Our home, built in 1873 and expanded over time, still includes the formal parlor and dining room of the original Victorian-era house. 12-foot-high ceilings in both rooms, separated by heavy, wood pocket doors that we slide, creaking and squeaking on their old tracks. Over the fireplace mantel in the parlor, we hung a silkscreen, “Nantucket Lightship Baskets”, created by American artist, Robert Bushong. We bought it in the town of Nantucket from the artist, himself, during our honeymoon. While the finance department objected, the design department prevailed. In each house we’ve owned, we’ve hung “Nantucket Lightship Baskets” over the fireplace. It’s a striking piece that has aged well; it reminds us of our start to married life.
On the opposing wall, to the right of a large, Victorian-sized window, are three roughly 11” x 13” watercolor paintings, each depicting one of the houses in which we’ve lived during our marriage. These evoke memories of other starting points. The house in which our children were infants and toddlers. The house in which they grew through middle school, high school, and college. And the house to which mom and dad moved after both kids had finished college.
There’s another memory that goes with the watercolors. The first was a gift from the real estate agent who helped us sell the first house and buy the second. After we’d been in the second house for a few months, she came to the door with the painting. We were surprised and so delighted that we hung the watercolor of the first house on the wall opposite the front door in the second. In time, we commissioned the same artist, Bill Harland, to paint the second house… and then, when we moved again, to paint the third.
Seven years after buying the third house, we had to poke through copies of documents to find the name of the real estate agent who facilitated our sale-and-purchase from the second house to the third. Neither of us could remember.
Twenty-six years after we sold the first house, we remember without hesitation Pat, our real estate agent – her name and the deeply personal attention, counsel, and encouragement she gave during the sale-and-purchase transaction. She lives on in our parlor, just to the right of the window… memorable.
Nick Miller is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. He assists banks and credit unions to generate more and more profitable relationships, faster, with business clients, their owners, and their employees through better sales strategies and execution. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.
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