Tag Archive | lifestyle

Big-city sprawl is stealing small-town charm

I like living in a small town. There are so many quirks that you don’t get to enjoy anywhere else. Like the one time I went to a community theater to see a play. As everyone was settling into their seats, a man in a bathrobe walked in. I saw him and assumed he was […]

Maybe you should try decluttering your house before listing it for sale

Years ago, I worked in a small real-estate office. One of the agents got a new listing, so she asked me to drop in and take photos. As I dropped in, my jaw dropped. Random junk sat atop every conceivable surface. It looked as if a tornado had struck a knickknack shop. There were dog […]

Going the distance – albeit with short bursts of speed

I’m more of a sprinter than a long-distance runner. Actually, let me clarify. When it comes to track, my preferred position is spectator. But if you were to drag me back in time to high school, re-enroll me in my sophomore year, and force me to fulfill my physical-education requirement by taking a semester of […]

An essay of epic proportions

I sat down to write a blog post the other day, and this overwhelming sense of exhaustion draped over me. The idea of piecing together a coherent essay – complete with a gripping lede, a compelling thesis, and a succinct conclusion to tie it all up – seemed daunting and not worth the strain. I […]

Being curt doesn’t make you businesslike

I’m noticing a trend lately where people respond to e-mails with an abrupt, terse tone. No greeting. No “please” and “thank you.” Just a curt, one-sentence response, with a sprinkling of condescension. I imagine they’re trying to sound confident and authoritative. After all, real professionals don’t waste time with pleasantries or kindness. Real professionals are […]

Giving directions using long-ago landmarks

I used to work as the receptionist for a small real-estate office. A guy walked in one morning. “I’m new in town, and I just rented a house from you guys,” he said. “Do you by chance know where the FedEx pickup box is?” “Sure,” I said. “Just go to the shopping center where the […]

The incessant whining of House Hunters couples

If I were a masochist, I might reach out and flush the toilet while showering. Or, I could stick my hand in a beehive and pluck off a chunk of honeycomb. Or, easier yet, I could simply watch a marathon of House Hunters reruns over the weekend. Talk about excruciating agony. If you’ve read this […]

What your real-estate agent is really telling you

Real-estate professionals speak a language all their own. However, with the right training (and a couple of evening real-estate courses), you, too, can comprehend the baffling jargon agents use to confound their clients — as well as impress each other. “Today we’re going to be looking at a cozy bungalow that’s right in your price […]

Where I was from

“I am always drawn back to the places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods.” — Truman Capote “There is no real way to deal with everything we lose.” — Joan Didion My childhood home is destroyed. Abandoned. Most of the back fence has blown down, and where a gazebo once stood sits […]

Where everyone jogs