ActiveRain Is About Relationships Where Geography Is No Barrier

Real Estate Technology with ActiveRain

(I'm an abject blogging failure. At the start of the year, I planned to post something once a week.......this is my second post this year to my personal blog. #FAIL. I can do better!)

Last week, I had the awesome opportunity to finally meet one of my closest friends here in the Rain. Sally has been an ActiveRain member since 2007. She joined in March of that year and soon after, she started blogging in the Rain.

Some months later, in June of 2007, my son Kelan was born. Sally and I had talked on the phone a few times by that point as I helped her learn the ropes of blogging on ActiveRain. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing that at that point in her life, Sally didn't think that she was going to have the blessing of grandchildren. So, she adopted Kelan as her grandchild. 

In the beginning, she was 'Grandma Sally in Hawaii'. Today, she is just 'Grandma Sally'. As Kelan got older, Sally got in the habit of sending him a gift on his birthday and on Christmas. She would also send along goodies for the rest of the family. There is never a shortage of macadamia nuts in our house! Out of the kindness of her heart, we always knew we were never too far away from a Grandma Sally care package with an assortment of awesome treats unique to Hawaii. 

A few years ago, Sally's daughter had her own son. Grandma Sally was now official. But even that didn't stop her from including Kelan and our family in her heart. I remember that when she found out she was was finally going to be a 'real Grandma' (although in our house, she already was) she called and asked me if it was still alright if she could keep being 'Grandma Sally in Hawaii'. (talk about melt your heart....."ABSOLUTELY" was my response)

Over the years, we've gotten in the habit of recording Kelan opening his presents from Grandma Sally and sending the videos along for Sally to be able to enjoy. 

One time, around 2008 or 2009, I had the good fortune of being invited by the Hawaii Association of REALTORS® to speak at their annual conference. Unfortunately, that year it was held on the Big Island, and Sally wasn't able to attend. It would be another 7 years before I would find my way back to the Islands. As luck would have it, last week we ended up on Oahu! (Sally's island)

When I found out that my wife, Erin, had a work trip that would take her to Honolulu, I knew that we had to meet Grandma Sally. It was the one (and only) thing we put on our schedule besides Erin's work appointments. While Erin did her appointments during the day, I worked from the lobby of the hotel. But Thursday night was set aside to finally get to meet Sally and her gracious husband Gary.

We made reservations to eat Korean BBQ at a little spot in Honolulu. The food was great! The company was a hundred times better. Finally, after all the phone conversations, the text messages, and the amazing Grandma Sally care packages, we got to properly say "thank you Sally". Thank you for adopting Kelan and showing him that people can impact your life without actually being there. Thank you for letting my son know that love has no physical boundaries. Thank you for supporting my marriage to Erin. Thank you for sending coffee to my mom. Thank you for being you!

It was a great night, albeit too short! I promise the next time we come back, we'll bring Kelan along, and you can finally get to meet him.........and his brother Chase! (due April 27th, 2016)

Posted by

Bob Stewart


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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. John Meussner 03/02/2016 06:21 AM
  2. Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman 03/02/2016 07:43 AM
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Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Bob Stewart 
Great choice for an extra Grandmother - that's for sure! Lynn

Mar 03, 2016 07:55 AM #78
Jim West
Real Estate Technology Partners - Marysville, OH
Our Passion Is Helping 1st Time Home Sellers

Awesome story Bob! And your bond with Grandma Sally is so surreal. We love Hawaii even though we are in Ohio. My wife and I got married there 10 years ago on The Garden Island but we went to Oahu for a week on that trip. The Adam Sandler movie 50 First Dates was filemd there and we ate breakfast in that very spot. Thank you for sharing and God Bless Grandma Sally!

Mar 03, 2016 11:16 AM #79
Shanna Day Team Leader AZ & UT - Call 480-415-7616
Keller Williams Realty EV (AZ) & Keller Williams SLC (UT) - Mesa, AZ
Top .0033% of 40,000+ Realtors in our MLS

Oh wow!   Love the happy story!   BTW - I live in Mesa so would love to run into you some time.  We met briefly at Keller Williams Family Reunion in Phx, but would love to learn more from you!   I'm working on being an expert in blogging, marketing and networking!   :)   Thanks for all the help!  

Mar 03, 2016 02:11 PM #80
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I've only met a few of my fellow AR members. Just another reason to bring back Rain Camps.

Mar 03, 2016 02:35 PM #81
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Bob Stewart - One of the great things about AR is the engagement from other bloggers on our posts.  I love to read what others say. Their comments matter. Though some times they say what I was thinking. Many did that today!  So all I can say is "ditto" and this is just another testament to show that this forum is all about building relationships. To me.... this is the true value of ActiveRain! Thanks for sharing!

Mar 03, 2016 08:12 PM #82
Cat Zwicker, CRS
Desert Sky Real Estate, LLC - Redmond, OR
Down to Earth Service; Out of this World Results!

Sally was one of my first connections on AR! What a great story and testament to the mentorship and friendships of Active Rain. 

Mar 04, 2016 11:20 AM #83
DEANNA EARLY - - ( NMLS # 268590 )
American National Bank & Trust - Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Highest Ranked Mortgage Loan Originator Virginia

ALOOOOHAAAAA !   What a great story, so touching.   Shame on you Bob Stewart for not setting the blogging example for all us Rainers but this one was truly a treat.   Congratulations on finally meeting your extended AR family to the west.   So when are you coming east ?   You've got AR family here too.

Mar 05, 2016 02:38 PM #84
Billy Simons
Trident Real Estate - North Charleston, SC

What a great story!


Mar 05, 2016 09:26 PM #85
Susan Laxson CRS
HomeSmart Professionals - La Quinta, CA
Local Knowledge & Global Network

A great story and definitely what ActiveRain relationships are all about and how we can benefit from knowing each other.  Wonderful share & congratulations!

Mar 06, 2016 03:00 AM #86
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

This is one of the sweetest blog posts I have ever read.  Love really has no boundaries.

Mar 07, 2016 04:14 AM #87
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

This is so good.  I love the message within this one and  thought it would be good to share this with others..


Mar 07, 2016 05:55 AM #88
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I'd love to do one day the same: to travel and meet some members:) 

Seems you had a great time. 

Mar 07, 2016 09:29 AM #89
Katharine Carey
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA

Love this. :) 

Mar 08, 2016 02:21 AM #90
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I have had a chance to meet Rainers in other parts of the country.  It is great when you get to meet them in person.

Mar 08, 2016 02:35 AM #91
Julie A. Black
KAUAI DREAMS REALTY Kauai Real Property Specialist - Kapaa, HI
CLHMS, CRS, GRI, Realtor, Broker

What a great story. I was there at the Hawaii annual conference and hear you speak. That's why and when I joined AR. I never could remember who the actual speaker was. Now I know. I do remember you telling the story about a shirt or jacket you were searching for. Thanks for coming to Hawaii. AR has been invaluable to me.  Blessings to you and your family.

Mar 08, 2016 05:16 AM #92
Peter Mohylsky, SoWal Is HOME.
Gulf Place @ 30A - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Let me help you find your path to the beach.

Great feel good  story , thanks for posting. 

Mar 08, 2016 05:59 PM #93
Bob Betel
Allstar Home Mortgage, Inc. - Sweetwater, TN
President, Allstar Home Mortgage, Inc

This was a great story that everyone here should read.

Mar 10, 2016 07:36 AM #94
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Saved this one to read when I "had time."  Time gets away from us and if we don't make that effort, it's just plain gone. You are living proof that making that effort and a lifelong "grandma" is possible for someone special, Kelan.  Congrats on making that happen and best of luck with your newest addition!

Mar 14, 2016 02:07 PM #95
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Hi Bob Stewart I'm a little behind on blogging as well. I seem to recall that your son was "actually" related to Sally through your ex-wife. Is that true?

Anyway, I'm glad you finally made the live connection.

Bill Roberts

Mar 22, 2016 10:52 PM #96
Mimi Foster
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

I looked up your site to encourage you and see how you were faring in your desire to blog more this year. I guess this gives me the answer.  You have so much writing talent. I look foward to more of your work. 

Mar 26, 2016 06:42 AM #97
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