If I Had My Life to Live Over

If I Had My Life to Live Over


If I Had My Life to Live Over

Mimi Foster 1967Since the beginning of life, people have found (hopefully) that with age comes wisdom. I am in the process of moving from the home that my mother shared with us the last five years of her life. I am sorting and packing and tossing and decluttering and remembering. There have been fond memories and tears produced from many of the photos and memorabilia that have passed through my aging hands over the past few weeks.

Erma Bombeck was a gentle humorist who was popular in my younger years and wrote a daily column for national distribution to newspapers. I found this reflection tucked in a book. It was one that always struck a chord with me, and was a perfect reminder.

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more I love yous . . . more I’m sorrys . . . but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute . . . look at it and really see it . . . live it . . . and never give it back.

If you are going to love me, love me now

If you are going to love me, love me now


Virginia Elizabeth Jordan Henry

My mother was a wonderful woman. She would have been ninety-four today, but she passed away in April of this year. She lived with us for the last ten years of her life, and there are not many days that I don’t miss her.

In going through her belongings shortly after her death, I found a box of poems she had saved over the years. The following is one that touched my heart, and I thought it important enough to share. Don’t wait until it’s too late to let them know how much you love them. There aren’t any do-overs after they’re gone.

If you are ever going to love me, love me now,
while I can know the sweet and tender feelings
which from true affection flow.
Do not wait until I’m gone and
then have it chiseled in marble,
sweet words on ice-cold stone.
If you have tender thoughts of me, please tell me now.
If you wait until I’m sleeping,
never to awaken, there will be death between us,
and I won’t hear you then.
So if you love me, 
even a little bit,
let me know it while I’m living
So I can treasure it.

Virginia Jordan Henry

Dolphins Dance During Dinner

Dolphins Dance During Dinner


Dancing Dolphins

Diving into bubble ringsWe recently made the sad, final trip home to Florida to bury my mother in the family plot in St. Petersburg. It was a time of closure, of seeing long-lost relatives, and a time of relaxation.

We were blessed with a wonderful place that had a balcony overlooking the water. At odd hours during the day, the dolphins would play and entertain for long periods of time. One would blow a perfect surface bubble and another would jump through it. I imagine they were feeding on the thousands of small fish that congregated against the retaining wall, but it was a joy to watch nonetheless.

My daily life is blessed with wondrous views of mountains, especially Pikes Peak. But no matter how long I’ve been gone, the water and its inhabitants are still a siren’s song for me.

Dolphins Dance

Memorial Day 1969 – A Father’s Lesson

Memorial Day 1969 – A Father’s Lesson


Mimi FosterI loved my father. A decorated Veteran of World War II and Manager of the Veteran’s Administration, he was a quiet and compassionate man. When I think of him, I remember how he smelled faintly of cologne and cigarettes, his tender hugs, how handsome he was, his gentle smile. My mother said he was never the same after he came back from the War, but that meant nothing to a sassy young girl at the height of Viet Nam. The reality was, at an age when we think we know everything, I had no idea about the unique parts that made up the man that was my father.

In 1969, I was a typical sixteen-year-old of the era. Tall, skinny, waist-length straight hair, I was in a phase of life where I believed ‘shocking and flamboyant’ was fun. My boyfriend was in Viet Nam; his brother, Chuck, was my best friend. Chuck and I wanted to join in a Viet Nam Memorial Day Protest Rally that was taking place in Tampa, just a few miles up the road. I thought I was so clever as I worked diligently creating what I knew would be a startling sign I could carry to protest a war I knew nothing about.

We lived on “The Pink Streets” in St. Petersburg, Florida. A few blocks from Tampa Bay, the neighborhood was an exclusive and secluded area with moss-covered trees and Southern, tranquil gentility. St. Petersburg had a saying, “People retire to Miami, and their parents live in St. Petersburg.” So you didn’t do things like protest the War, because even a protest could produce the onset of heart attacks. And back then, sixty was really old, and I was just beginning to live.

Thrilled with my wit and the shock value of my finished product, I proudly took my sign to show Chuck and my father. “Fighting for Peace is Like F*cking for Virginityit proclaimed in bold, red letters. Stupefied, my father stood and took it from my hand.

Without saying a word, he walked out the back door and headed purposefully down the street. I watched as he walked steadily toward the water with my clever work of art. At first angry, then stunned, in quiet amazement I watched as he threw my masterpiece into Tampa Bay. After standing silently for several minutes, he turned and walked calmly home. Never previously having exchanged a cross word with my father, I was blindsided that he would have done something like that, but duly chastised with his silent fury.

Chuck and I didn’t attend the Protest Rally that day. Without a single word, my father had spoken volumes to me about the subtleties of perception. With maturity I’ve come to realize that you don’t need words to teach a lesson, and that the realities of war and youthful idealism cannot always be bound together to make truth.

Pot now available in retail stores in Colorado

Pot now available in retail stores in Colorado


Retail Sales of Marijuana Now Legal in some Communities

Marijuana Legal in ColoradoFor many years, my husband and I owned a dozen or so Downtown Colorado Springs rentals near Colorado College. Two of the houses were across the street from each other, and we affectionately called one The Pot House and the other The Beer House. On any given evening, students from Colorado College would move back and forth between the houses, partaking until the wee hours of the morning. At the end of one school year, one of the students (in The Pot House) wanted to stay an extra week after his roommates had already moved out. Since there was a lapse of several weeks before the next group was to move in, we didn’t have any major objections. He asked if he could work off a week’s rent by doing odd jobs around the house, to which we agreed.

One of the projects that he offered to undertake was painting the front door. Since he and his buddies had banged it up, my husband sanded the door and then set it up on sawhorses to give him a flat surface on which to work. He had always been a good worker, and we figured it would take him several hours to complete. On the evening of the second day when we went by the house and saw that the door was still not back on its hinges, we stopped to see what was going on. Approximately one quarter of one side was finished. As we approached him on the front porch, our young student looked up with a large smile and said, “Wow, man, look at the streaks this brush leaves before they disappear.”

Dave had the job finished within the hour, and we learned an enjoyable but valuable lesson – don’t count on tenants to understand your time schedule. 🙂

Double Paned Windows and Extreme Heat

Double Paned Windows and Extreme Heat


Broken sliding doorsHere’s something they don’t teach you in real estate school. I am blessed with a home that has a beautiful view of Pikes Peak. There are eleven sliding doors that face west, and on a hot summer day, it gets rather warm. With no warning in the extreme heat yesterday, one pane of the double paned window started cracking. I could hear it from my office upstairs, and I came down to try to figure out what the strange noise was. As I stood in the dining room, I could see one of the sliding doors developing spider web cracks, and while I watched in horror, it went from top to bottom of the window. To my further dismay, the one next to it started doing the same thing. By the time it was over, I had lost four sliders with absolutely no idea why.

We had a workman scheduled to come in today, and when he arrived he said, “I see your windows got too hot recently.” He went on to explain that it was a common problem with older sliding doors, and he once had to replace ten in one summer at one of his properties. Expensive lesson learned, but I don’t think there is anything I could have done to prevent it.

I Got ’em

I Got ’em


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Webb CityWhen I was a young girl in St. Petersburg, Florida (MANY decades ago), there was a wonderful place called Webb City on the corner of Ninth Street and Second Avenue. If you are over 50, I’m sure you remember. It was torn down in 1979, but one of my vivid memories is the Mermaid Show. I have no idea how many city blocks it occupied, but it was a conglomerate (probably much like WalMart today) of many different stores.

My grandparents had a friend whom people called “I got ’em.” He would drive his truck or ride his bike and deliver food and ice and do yard work during the 1920’s and 1930’s. As he got older, he would sit outside of Webb City and ring his bell and say, “I got ’em! Fresh fish! Caught ’em alive!” What a fond memory. What a different way of life.

My favorite room in the house

My favorite room in the house


Peaceful swingMy job requires me to spend a lot of time on the telephone. It always seemed unfortunate to me that I hated being on the phone, holding it to my ear, stopping everything I was doing and just having to listen. Then one day I got an earpiece, which really helped a lot, until I realized that I NEEDED to be STILL and listen to what was being said. So I found a phone booth, one that allows me to be ‘in the moment.’ I have learned how to FOCUS when I’m in this swing, and so when I have a phone call with a client or a friend or a child, I set everything aside and go to my favorite room in the house, even when it’s raining.

June in New York City

June in New York City


New York CityLast year we were truly blessed when my daughter Susie married Steve White on the top of a beautiful building in Downtown Manhattan. This was taken from the top of the Empire State Building.

Chester W. Henry

Chester W. Henry


It is hard to believe that it has been forty-one years today since I lost my precious father. This is the only picture I can find that I had taken with him, and the older I get, the more I cherish his memory. A gentle and compassionate man, he was taken from us all too soon.Chester and Mimi Henry Foster