By Rebecca Tucker
Not long ago, our spring plans included the return of kids’ soccer, baseball’s opening game and, perhaps, a vacation. Could you have predicted then that we would soon be asked to stay in our own yards? We are each doing our part to stave off a raging global epidemic, but why does it seem so hard to stay home and stay well?
Has your kitchen table become your remote office? A classroom? A sewing table? All at the same time?
Asheville is a community interwoven with residents and well-traveled guests. Visitors, tourists, friends and family have tasted the waters and felt the camaraderie this mountain town knows and loves, and many have discovered they want to stay. They, too, want the opportunity to raise their children or retire in a city known for its diverse thinking, close loyalties, outdoor lifestyle and stunning natural beauty.
A real estate executive can be the first connection made in a community and can be a strong influencer as to its first impressions. By nature, we are problem solvers. Doers, who enjoy bringing people together and creating relationships. It takes a village and many specific experts to complete each transaction. (It’s my job to assist with the details. Reach out, follow up, chase down documents or tidy up a spreadsheet.)
During the COVID-19 business pause, newfound time in the day has showcased a common desire to step up for others in need. We are individually sewing and gathering masks to collectively distribute. Classmates and their families are joining together to create hundreds of care packages for those on the front lines of this health war. We are supporting the homeless with meals, clothing items and books delivered to secure shelters. We are delivering groceries to those with a higher risk and just spending a few minutes in “distanced” conversation with those who are enduring this time—home, alone. We are learning how we can Zoom with our distant friends and family for a virtual happy hour as well as daily business. We are increasing technology’s ability to serve real estate needs, including expanding the use of professional photography, video and 3D screened “walk-throughs” of listed homes. Remote clients are standing in a builder’s idea model via FaceTime conversations with their sales executive. Documentation can be fulfilled via telephone apps. This required distancing seems to make every connection more meaningful.
As days march onward, many neighbors have contemplated simpler times and exchanged flower beds for vegetable patches. My daughter brought chickens home, which prompted an old play set conversion into a chicken coop. Time previously spent commuting has been returned to the day’s minute count. A second cup of morning coffee can be savored a little longer. Dinner can be shared around the table every evening. Yes, every evening. Opening the office means turning on the telephone. Lunch hour can include mowing the lawn. I have found family conversation is relaxed and deeper, as we are not rushing to keep our accustomed work/school schedules. Silver linings.
Are you finding time to savor? Because life is precious. And, an older generation will tell you, life is short. The result of our shared, yet distanced, stories will someday become a retort for a younger soul. My octogenarian father’s eye-twinkling response to a complaint is, “When I was your age, I had to walk to school barefoot, in the snow, uphill, both ways.” I wonder what phrase our experiences will distill into?
Rebecca Tucker is a sales support specialist. An Asheville native, she joined Walnut Cove Realty’s executive team as a broker in the spring of 2019.