Ray and I sell houses. Houses are homes. Homes have people. People have stories. Ellen touched our lives. We met Ellen when another customer called and said they had a dear friend that needed to sell her house. They told us "we trust you to take care of Ellen". And so our journey with Ellen began. What a gift we were given.
I have put together our Ellen story...just as I had it on our instagram and facebook. It touched my heart to see people love our Ellen, too.
I answered the phone the other day and was thrilled to be greeted with the familiar, "Hello my friend! How are YOU!" It was Ellen calling to let us know she was loving her new home and to share her new phone number. Before she moved I asked her permission to share her story. She asked, "Will they be nice stories?" I smiled at my dear friend and said "YES, they will be very nice".
My “Ellen”lamp. Ray & I were helping an elderly customer pack. (Her house closes in 10 days) She made this lamp 35 years ago! She was going to throw it away! It is now proudly being used in my kitchen.
“Ellen” story. Spent another day helping our Ellen (our elderly widow customer) pack. While I was going through a cabinet I came across an old men's cologne bottle. I handed it to Ellen & asked if this was her “hubby’s” (that’s how she refers to him) . She took it, held it for a moment, opened it & enjoyed the scent. Then she held it close. She looked at me & we both had tears in our eyes. She said “ oh my that takes me back.” That precious moment will last in my heart. ( the pic is of another Ellen keepsake)
Todays “Ellen” Story. She told me this story when I arrived to help her pack. Picture this ...Ellen is a 4’8” little elderly widow. She had an old piece of vinyl linoleum that was 6’ tall & 2’around. Didn’t fit in the trash can so she CARRIED it out & propped it up next to the trash can. The sanitation guy comes by and moves the linoleum out of his way and dumps the trash can & is not taking the linoleum. Ellen comes out of the house and walks down the drive way and hollers...
Ellen” you have to take that”
Sanitation Guy (SG) “ma’am it’s not in the trash can so I can’t”
Ellen “well it doesn’t fit”
SG “ I see that”
Ellen “ if I cut it in half & fit it in the trash can would you take it?”( look out SG she’s got you)
SG “ well yes ma’am if it was in the can”
Ellen” I can’t cut it. It’s the same size whether it’s cut or not. So you need to just take it. ” ( can’t argue logic)
The 6’ man looked at Ellen & said “Yes ma’am” & picked it up.
Then SG Asked where she was moving. Ends up 10 miles from where he was born. They chatted some more. He gave her his number & said if she needs any help give him a call. She called the city to tell them about what a fine employee they have. #ellen#lovemyjob #sellinghouses #realestatestories#northportfl #westcoastrealtor
“Ellen” story. This is the original Pandora station. 😊Ellen would stack 6 albums up and play them then flip them over , & play side B. Ellen loves music. Her Hubby was a bluegrass picker. Was in several bands and toured the area. Ellen was so excited to tell me the following story...Ellen's yard guy sent his helper by one day to clean out Ellen's attic. The Young Man (YM) arrived with his sleeves-of-ink & as Ellen put it “his wife but they weren’t married”. Ellen said they worked hard & were so kind to her AND to each other. She invited them in for tea. They sat down & YM noticed a mandolin. “Do you play?” “oh no my Hubby did.” “Bluegrass?” “Yes. Do you like bluegrass?” “Yes, my favorite music...” thus began a long chat about music between YM , his “wife”,& Ellen. Then Ellen got up & retrieved her bluegrass cassettes and vintage Bluegrass magazines & gave them to YM. She had told me many times she wanted the collection to go to someone special. She found her someone special. She also gave him the vintage stereo to thank him for a job well done. Ellen's heart was full of JOY! #ellen#maryraywestbrook #lovemyjob #sellinghouses #givethanks #northportfl#westcoastrealtors
“Ellen” story. When Ray A Westbrook & I would hold An Open House at Ellen’s she would stay home. When someone would come in she would go sit on the front porch. But, when it was just me & Ellen, we just talked. I shared with her that one daughter,Laura Katherine Bassett works for Open Door in Lubbock. I shared that it is a non-profit providing community, resources, & HOMES for the homeless. With the ultimate goal to end homelessness in Lubbock. At the end of the Open House I was gathering my things & Ellen gave me a bag. It was a bag filled with hand-knitted hats. You see, Ellen loves to knit. There were at least 2 dozen hats of all colors. Beautiful pieces. She told me to mail these hats to my daughter so she can give them to the homeless. So, I did. #ellen #ilovemyjob#sellinghouses #raywestbrook #maryraywestbrook#northportfl #westcoastrealtors #givethanks#opendoorlbk
“Ellen” story. Ellen would be a “hipster” if it wasn’t for her age, that lifestyle was part of the way her generation was raised. She recycled, re-used, created, and loved wholesome plant based foods. This is a incredible lace table cloth SHE crocheted. She was giving this piece to a neighbor. Rather than a “garage sale” she just went to her neighbors & friends & invited them to come over & to take whatever they could use. She was delighted to share. Ray A Westbrook & I commented often how aspects of Ellen reminded us our Mom’s. That people are more important than things. Share your abundance. Learn new things. Don’t be wasteful. Contentment is priceless. #ellen #ilovemyjob#sellinghouses #realtorlife #hipster#maryraywestbrook #givethanks
“Ellen” story. We closed on Ellens house. One day while we were packing she shared that she & her Hubby would walk the beach daily before he got sick. She said she hadn’t been to the beach in over a year. Now, with her house sold Ellen was moving back to where she was raised in the NorthEast.She was drastically downsizing. This process has been an exhausting & emotional rollercoaster. After theclosing, as she & I were leaving the attorneys office I asked if she wanted to stroll the beach along the Gulf of Mexico one more time. She smiled and said “oh Mary, I would love that. Do we have time?” Yes, all the time in the world.
While her house was for sale she would get fretful & then say “I am trusting God. He knows what I need.” This woman has lived through numerous hard times...she had a son pass-away at 27, she lived through a fire, & a flood, cared for a husband until his passing, went through 2 hurricanes. And you know what she said to me while we were standing on the Beach. She said “I am lucky. No no ... I don’t believe in luck, I believe in blessings. I am BLessed.” There is a quote attributed to St.Francis , “ share the Gospel always & when necessary use words” That’s Ellens life. We all have Ellen’s in our life. During this season of family & friends gathering. Sit with your Ellens and hear their stories. Life is short & We have much to learn. #ellen #ilovemyjob #sellinghouses#realtorlife #maryraywestbrook #northportfl#givethanks. Ray A Westbrook
— with Ray A Westbrook.
“Ellen” story. Right after the beach walk Ellen was jumping in the U-Haul to head north. No, she wasn’t driving. She had friends that flew down to help load & do the driving. There was a slight delay in departure because of the steady stream of neighbors that needed one more hug from Ellen. At the closing as we were waiting for copies of the closing documents & Mr. Buyer asked Ellen, “Who takes care of your well?” Ellen responded “ I do. On the 26th of every month” she gestured to Mr. Buyer & continued with, “write this down. I pour in two 40 Pound bags of salt, but you may need to put in more salt since there are 3 of you.” The chit-chat around the closing table fell silent & everyone looked at Ellen. Ellen looked around the table & said almost in an embarrassed tone“ oh I know they sell 80 pound bags, but I can only lift the 40 pound bags.” We all smiled & said no we are amazed that you lift the 40pound bags. #ellen #givethanks#maryraywestbrook #realtorlife #ilovemyjob#sellinghouses #westcoastfl
Ray A Westbrook #raywestbrook
— with Ray A Westbrook.
With a greatful heart!
Ray & Mary