Everyone Has a Story About Their Beginnings

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899

This month’s AR Challenge is “ What’s Your Story,” inspired by Richie Alan Naggar and hosted by Carol Williams and Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker.

Each and every person has their own unique story of their personal experiences which shape who they become, what they stand for and how they live their life. I’m pretty sure I won’t be writing a book about my life but this challenge has given me the opportunity to reflect on my beginnings, upbringing and how my parents provided the building blocks for a solid foundation to live my life.


My dad is from Clermont, New Hampshire and my mom is from Junction City, Kansas. They met in college and after graduation moved to Schenectady, NY where my dad worked for General Electric and my mom stayed home to raise my sister, myself and my younger brother.


They bought a home on 2 acres outside Scotia NY, which is where I grew up. These are the things I remember:

We played outside until dark, often staying out late catching fire flies

We often played hide and go seek, usually after dark

We made forts in the woods during the summer; built snow men in the winter, and built snow forts, which we defended vigorously with intense snow ball fights

We snow skied, ice skated, and went sledding

We loved to decorate for Christmas and strung popcorn, cranberries, and made paper green and red chains to hang on our freshly cut tree with colored lights

We raked leaves in the fall and loved jumping and rolling in the piles, the smell was intoxicating

We climbed the apple trees in our back yard, loved our forsythia bushes, peonies in hot pink, white and light pink, lilac bushes and stunning rhododendrons

We built dams in the creek surrounding our house and played for hours

We walked to school and then walked back

We played board games and cards on bad weather days

Our parents were always home, there for us and we ate dinner together

My mom baked mouthwatering cookies, cakes, pies, cinnamon rolls every week

We picked cattails and bittersweet along the road and made gorgeous fall arrangements for our table. We picked violets and daisies and made little bouquets, bracelets, rings and head bands

At night I read under the covers until mom yelled to shut the light out

My sister and I shared a room and we scratched each other’s back, giggled telling stories until late at night, and looked out our window at the stars whispering in amazement

Our property was the neighborhood go-to place to play kickball and baseball

TV only had 3 channels and went off at midnight playing the National Anthem

We had a huge garden and were expected to weed and help can the produce for our pantry in the basement and always had fresh food to eat

I went to the library every Tuesday night with my dad to check out books

We drove to Vermont often to see my grandparents, aunts and cousins

We took a vacation to one of the lakes each summer and always enjoyed fishing

Our homework came first and then we raced outside to play with our friends

Each of us kids sported different personalities and likes as we entered HS but our parents encouraged us to be true to our self and pursue our talents….no judging

My mother was a wonderful seamstress and encouraged me to design and make outfits with her supervision 

My parents were frugal, having married during the war, but taught us the value of homeownership as they paid their home off in 7 years and we celebrated


There are so many fond memories of growing up when I did. It was a special time and the best of times. My parents raised us to learn the value of the dollar, work hard, be authentic, be trustworthy, respect others, capitalize on our talents, love what we do, like ourselves and never lie. We knew there were consequences for our actions and a good spanking was the norm.

I was blessed to have parents who loved us, supported our hopes and dreams, taught us to problem solve and was always there for us. It gave us the stability to help us face life and all its challenges, always to reach for the stars, even if we had failures along the way.

"I sustain myself with the love of family." 

Maya Angelou







Posted by

Austin TX Canyon Creek Real Estate Agent

(512) 750-6899


My ActiveRain Blog

Austin Real Estate Website

Canyon Creek Neighborhood

I specialize in Listing and Selling homes in the NW Austin Area. I use my experience to guide clients through the process, whether selling or buying. It’s a beautiful thing when your career and a passion come together. I love what I do!

Comments (21)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Dorie - wonderful memories and warmly shared.  

Feb 13, 2022 06:40 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Thank you Michael Jacobs !

Feb 13, 2022 06:49 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Dorie... sounds like an idyllic childhood to me... you don't need a lot in terms of material things... just a loving home and parents who instill values in their children.

Feb 13, 2022 06:46 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

So true Nina Hollander, Broker 

Feb 13, 2022 06:50 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Dorie, for sharing some of your personal story.

Feb 13, 2022 08:50 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

You are moost welcome Roy Kelley 

Feb 13, 2022 11:13 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Dorie Dillard Austin TX - It sounds like you had a wonderful childhood which helped to create the woman you are today. 

Feb 13, 2022 09:30 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Thank you Sheri Sperry - MCNE® !

Feb 13, 2022 11:14 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Dorie those were much simpler times, and I feel the children of the past few generations have been deprived of them, and the values they instilled.

Feb 13, 2022 11:04 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

I couldn't agree more George Souto 

Feb 13, 2022 11:14 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Dorie,
I loved reading about your wonderful childhood memories. I've often wondered what it would have been like to have a sister. I had one older brother.

Feb 13, 2022 11:12 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Thank you Carol Williams 

Feb 13, 2022 11:15 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Dorie- I loved your story and all of the wonderful things you remember when you were growing up. Your parents gave you and your siblings the kind of life we whish all children could have. 

Feb 13, 2022 11:42 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

It was a real flashback when I started reflecting! I was so fortunate to live in those times where kids could be kids and worry about blossoming later!

Feb 13, 2022 03:34 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Dorie Dillard Austin TX we did grow up in wonderful times. Many of the things you share about what you remember growing up are shared by me as well. Oh, how times have changed!!!

I do agree that our personal experiences shape who we become, what we stand for, and how we live our life.  We learn to overcome adversity or we learn to be a victim. 

Paying off a home in 7 years!  Wow - a perfect lesson and something to celebrate. 

Feb 13, 2022 11:42 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Little did I know they set the stage for my real estate career!

Feb 13, 2022 03:35 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Dorie Dillard Austin TX  your post made me smile as I remember doing the same things .It was the best of times it really was 

Feb 13, 2022 12:44 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Yes Hannah Williams it was!

Feb 13, 2022 03:35 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

What a wonderful story about your family, Dorie.  I was especially looking at that photo with your sister and brother.  You have the same smile now that you had back then.

Feb 13, 2022 01:55 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

We all went our different ways but its been amazing how close we have become now....when your parents are gone, you are all that is left to tell the stories and remember when Myrl Jeffcoat !

Feb 13, 2022 03:37 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

This is a very fun read Dorie Dillard Austin TX as I can identify with so much of it. Our parents really set the stage for our lives. Yours did a great job.

Feb 13, 2022 04:14 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Thank you Bob "RealMan" Timm 

Feb 15, 2022 05:18 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Your childhood was just like so many others of children born after the War. Learn to have fun with the kids in the neighborhood and with the stuff we found around the neighborhood. Simple values that left long memories

Feb 13, 2022 04:44 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

That is for sure Ed Silva 

Feb 15, 2022 05:18 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I loved learning more about your upbringing and really enjoyed seeing the family picture, it definitely shows a family that is happy being together!

Feb 14, 2022 05:46 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

It was a different time and era but a happy one Brian England 

Feb 15, 2022 05:19 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Dorie loved reading your background, now with that said, I remember the days of a few channels on TV and just to be clear pre remote days I was the Remote... my father would say change to CBS or NBC or Fox 11:)) Endre

Feb 14, 2022 10:22 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Endre Barath, Jr. so funny..you are right..no remotes..and parents had more control over what was watched except Saturdays with the Lone Ranger and cartoons!

Feb 15, 2022 05:21 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

I can relate to many of the things you did in your childhood. We would spend most of the day outside making up games etc as kids. Thanks for sharing your story.

Feb 15, 2022 03:53 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Thank you Buzz Mackintosh 

Feb 15, 2022 05:21 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Dorie - really is just about the same as my upbringing.  Although my mother was an artist she did not pursue it professionally until I was in college.  She was always home.  And we played outside until dark.  My mother had the car on Thursdays when my father got a ride to work.

Feb 16, 2022 06:13 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

I loved this story. So great to share it with others.


Feb 16, 2022 09:07 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Thank you Ginger Harper 

Feb 17, 2022 05:14 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

What a wonderful childhood story you have Dorie!  One that I think a lot of us share so many similarities! I so remember the forts in the woods, the snow forts and snowball fights, playing with the neighbor kids till it was dark and the hiding n seek!  You had awesome parents!  Love your photos.  I still see your smile is still as big as it was when you were little!  Love it!

Feb 16, 2022 03:10 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

It was a time kids were kids and we found so much to do to fill our days Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker !

Feb 17, 2022 05:15 AM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Dorie, Love all the values, family centered strengths and good times we'd sure lke to see written more about today.  Active Rain is bringing it back with blogs like this.  Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Feb 16, 2022 05:29 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Hi Kris Collis, Associate Broker ,

Challenges like this cause us all to take a trip down memory lane. It felt good to reminiscence. 

Feb 17, 2022 05:17 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

If we were kids growing up together, I believe I wouldn't have ditched school

Feb 18, 2022 11:44 AM