I enjoy the honor of living in one of the most scenic places in the world, Door County, Wisconsin. This little Peninsula that sits in between Green Bay and Lake Michigan provides me with thousands of good memories (and good photos) every year. My biggest problem is that I often forget to take my phone out of my pocket--I'm too busy looking around!
This is a real estate paradise, and 2017 brought me my most challenging (and statistically best) year in real estate. I was so busy I'd sometimes have to stop and take a deep breath (or several, into a paper bag, so I wouldn't have a panic attack!). That is why the holiday season of 2017 was so meaningful....my girls were home from school and work for the holidays, and we had undergone a significant change in our family dynamic.
I went through some difficult years during the recession after a challenging divorce, including downsizing and being the sole caregiver and provider (in the real estate industry, where we are paid commission--no less--no given paycheck) during the recession, which hit our second home community HARD. We went from not knowing what a foreclosure or short sale or having listings sit on market for years to really understanding them IMPLICITLY---and then the pendulum swung and we went right back to the fast-paced, multiple counter-offer years that were 2016 and 2017. I never thought I could beat 2006 or 2007, and 2017 proved me dead wrong.
Through it all, all of the tough times, I had 2 constants: my wonderful daughters and my Golden Labrador, Abbi (Abercrombie Fitch Shumway--my girls named her when they were in junior high for their favorite brand ("Why not Ann Taylor?" one of my friends mused....). Abbi turned 10 in 2017, and seven weeks later, we lost her---she had suffered from epilepsy her entire life (try doing THAT as a single mom!) and in 2017, after a surgery, her liver started to turn from the medications she had been taking for 9 full years. We were all utterly devastated when she passed this year on July 19th in the course of three days.
MY FAVORITE MEMORIES OF ABBI
SHE LOVED THE WATER
One would have imagined that 2017 would have been a really bittersweet and sad holiday, but we had the opportunity to adopt a new girl, now a Black Labrador, named Khloe Shumway the Fuerst (Fuerst is my new married name, and Khloe keeps the "K" theme with my other daughters, Kaytlin and Kierra). It was a whole new holiday this year. Khloe is FUNNY. She helped fill a huge hole in our hearts
Khloe at Family Christmas Game Night
Last year, the Village of Sister Bay started its first ever Festival of Lights. So this year, 2017, was the second year. Last year we took Abbi down to her first (and only) Festival of Lights in downtown Sister Bay, and I got the best photo ever, one that I really love to remember her by. This was right before she got sick, and I love that she and Tim, my husband, had such a great time.
THIS WAS MY FAVORITE DOOR COUNTY
HOLIDAY MEMORY THIS YEAR....WE MISS YOU, ABBS
I actually read earlier today that creative writing is therapeutic, and blogging daily, as much as I can, is back on my HUGE priority list for 2018. I need to remember how much of a priority this is for me, because it helps me focus and to be a better broker. I actually feel better even writing these words and remembering Abbi and also how much fun we had with Khloe this Christmas. So I had two great holidays in a row, and I'm really grateful.
I had two back-to-back holiday seasons to remember. And for that, I am truly grateful.
Wishing you all a bright, safe, peaceful and happy 2018 from the Shumway-Fuerst household to yours.