Beyond the Screen: Unexpected Blessings

Education & Training with Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.

"Being a member of ActiveRain is like being invited to dinner, and the next thing you know you're a member of the family."  -Carol Williams

Back in 2006, when I stumbled into ActiveRain, I took a leap into the unknown by accepting the invitation to "sign up". It was like accepting a mystery dinner invitation without knowing what was on the menu or who would be there.  Little did I know, this was setting the table for far more than participation on a social network - it would turn into a family feast.

In those early days, I was the typical lurker, quietly observing the constant exchange of ideas without actively participating. It was a new realm, and like many others here, I was hesitant to dive right in. It wasn't too long, though, before the urge to engage overcame my hesitation. I found myself commenting on posts, drawn into the active back-and-forth interactions. The sense of community was obvious, and I was surprised at how quickly I felt a part of it.

ActiveRain isn't just another platform; it's a community fueled by the generosity of its members. The willingness of so many to share their expertise and insights was not only inspiring but also infectious. It motivated me to want to contribute in a positive way and to be a part of this knowledge-sharing environment.

ActiveRain offered something more than just those online interactions, though. As I traveled, the anticipation of meeting members in person added a whole new dimension to these relationships and my travels as a whole. Imagine connecting with over 30 members in various places, turning digital handshakes into real hugs. Each meeting was a testament to the genuine bonds formed through shared interests and interactions online.

Through ActiveRain, I've found more than just professional connections; I've found friends, mentors, and a sense of belonging. It's a testament to the power of community in the digital age. As I reflect on these years, I'm filled with absolute gratitude for this unexpected journey and the 'family' I've gained along the way.

As I think back on when I accepted the invitation to "sign up" for ActiveRain, little did I know the feast of knowledge and friendship I would be experiencing. For that, I am extremely grateful.

I think the collage below includes all the ActiveRainers I've met at various times over the years, except Myrl Jeffcoat and Aura Alex. That's why they get special treatment in separate photos above. And, I noticed I have a couple of duplicates there.

Below are all the members I've met so far in my travels. Will you be next?   Whether I have met you in person or not, you're still family.

This is my 3rd entry into the ActiveRain November Gratitude Challenge hosted by Debe Maxwell, CRS

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Posted by

Carol Williams

"Information is FREE.
Knowledge, Experience & Integrity Are Priceless."

- Carol Williams

Retired: Real Estate Broker/Owner, Property Manager 
Coaching, goal setting, and marketing consultant

Active: Golf & Travel Blogger
"Golf isn't a sport. It's a lifestyle."

Happy March !

Comments (32)

Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Carol Williams,

Love your post! I still remember sitting at the Steiner Ranch Steak House having dinner watching the sunset when you came to Austin! So glad you made time!

Nov 22, 2023 06:13 AM
Carol Williams

I remember that evening very well, Dorie Dillard Austin TX 
I remember the amazing dinner, dessert, and that sunset!

Nov 22, 2023 07:41 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Carol Williams When we met, I told you I felt like it wasn't the first time we met. You said it wasn't. We had spoken on the phone many times and had been on ZOOM meetings together. We were old friends. Actually  the William's SISTA's 

Happy Thanksgiving 

Nov 22, 2023 09:43 AM
Carol Williams

For sure, sista Hannah Williams 
It was a fun meet-up. I hope we can do it again.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Nov 22, 2023 10:07 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Carol, for sharing some of your memories. I will share this post on Twitter.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 22, 2023 09:51 AM
Carol Williams

Thank you, Roy Kelley 
I am glad you enjoyed it.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Nov 22, 2023 10:07 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Great post, Carol Williams, and I love the photos. So many AR member depicted!

Nov 22, 2023 04:56 PM
Carol Williams

Happy Thanksgiving, John Juarez 
Maybe someday I'll show up in your neighborhood. 😊

Nov 23, 2023 08:58 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

That might be the greatest family picture I’ve ever seen! So wholesome so beautiful and so full of food and smiles!! happy Thanksgiving, John

Nov 22, 2023 09:23 PM
Carol Williams

Thanks Laura Cerrano 
It's been fun meeting them all. I hope to add more to the collage.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Nov 23, 2023 08:59 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Good morning Carol,

17 years of grateful memories, thanks for sharing.

Wishing you and your loved ones all the best this Thanksgiving and always!



Nov 23, 2023 03:50 AM
Carol Williams

Thanks, Bob Crane 
I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Nov 23, 2023 08:59 AM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Carol,🏠 Reading about your experience with ActiveRain highlights the incredible value of community in the real estate industry. Your transition from a lurker to an active contributor is a testament to the power of engagement and collaboration. The connections and friendships you've formed underscore the importance of personal relationships in our professional lives. Thank you for sharing your journey; it's truly inspiring for professionals in any stage of their career. 🌐 #RealEstateCommunity #NetworkingSuccess 👥

Nov 23, 2023 06:15 AM
Carol Williams

Thanks, Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC 
It's been a lot of fun meeting so many AR members. I hope there will be many more in the future.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Nov 23, 2023 09:00 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Love your post!  You certainly have made a TON of friends and even acquaintainces in your travels who aren't AR members!  It's wonderful to be included in your post. 

For those that want the images larger - hold down the control button and use the roller ball on your moust to expand the page and photos! 

Looking forward to seeing you very soon and our next happy hour spot! 

Nov 23, 2023 06:42 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ

Likewise!  If it weren't for Anna "Banana" Kruchten , we would have never met, too ;) 

Nov 23, 2023 11:47 AM
Carol Williams

Happy Thanksgiving, Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ 
It's been so much fun spending time with you and the girls during my visits to the Phoenix area.

Nov 23, 2023 09:02 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Great post Carol,

Happy Thanksgiving to you all,

Sam Shueh

Sam Shueh

Nov 23, 2023 07:53 AM
Carol Williams

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving day, Sam Shueh 
I'm sure there will be turkey involved. 😊

Nov 23, 2023 09:03 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Carol Happy Thanksgiving Day. May you enjoy your day with family and friends. 🦃

Nov 23, 2023 09:38 AM
Carol Williams

Thanks, Will Hamm 
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family.

Nov 23, 2023 10:37 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

I've often said, that the connections we make here in the Rain are hard to put into words. Making true friendships with people we have never met face to face.  I miss the meetup days yet you have created your own style of meetups. What a journey Carol Williams 

Happy Thanksgiving!


Nov 23, 2023 11:00 AM
Carol Williams

Thanks, Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist 
It really has been quite a journey.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving day, Kathleen.

Nov 23, 2023 11:17 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Carol:

What a wonderful treat to read your post on this Thanksgiving Day. A real feast for the soul and the eyes!

Happy Thanksgiving, Carol!


Nov 23, 2023 12:17 PM
Carol Williams

Thank you, Jeff Dowler, CRS 
I hope you had a wonderful day with family and friends.

Nov 24, 2023 04:55 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Once again, I can’t believe how good that photo is, it’s like the best painting without trying that hard and it’s full of love’ :

Nov 24, 2023 04:24 PM
Carol Williams

Thanks, Laura Cerrano 
I trust you had a love-filled Thanksgiving too.

Nov 25, 2023 10:15 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Yes, we are like family and ActiveRain by far is the best real estate related platform ever, Carol. Thanks for including our pic in your post, visiting twice with you was a fun time!

Nov 24, 2023 05:00 PM
Carol Williams

Hi Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! 
I'm still remembering those amazing Empanadas we had for lunch on my first visit.  😊

Nov 25, 2023 10:16 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I joined in2007 but did nothing until mid 2009 . I really enjoyed two Raincamps I went to around 2010-11 

Nov 24, 2023 08:00 PM
Carol Williams

Hi Michael J. Perry 
I wasn't in a position to get to Raincamps when they were being done. I'm glad I've had the opportunity to travel and meet so many members on a one on one basis.

Nov 25, 2023 10:17 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I wish I had my way with words the way you do. You always put so much joy in everything you do Carol 🙂

Nov 24, 2023 08:17 PM
Carol Williams

Awwww, Paul. Thanks for the kind words.
I'm glad you enjoy my ramblings. 😊

Nov 25, 2023 10:17 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I like coming back to hear all of your stories. I hope everybody’s having a blessed holidays.

Nov 25, 2023 11:16 PM
Carol Williams

Thanks for coming back to revisit my story, Laura Cerrano.
Have a wonderful day.

Nov 26, 2023 08:13 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Sometimes the hidden benefit means far more than the original features. Great photos and so good to be able break bread with you in person.

Nov 27, 2023 06:41 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Carol Williams - You are so right, ActiveRain is like no other platform.  Members share stories, educate us, and support us.  

I enjoy seeing all the different contacts you have made in person through your travels.  

Nov 27, 2023 09:35 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

The platform is like a well written book or movie that offers residuals to the author after the initiation.

I am happy that you took my call and agreed to move your overnight to CT where there would be people to greet you instead of MA

Nov 28, 2023 06:48 AM