callers.  That made sense.

The interview went extremely well, and I was invited to begin their training program for becoming a "peer telephone counselor" at the Crisis Center Hotline.  I seem to remember the training was perhaps ten or twelve weeks long, and pretty intense... as it should be.  I was very enthused, and after completing their pretty thorough training, and after several "practice shifts" on the Crisis phone, I was welcomed in as a volunteer.

At first I took a series of three or four hour afternoon shifts... mainly so I could be supervised, or at least always be there when several other "peer counselor volunteers" with experience were there.  That made sense.

I was really nervous. As a teacher, of course I had had many opportunities to "counsel" my students... helping them with both their school problems, and some of their personal or family problems, too.

After gaining a decent degree of feeling at home with the peer counseling, I volunteered for the Tuesday night shift.  It was one of the Crisis Center's more difficult shifts to fill for some reason, so I volunteered.  The shift ran from 10:00pm Tuesday night to 7:00am Wednesday morning.

Each Tuesday I would go to my new home sales office.  I arrived at 10:00am, and worked in the sales office until 7:00pm.  After that, I would drive to the King Street Station, and take the subway into DC, and walk to the Crisis Center Hotline office.  My shift ran from 10:00pm... all night... until 7:00am.

I would bring clothes for the next day, would "freshen up," and then take the subway back to the King Street Station, and then drive back into Centerville to my new home sales office, and work the whole day until 7:00pm... and then drive home... and pretty much collapse.  I must say, besides my years in teaching, it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.

The most difficult thing about it wasn't staying awake all night... being ready for the phone to ring. The most difficult thing... occasionally happened around 7:00am. I would be ready to leave to go to work... and once in a very great while... the seven o'clock morning volunteer would either be late, or perhaps be "very late."

On the extremely rare days when that happened, I would wait, and wait, and wait some more... until I had no choice but to leave.  If the next volunteer wasn't there yet... I had the excruciatingly painful job of putting the hotline phones... "on hold." In effect... I was shutting down the whole system.  It was not an easy thing to do.

After about eighteen months of telephone peer counseling, I was asked if I would volunteer to help train the next class of incoming volunteers for their ten or twelve weeks of training. That combined both my peer counseling abilities, and my teaching abilities.  I was thrilled.  I was teaching again... and sharing my skills.  All in all I spent about three years volunteering at the Suicide and Crisis Center Hotline in DC.  It was one of the most difficult and the most rewarding things I have ever done.

Whew !

------------------------------

2) Another secret from my lurid past.  As a child... from about nine years of age until I was thirteen... I took accordion lessons.  I lived in Cleveland at the time, and being surrounded by my mother's Frank Sinatra records, and my father's endless supply of "Polka Music..." my father won out, and I started learning to play the accordion.  At first I enjoyed it, but it started to become less attractive as the years went on. Perhaps it was just as I was "entering puberty" that made me quit.  As I was playing the accordion... I kept "pinching" myself in a certain delicate area of my upper torso... so I used that as a reason to stop. I may have been the first accordion player ever wounded in battle. <grin>

------------------------------

3) During my late twenties... I actually bought myself a motorcycle.  My first one was a Honda 350cc.  It was a pretty green and silver, and was fun, but it was not really "peppy" enough to carry two people.  I was lucky enough to discover that fact during the first ten days after purchasing it, so I was able to talk the dealership into taking it back... but only because I instead wanted to buy a larger cycle.  Luckily, they agreed, and I ended up with a gorgeous brown and gold Honda 450cc "twin."  It was appreciably larger, heavier, but all in all a better choice for "touring" with a passenger on the seat behind me.

I enjoyed riding it all over the Northeastern Ohio countryside.  I took some really relaxing day trips through the wooded country hill areas east of Cleveland... out through Chagrin Falls, the Chardon area, and further east to a city named Austinburg.  I enjoyed riding until one day I was on one of the local Cleveland freeways... actually riding along at the ridiculous speed of 98 miles an hour... very stupid... and happened to look down.  I noticed how quickly the street was passing by me... and simply "lost my nerve."  I could just picture myself hitting some loose gravel or other road hazard, and becoming what we used to call "street pizza."  Thus, my motorcycle riding career came to an end.

---------------------------------

4) For a time, I owned a horse.  Actually, I owned "half a horse."  A girlfriend and I, who occasionally rented horses to go riding, had a chance to purchase a horse, and we did.  It was a Tennessee Walker... Midnight Sun... solid black, and sixteen hands high.  For me... that was a very, very tall horse.  I ended up only riding for one summer, and then gave my friend Carol my "half" as my gift to her.  I enjoyed riding, but just could not keep up with the expense.

---------------------------------

5) As I mentioned above, I taught school in the Cleveland Catholic Schools for nine years.  Seventh and eighth grade.  I loved it.  The school was also at the parish church I belonged to.  I had taken guitar lessons as a teenager, and enjoyed playing.  I even sang.  Mostly folk songs.  It was the sixties, and early seventies. Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Peter Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, even some Arlo Guthrie.

The parish had a "folk Liturgical music group" that played at guitar masses every Sunday night at the Seven O'clock Mass.  I really enjoyed going to the folk guitar mass, so once night after mass I asked the leader if they needed any additional members.  Her name was Carol, and she was thrilled that I asked.  I came to practice, had my little audition, and started playing with the group.  As time wore on, I ended up being a co-leader of the group... both playing guitar and singing every Sunday night at mass.

After about a year of this, one of my students asked me if I would be interested in forming a guitar/folk music group to play at the children's masses.  I was thrilled, and, since I also taught my own religion class...starting a folk group fit right in. We ended up with about six or seven boys and girls playing guitar and singing. One of them even played bass guitar.

We were actually pretty good, and after awhile... many of the parents and parishioners who attended the Sunday night masses started coming to our children's weekday morning mass.  Our group continued for six years... until I finally left teaching and went into real estate in the mid-seventies.

Whew... I seem to be unable to be a woman of few words.  Thanks for sticking with me to read all of this.  And to Margaret Woda, Elaine Hanson and Heather Elias... I'm sorry it took so long.  It's funny.  At first I didn't know where to begin, and once I started, I didn't know how to stop !

Posted by

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Groups:
Texas Real Estate
Meme's!
Almost Anything Goes
Texas Real Estate and Realtors
We Are Women!
Tags:
my new years eve meme

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainer
46,177
Jackie Peraza
Perceptions AdverStaging(TM), LLC - Framingham, MA
Home Stager - Framingham, Massachusetts

Karen Anne!  How did I miss this MeMe?!  Never mind, I found it now.  Actually, much of what you write is like reading a MeMe from you and that's why I subscribe to your blog, but this was extra special.  I'm looking forward to you getting tagged again, too!

Karen Anne, did you ever have opportunity to teach those coming into the training the importance of being on time for their shifts?  I do understand life happens, but jeeeez.... I'm looking forward to your response on that.  Also, I wanted to let you know, though I'm betting you had great fun riding that cycle I'm glad you stopped riding - you've given much - what would  Mrs. Miller have done? ;)

Jackie

Jan 08, 2008 09:14 AM #29
Rainmaker
1,004,361
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Hi Jackie:  I too am so glad you found me MeMe.  Yes, I guess I don't only write about 100% real estate stuff.  But to me, real estate is about relationships.  And, the only way you can have relationships is by sharing yourself with others.  So I guess I can see what you mean about how reading many of my normal posts is similar to reading as if I wrote a MeMe.  About being tagged again... let's wait at least another month to six weeks, ok ?

Jackie, I totally understand what you mean about being on time.  Getting to DuPont Circle in the middle of DC at 7:00am isn't the easiest thing to do, but yes, it was a Crisis Center.  I guess they didn't connect their being late with my having to shut down the entire Crisis Line by putting all the lines on hold.  I felt horrible each time I had to leave... and do that.  I stayed as long as I could, but I could not afford to get fired, either.

And... I'm glad I stopped riding the cycle, too.  The road below me looked like it was going by awfully fast at 98 miles an hour.  I know, it was stupid to drive that fast, but if I had hit some loose gravel at 60, the result would have been the same... street pizza.  As horrible as that phrase sounds, that's how bad I would have looked.  And so... because I quit riding, dear Mrs Miller was able to get her vacuum cleaner fixed.  Jackie, when I read your comment, you made me smile a smile as big as you show in your picture.  Thank you for that.  Take care... and thanks for your kind words.

Jan 08, 2008 02:05 PM #30
Ambassador
1,089,674
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
Seems that MANY of the good RE industry peers we have here have done some good for the people and community. I worked and volunteered for a residential program, I worked for a Family Law attorney and ...well, we're still helping people :)  I'll look forward to your next meme :)
Jan 10, 2008 05:08 PM #31
Rainmaker
1,004,361
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Hi Sally:  Yes, we still are helping people.  I think that is really what life is all about.  Thank so much for your kind words.  From you, they mean a lot.  It's funny, but I just could not get started writng this MeMe... but once I did start, I had trouble stopping.  Take care...

By the way, Sally.  Did you read the comments, too?  There is some pretty good stuff in them, too.  Sometimes my comments are longer that other people's posts... LOL.

Jan 10, 2008 05:21 PM #32
Ambassador
1,089,674
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
Oh, you wouldn't believe how much I read...I read posts, comments, come back and see if responses are made from my comments (like now :) and yup...time...got to have more time....
Jan 11, 2008 02:53 PM #33
Rainmaker
1,004,361
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Sally:  Well, thanks for coming back and checking in.  Sometimes when I comment back to comments, I really wonder if I am only talking to myself.  I myself go back to some comments I have made on other people's posts to see if my comment got a response, but I wondered if anyone else did that, too.  Take care...
Jan 11, 2008 04:16 PM #34
Ambassador
1,871,147
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
Karen Anne, thanks for sharing five elements of your life from teacher-psychologist-crisis line to accordion, motorcycle owner, half a horse and back to teaching. It reflects how we keep thinking about what interests us and is so meaningful to us and head in those directions.
Jan 11, 2008 05:57 PM #35
Rainmaker
1,004,361
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Hi Gary:  Sometimes I feel I have led a pretty boring life, or at least, right now it is boring... but I guess when I look back at it, I have done some pretty interesting and diverse things.  Thanks for visiting, Gary.  Take care...
Jan 11, 2008 06:32 PM #36
Rainer
13,235
Heather Jemison
Keller Williams The Marketplace One - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas & Henderson, NV

Karen - Great MeMe! It sounds like if you want something you go after it. Many people only dream how they want their lives to be. But you certainly make it happen. The callers to the Crisis Center were very lucky to have you.

 

Jan 30, 2008 03:08 PM #37
Rainmaker
1,004,361
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Hi Heather:  I really valued the years I spent at the Crisis Center.  Giving Back and Paying it Forward are such a large part of what makes living really real.  As far as dreaming... yes ma'am, I am still dreaming.  Some days I wonder if I am all dreamed out, though.  Thanks for your kind thoughts.  Take care...
Jan 30, 2008 04:46 PM #38
Rainmaker
215,743
Lucky Lang
Keller Williams Realty Marco Island - Marco Island, FL
Marco Island & Naples Florida Real Estate

Karen Anne,

Wow!!!  This is quite the meme!!!

I just added it to my alphabetical meme list.  Thanks for the link!

Take care,

Lucky :)

Mar 04, 2008 10:14 PM #39
Ambassador
533,574
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Karen Anne...I wonder when you worked at the Crises Center.  I volunteered at a women's shelter in D.C. in the late 1980's early 90's. 

Sometimes we even surprise ourselves when we look back and remember all the different things we've done.  These MeMe's really serve a great purpose.  It helps others to get to know us and it helps us to reflect upon all the things we've done.

Take care,

Kathleen

P.S.  I was reading Carol's recent MeMe and saw she selected you and that you had written this.

Mar 18, 2008 06:24 PM #40
Rainmaker
1,004,361
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Hi Lucky:  Thanks for adding my MeMe to your list.  I am glad you enjoyed it.  Take care... and... thanks for all the work you do keeping up with all the MeMe stuff.
Mar 18, 2008 06:34 PM #41
Rainmaker
1,004,361
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Hi Kathleen:  I worked at the DC Suicide and Crisis Center in the late 80's and early 90's.  It sounds like we were both out there at the same time... trying to do our part to make the world a better and safer place.

With you working at a women's shelter in DC... here is a post of mine you might want to read.  When I First Met Karen Anne... A Tale of Domestic Abuse  Take care...

Kathleen... ooops... I just went back and checked... you already read it and commented on it.  I will just leave this link here in case others may want to click on it.  Again... take care...

Mar 18, 2008 06:39 PM #43
Rainer
1,601
Angela Wilson-Rush
Madison Settlement Services - Fort Worth, TX
There is alot I did not know about you. Man....you have done it all. Counselor, motorcycle rider horse rider. WOW! You have lived a really nice life. Not to sheltered and not too crazy. LOL
Apr 25, 2008 03:08 AM #44
Rainmaker
1,004,361
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Angela:  Parts of it were exciting, and parts of it were really sad.  It's the old "if only I knew then what I know now..." routine that sometimes gets to me.  There are more than a few things that I would have done differently, but that is all in the past.  Sometimes it drives me a little crazy... but, then again, with my being as "crazy" as I am... how would anyone know the difference... LOL.  Thanks for your kind words... take care.

Apr 25, 2008 08:17 AM #45
Rainer
178,448
Anthony Clark
Clark Partners - Fayetteville, AR
Real Estate. It's About Lifestyle!

Karen Anne  What an amazing life!  I would have loved to attend your folk masses  :)

May 29, 2008 04:16 PM #46
Rainmaker
102,627
Liz Carter
Liz Carter & Team Realty-Your Real Estate Resource For Life! - Katy, TX
Broker/Owner of Liz Carter & Team Realty, Katy TX (Houston)

Ms. Karen Anne, well I'm glad you got MeMe, or is it MeMed or MeMeed?  Even if it took three nice ladies to do it :).  Nice to know more about you, since it's been revived :).  Liz

flowers

Don't forget the BBQ contest, you have till June 10th, and we really need some more entries. 

May 29, 2008 04:55 PM #47
Rainmaker
1,004,361
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Hi Liz:  I would guess I've been MeMe'd... but what do I know ?  Yes, it took me awhile to do this, but when I was finally able to do it, I really poured myself into it.  I am glad you were able to read it and learn more about me.  I am happy to share.  And Liz... the flowers are really lovely.  Thanks so much.  Take care...

Jun 05, 2008 09:39 PM #48
Rainmaker
1,004,361
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Anthony:  I would have loved to have had you be a part of my folk masses.  Me and my partner on the alter leading my folk group behind me... also on the altar... and of course, leading the congregation in the pews.  It was a wonderful time... and it's great remembering it.  Thanks for your kind words.  Take care...

Jun 05, 2008 09:42 PM #49
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
1,004,361

Karen Anne Stone

Fort Worth Real Estate
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information