February Challenge Part 1 - What's your story?

Real Estate Agent with Atlanta Communities 303302

I guess everyone does have an individual story that is important to who we are today. We are the sum of all our experiences.

Mine began in Greensboro NC where I was born, in a snowstorm. I think it snowed more back then. Greensboro was a nice place to grow up. Maybe it was the times, but I spent many Summers on my bike. I would leave the house early and be gone all day. I wish we still had those days.

My father worked at an insurance company that was close enough for him to walk to work. And he did on nice days. This company had a swimming lake, and later a real pool, a restaurant for the employees that was subsidized by the company, tennis courts and picnic tables scattered around. No wonder he spent his career with this company!

I would spend days at the lake or pool and I learned to play tennis on this courts. We would have tournaments and I even won a trophy or two. My tennis career ended shortly after I played the top local player and he mopped the court with me.

I also grew up in the Scouting program, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout when I was 16. This was back before all the mess that came about later. I always thought I would be an adult leader with this organization, but I won't go near it now. Sad.

I had several mentors growing up. I was lucky to get a very good advisor in College that helped me get started in a career in Textiles! Yes, I started in a blue collar industry to the chagrin of my parents. My older brother became a lawyer. I guess I was supposed to be the Doctor.

I was in the textile business with my own manufacturing company for 15 years or so. That all ended when production went over seas. I loved the business of manufacturing and running a plant 3 shifts 6 days a week. When that ended with the sale of the business, I really didn't know what to do with myself. I was too young to retire. So like many, I looked around at things that might interest me and found Real Estate. How hard could that be?

During all this time I found that I loved to travel. In my business I traveled to Canada, Mexico, all over the US, and to Europe. We also dhdbusiness all over the world. Now that I am retired from Textiles, I can take my wife Cathy to places I have been that she did not get a chance to see.

One of my other passions is photography. Sometimes I get to combine the two. Before Covid, my photography club went on many day trips, weekend trips, and once a year we had a big trip to places like Nova Scotia, Michigan, Colorado, Utah, etc. These are mostly retirees in the club and we really have good times on these trips.

If I had been asked about life-altering experiences 5 years ago I would have mentioned the normal one. Getting married, first job in NY, kids. Now, unfortunately I have several to add. 4 Years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I went through courses of chemo and radiation treatments. I ended up losing 35 pounds and nearly dying, but I survived the ordeal and the doctors have essentially declared me cured. However, just as I was recovering and getting back on my feet, my wife was diagnosed with cancer. Back to chemo treatments and surgeries. She is in remission and we decided life may be short, so we are now getting out and doing things now instead of waiting to later.

Who knows what the future holds. I am hoping for grand kids sooner rather than later. I still have a second daughter that I need to see get married. And I am looking forward to traveling to Scandinavia later this year and Australia and New Zealand soon after. At this point, no actually much sooner, I usually say, "Enough about me, what about you?"

Posted by

Peter den Boer, Associate Broker, Realtor

Atlanta Communities Real estate Brokerage


Ph. 770.713.1545



I write about daily life as a Realtor in the Towne Lake Community in Woodstock Georgia.

Comments (21)

Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

Hi Peter, nice post. I would like to see more of your photography, the two you posted here look great. Traveling is a great way to make memories and get great pictures. I hope you get to do a lot of both.

Feb 24, 2022 08:41 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Peter - I so agree, do what you want to do now! You and your wife have created a wonderful lifestyle and isn't it grand that you're able to travel and take advantage of all you can at this stage of life.  I am wishing both you and your wife good health and a future full of adventures (and grandkids too.  I truly enjoyed reading your story - much of what I had no idea about!!

Feb 24, 2022 09:02 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Peter: Your post was a stunning reminder that we all need to live life to its fullest EVERY DAY. Thank you so much for sharing!

Feb 24, 2022 09:09 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Peter - thank you for sharing your experiences.  I had some of the same, being in scouting and having photography as a hobby.  Glad you are both on the mend.  Enjoy life.

Feb 24, 2022 09:24 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Peter - thank you for sharing your story.  Becoming an Eagle Scout was definitely a big deal and I imagine the skills learned in achieving that designation have influenced many parts of your life. 

I agree with the you and the other comments you have received that acknowledge life can be cut short for many reasons so living it to its fullest has many countless rewards.  

Feb 24, 2022 10:08 AM
Ed (Edward) Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

You may not have been a doctor but most likely have had a more satisfying life than the lawyer brother

Feb 24, 2022 04:37 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Peter- I so enjoyed reading about your background!  What an interesting life you've had...I mean, I only know one other Eagle Scout!  Life seemed to throw you and your wife a wallop with cancer but I am glad that you are both doing well. Now get out and travel!!

Feb 24, 2022 07:22 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Stories are important in context to the world about the world, you know what I mean

Feb 24, 2022 09:02 PM
Cari Edwards
People Are My Priority! 619-634-5011 - San Diego, CA
Mobile Notary + Certified Loan Signing Specialist

Hi Peter, thank you for sharing... nice to hear about people's lives and personal stories and victories.  My mom recovered miraculously from ovarian cancer ( I write about it a bit in my first post) .  I'd be happy to share info of helpful things we've learned along the way if you are ever interested.  The best to you and your family!  

Feb 24, 2022 10:28 PM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

Enjoyed reading your journey into real estate . My wife has been cancer free for 10+ years now and I agree live life to its fullest one day at a time. You grew up in a beautiful part of the country, I have many roots in NC. Thanks for sharing your story.

Feb 25, 2022 04:27 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I love your photos and the idea of a photo club traveling to take photos (and have fun). I agree about living life now. And I'm sorry to hear about both your and your wife's cancer experiences. Here's hoping it's clear sailing from here on.

Feb 25, 2022 04:54 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Peter,

Glad you are surviving to get back to thriving. Happy trails this year!

Feb 25, 2022 05:16 AM
Gwen Fowler SC Lakes & Mountains 864-710-4518
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Walhalla, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

I enjoyed your post.  Thanks for sharing.

Feb 25, 2022 05:40 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 / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Peter,
Life-altering experiences change our perspective in a hurry, don't they? Life is too uncertain to put off the things that bring us joy. Your post reminded me of how much time we spent on our bikes as kids. That was our main mode of transportation.  I, too, enjoy photography. I have a good eye for composition but I don't have the technical skills to be considered a real photographer. That's something I should work on.

Feb 25, 2022 06:06 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

As a two-time survivor myself, I say, "You've got grit and the attitude to endure anything!" Thank you for sharing this story.

Feb 25, 2022 06:15 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Peter:

I really enjoy reading about you and all that you've done. So sorry to hear about the cancer for you and your wife but glad to here about the outcome. Yes, it's a good lesson to not put off doing things you would like to do...life is not always what we expect!

Enjoy your weekend!


Feb 25, 2022 04:12 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Peter den Boer - I absolutely, positively loved how you opened up your story! It began with tranquility and picturesque beauty! Immediately, I knew there was something intriguing about you and where this story would lead to. Soon, I learned what I already knew, boys who stick with Scouting, become Eagle Scouts become the best men! But that was then, now Boy Scouts have put a sour taste in many mouths and that really is sad. 

Being part of a photography club sharpened your vision to zoom and see what others never saw! It is terrible, that travel has changed all due to COVID robbing the most potentially talented photographers of their future. I am in awe by your photograph!

In the span of four years, you and your family certainly have had life-altering experiences that surpasses lives that many people choose to whine about for selfish reasons; they all pale in comparison to what you went through and your wife. Your boundless love for each other can get you through anything. 

I have to belief there is a happy ending for all of you and getting through cancer and treatments is a gift many never receive. I pray for good health to you, your wife, and children and may prosperity follow you leaving trails of blessings for all. Yours was a true chicken-soup-for the soul and I wish better days without waiting, your wife is right!  

Feb 26, 2022 06:28 AM
Peter den Boer

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP , thank you so much for the kind words. You made my day!

Mar 03, 2022 05:32 AM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Peter den Boer 
You said - At this point, no actually much sooner, I usually say, "Enough about me, what about you?"  That's what I remember about meeting you at an AR Meet-Up. You were interested in others. Glad you made it through the cancer situations. It is a tough journey. All the best - Lynn

Feb 26, 2022 04:04 PM
Anthony Kirlew
Group 46:10 Network @ eXp Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Real Estate Deals!

Thanks for sharing your story and your lovely photos. I am so glad to hear that you and your wife have both recovered. If we don't have our health, not much else matters. Wishing you the best!

Mar 02, 2022 08:52 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you for sharing your story.  I hope you enjoy your trips later this year and I hope we get to hear those stories too.

Mar 12, 2022 03:51 PM