Stacking Stones


September 5, 2018


Having your own business is a lot like being a farmer. You plant a seed, you care for it, nourish it, invest in its financial roots and emotionally get tied to its growth as it blooms.  I believe in reinvention every day. And with so much negativity in the world on TV and on social media I decided to start a column on the Cornerstone Realtors website that focuses on life…life and all its bits and pieces that give it meaning. This new corner of our website is called “Stacking Stones”.

Back in 2006 I took a vacation to Montego Bay, Jamaica with a friend of mine from New York City. Connie Rosengarten was one of the class mom’s and all around presence at PS6 in Manhattan when both my boys attended elementary school there.  Connie had a theater background and was always ready for an adventure, so with my blank passport I headed to Half Moon Bay to center myself after a particularly hard work experience.

Once I was on the island I learned a couple of things.  Steps from the elegant resort were families living in huts.  But instead of envy or bitterness I found many of the Jamaicans to have a “No Worries” attitude because they embraced each day and were thankful and appreciative of the sun rise.  They gave a face to the word “Perspective”. Each of us are in control of how we react and endure life’s twists and turns.

On the island along the water there are caves and in the alcoves I found hundreds of stones piled up.  The white stones lined the water’s edge but I didn’t understand why they were piled in all different fashions.  One of the locals told me that the stones were stacked by both Jamaicans and people who visit the island.  It was symbolic of starting over. Each day you have the power to reshape your life, your attitude and the way we react to life’s challenges.  The stones are a reminder that we can rebuild with what is already within reach. It was also symbolic of the fact that everyone wants to leave their mark on this world.

I took 3 stones from the water’s edge in Jamaica back with me to Milwaukee. They are one of my most prized possessions and the stones are proudly perched on my dresser. Every morning when I get up I reposition the stones.  Each day I start again, I rebuild.

We are in the business of finding people places to live.  We come into their lives at the most emotional parts of their life journeys.  Births, deaths, new jobs, job loss, marriage and in some cases divorce.  We come into their lives when their life path diverts.  But it is important to remember the house shelters, but it does not define people. The memories, and our lives move on through, inside and outside of four walls.

This column is going to be about everything and nothing at all. It is just my corner to speak out about reinvention and about living life with arms wide open.  It is going to be about what I think we need in this world to keep families moving forward. Change starts small… but when we stack the stones we get a foundation that protects, shelters, empowers and joins us in common goals.

Cornerstone Realtors is a firm dedicated to cradling families through the changes in their lives… one family at a time.

- Mary Beth Waite