Reluctant and Thankful

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) DRE# 00949880

My wife, Mary Margaret, said she wanted to go to Israel this year and, to say the least, I was reluctant and a more than a bit wary.  I was not even sure that it was going to be safe, but the old saying applies, "happy wife, happy life."  We made the arrangements.  It was an incredible journey as you may know from my post, Our Israel trip.  It turned out to be one of those "bucket list" vacations that you do not know about until it is over.  I am very thankful for that, but there is much more that I am thankful for regarding the trip. 

The Dome on the Rock and the Western wall were amazing to see in person.  It is the crossroads to three major religions.  We were able to visit the Dome on the Rock, though the attire for Mary Margaret, such a modest dresser, had to be modified, the Western Wall and the Garden of Gethsemane.  

Mary Margaret at the Dome on the Rock  

Those three areas are a microcosm for the whole country.  We also traveled to the Occupied territories.  The territories that made it clear that it was against Israeli laws for Israelis to visit.  Our guide just ignored them.

Flags near the Occupied Territories

We visited the Golan Heights.  An area of the world that I have heard about since childhood.  From the top of a bluff, we looked into Syria and saw abandoned UN tents.  We walked through Old Jerusalem as the Muslim call to prayer was trumpeted from all of the surrounding Minarets. We visited areas of the country that were desolate and we visited areas of plenty growing dates, mangos, bananas and other rich crops  that were absolutely thriving.  We visited the Mediterranean Sea.

The Mediterranean Sea

We visited ancient sites and we visited areas recently developed.  I am thankful for all of it, but I am even more thankful for the new appreciation Israel and the challenges that country faces.  I am thankful that even with all of its challenges, the country still is able to function well.  We think of our country as divided.  It is to a certain extent, but nothing like it could be. 

Looking into Syria from the Golan Heights

Looking into Syria from the Golan Heights

What am I most thankful for?  A wife that sees the world with a much clearer vision than I do.  A wife that challenges me to do new and exciting things. A wife that looks good in two potato sacks!  I say this all of the time.  I did one thing right in this world and that was to convince this cute, blue eyed, blond girl to marry me.  They say that behind every great man, there is a greater women.  That is NOT Mary Margaret! 😆  She is a leader and a good one.  We have achieved so much more than I had ever imagined.  I am a lucky man.  BTW-on most days, we stand shoulder to shoulder.  I may not be a good follower either.

Thank you for this month's Thankfulness Challenge, Debe Maxwell, CRS.  Today we are off to Thailand.  Can you guess the subject of my next entry?

Posted by

             eXp Realty of California, Inc

Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, e-Pro

Past Client Testimonials   

3412 Babson Drive

Elk Grove, CA 95758




Comments (21)

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 Ray,
This recap of your trip to Israel brought back many fond memories of a 3-week trip my husband and I took many years ago. Of all the places I've been around the world, that is one place I'd love to go back to. It probably won't happen, though, because I'm kind of over my desire for international travel.  Thanks again for stirring those memories.


Nov 08, 2022 07:49 AM
Ray Henson

International travel is daunting, Carol Williams.  Our trip to Thailand was a long one for sure, but we are sure enjoying it now! 

Nov 10, 2022 01:45 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Ray and great blog about your trip to share with us here in the Rain.  Make it a great one.


Nov 08, 2022 08:03 AM
Ray Henson

Thank  you, Will Hamm

Nov 10, 2022 01:46 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Ray, you have repeated your thankfulness to marry MM over and over, and it is SO cute.   Your trip does sound like a trip of a lifetime.

Nov 08, 2022 09:17 AM
Ray Henson

It was a blast, Joan Cox.  The one we are on now is a blast too, but in a very different way.  You will probably hear about MM again.  😃 

Nov 10, 2022 01:47 AM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
Specializing in Multifamily Projects Nationwide

Hi, Ray: It's always fascinating to learn about the history and heritage of traveling in different countries. I loved your post and look forward to one from Thailand! I'm curious to learn how you see Thailand through your lens. Your eyes. 

Have a fun and safe trip. Warm hello to Mary Margaret. 

Nov 08, 2022 09:19 AM
Ray Henson

Do you follow me on FB, Aura Alex? I have posted a few videos and lots of pictures.  We  are really enjoying ourselves. We survived our first Thai massage today and we are off to Koh Samui tomorrow.

Nov 10, 2022 01:50 AM
Aura Alex

Ray Henson: sorry, I don't do Facebook. I found your Thailand post today on AR. 

Nov 27, 2022 11:13 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Ray it's fun to read your recap of your Israel Trip.  What I like even more is your glowing praise of your awesome wife Mary Margaret!  you are blessed indeed, as is she!!

Nov 08, 2022 09:46 AM
Ray Henson

Thank you, Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker.  It looks like I need to fix her picture in this post.  I hope all is well with you! 

Nov 10, 2022 01:51 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Sounds like an amazing eye opening trip and how wonderful to have a spouse that pushes you out of your comfort zone! 

Nov 08, 2022 11:04 AM
Ray Henson

I am lucky Lise Howe, but I don't always know it in the moment when she is doing the pushing.  Ha! 

Nov 10, 2022 01:52 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Ray- I am so glad that you had so much fun on your trip!!!  Kudos to MM for gently guiding you to do things that you may not want to do!!! Your praise for your wife is refreshing. 

Nov 08, 2022 07:58 PM
Ray Henson

Hi Kathy Streib!  Sometimes, I do not even recognize myself.  MM might just be a miracle worker.  😄 

Nov 10, 2022 01:55 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Such an incredible trip, I am so glad that you got to enjoy it.  I hope to be able to visit that area sometime but it was great living vicariously through you.

Nov 09, 2022 04:36 AM
Ray Henson

Thank you, Brian England.  I hope your get to visit Israel and that you enjoy it when you do. 

Nov 10, 2022 01:56 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Ray:

It was fun to read more about your trip to Israel, in addition to what you shared online and from when we had breakfast in Carlsbad Village when you and family were visiting. And now you are off traveling again...with a followup post I hope.

Nov 09, 2022 10:49 AM
Ray Henson

Thank you, Jeff Dowler, CRS.  I hope I brought a fresh angle to the story.  A post on Thailand should be in the works soon, if the beach doesn't distract me too much. 😎 

Nov 10, 2022 01:57 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

What an amazing trip of a lifetime, Ray. Mary Margaret has a wonderful influence on you to open your eyes to what she sees! Thank you for sharing the Israel trip with all of us here!

Nov 14, 2022 06:21 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Ray,

Of course, traveling to Isreal would be very exciting, but I really like the way you show how grateful you are for the way MM challenges you to do exciting new things!

Nov 16, 2022 02:29 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! I hope to be sharing a bit about Thailand soon.

It is ironic, Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, sometimes it takes me a short bit of time to realize how grateful I am.  MM can gently push me pretty far on her challenges.  It has been rewarding, though.  Thank you!

Nov 16, 2022 04:35 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Ray, not sure if you are back yet, but haven't seen a post on Thailand.   Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 24, 2022 07:27 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Happy Thanksgiving Joan Cox.  We have made it back from Thailand and the post will be soon.  😃

Nov 26, 2022 07:39 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

You and Mary Margaret sound so much like Ray and me, Ray! He also married a blonde haired, blue-eyed, very strong woman! LOL I'm with MM though - we only live once so, seeing the world is a MUST while we're here. I'm so glad you ultimately agree to travel with her. It enriches your mind as well as your heart. You'll forever be grateful for these times together.

What an exciting trip - love the photos and the information you shared. Israel is on my bucket list but, not Thailand. I'm still anxious to hear about your trip! (I need to catch-up on your posts...and everyone else's! LOL)

Thank you so much for sharing 'you' with us here in the Rain during this month's challenge. I'm thrilled that you were able to get 3 of the 4 weeks done! IMPRESSIVE!

Nov 27, 2022 08:05 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

It would be fun to meet you and Ray.  It does sound like we have a lot in common. 

Israel and Thailand were both bucket list trips, but so different.  Our next really big trip will be next year to Turkey.  It will be an extension of the Israel trip with the same guide.  There are just so many places to go.  It is hard to choose.

I was shooting for all four weeks, but having too much fun entered into the equation this month.  That could have been my subject for week four!  😃

Nov 28, 2022 05:16 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Ray, for sharing your travels.

It has been many years since we toured Israel.

Nov 29, 2022 03:21 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Ray Henson - I wish I had gone to Israel years ago to walk it all and take it all in and drop to my knees to pray. I never realized how amazing this trip until all the people I met in real estate talked about it. Not one person had anything bad to say and all encouraged me to go - some day. If I could, I would. 

Your post and the history drew me in and it was beautiful to read. Your last paragraph about how much you honor and respect your wife was the most beautiful part of the whole trip. Truly you are a partnership that works and I wish you and your family all the love, happiness, good health, and as many vacations as possible. 

Nov 29, 2022 11:27 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Good morning, Roy Kelley.  I hope you enjoyed Israel as much as we did.  I was surprised how much I enjoyed the trip.

Nov 30, 2022 05:45 AM
Roy Kelley

I was one of our best trips. The guides were outstanding.

Nov 30, 2022 07:49 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

One of our most powerful moments was while we were sitting in the Garden of Gethsemane, looking over what once was the Temple on the Mount, listening to our preacher give a sermon.  It was a powerful moment.  We also visited the site of the Sermon on the Mount.  Simple places with so much meaning.  

Nov 30, 2022 05:50 AM
Ray Henson

It looks like I forgot to tag you in my response, Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP.  My mind is slipping.  Good thing I take lots of pictures.  😃

Dec 01, 2022 07:22 AM