2021: chapter and verse
If your life were a book, how many chapters would it have, and what would you name them? What if the book was about 2021? One condition: palaver about politics and the pandemic is not permitted. We have had our fill of both.
As I swipe through the months of 2021 on my iPhone, three events stand out. In chronological order, they are the listing of a Bellevue luxury home, a reunion with friends, and the death of my father-in-law. The chapters are business, travel, and family. The verse? Read on.
Business: sold a Bellevue luxury home.
We worked on this for over two years. The “we” was a team of five; Alex, Jeff, Tim, Helen, and myself. Meet the team here. Circumstances beyond our control did not deter us. We created a three-story luxury home with an elevator, beautiful views, and a brand new address, just half a mile from the old Bellevue downtown.
We sold this Bellevue luxury home to a local buyer for $5.9 million in three days.
Travel: friends in Florida
I was not surprised when I drove through the gate into the exclusive Naples neighborhood. He was a man with a plan, and he had delivered on it.
John was my mentor. He showed this Black Forest greenhorn how to succeed in corporate America. What my friend had not planned on was a vicious neurological disease. He can still talk but hardly walk. So we spent hours reminiscing, recounting, and reliving.
After four days with John, I headed north to Sarasota. There, I met Kay. She had become a client in 1995 when I still lived in Cleveland but she was already in Florida. I was in Seattle when I last worked for her in about 2005. Thanks to social media, we stayed in touch and became friends. Now 2021, we finally met in person.
Last but not least, I reunited with dear friends from our first church in Kirkland. We met at a Greek restaurant in St. Petersburg. I was starting to like Florida. I loved the beach, the colors, and, above all, my friends.
Family: the general is no more
“General” – that’s how he signed some of his mails and emails. Others he ended with “the sage from central Ohio.” He missed his 96th birthday by about two months. We will miss him for longer. We will remember him for much, including his love for Jaguar cars and poetry.
At the end of a visit to Columbus, as I was about to leave for Seattle, he wrote:
Dear Gerhard, as now you adjourn,
Your business affairs to rechurn,
Farewell as you leave us astern,
Smooth sailing aloft’s our concern.
We know you must go, but equally so,
Must plan for an early return.
Sometimes I wrote poems for him, which he kindly critiqued with suggestions. When I returned to see him again in July, it was my last visit. Upon leaving, I promised him another poem to which he sheepishly replied “make it really bad.”
I wrote four and emailed them to him. One I called “Coming and Going”
When we are born we look for a cuddle.
Then, for most of life, we sort of muddle.
Until the end, when we await the celestial shuttle.
I will have to wait for his critique until we meet again.
Postscript: There were other significant listings in 2021 like this home on Camano Island. Also, in October, my wife and I enjoyed visiting our many friends in the Cleveland, OH area, where we lived for 16 years.