I have often mentioned in our monthly newsletters as I have grown older I’ve gained a greater appreciation and love for history and seem to cherish the simple pleasures life has to offer even more. Perhaps it is this time of year when our homes and towns are decorated for the holidays and we put into practice “good will towards others” that my appreciation becomes even more profound. However, the one thing that hasn’t changed throughout the years is my enjoyment of those simple pleasures the same way I did as a child.
When recently asked, “What was your favorite Christmas gift growing up?” it was a hard question for me to answer as each Christmas was exciting. Our homes were decorated, snow was falling and we were excited to see what Santa left for us under the tree. While my brother and I were blessed to receive many wonderful gifts throughout the years, getting my first electric guitar was a gift I’ll always remember. Of course if my parents had to rethink that decision they may have opted for something else as that same Christmas my brother Jeff received his drum set. We formed our first band and thought we were going to become the next Beatles like most kids during that time, but my father, whose father was a famous composer of opera from Italy, and the voice coach of world renown opera singer Enrico Caruso, quickly reminded us that if his father was still alive and “heard the trash we call music, he would destroy the instruments.”
While I was never to find fame and fortune in the music industry, as I look back on all the gifts I’ve received the one that never came wrapped in a box, but is one I carry with me every day is that of “appreciation.” That gift arrived during my childhood when a family
moved into our neighborhood and owned everything you could imagine. They had a twin engine airplane, a go cart, scooters, and a jet boat when no one even knew what a jet boat was. They had a built in pool and their home had a central vacuum system. You can only imagine the fun we had with that! After seeing everything our new neighbors owned I asked my mom if we were poor. She smiled and said, “I guess if you compare yourself to that new family maybe you are, but when you consider the fact that we have been fortunate to have 2 homes and 2 cars where most people have only one of each, I don’t think you are doing too badly.” Mom’s simple reply changed my outlook and instead of thinking what I didn’t have, I wanted to share what I did. That childhood life lesson I have carried into adulthood and has become the foundation in how we treat our friends and clients alike.
For the past 20 years our lives in Florida have been nothing short of amazing. We feel with so many wonderful things to do and places to enjoy, our move to Florida feels more like a reward. Just like the child who was excited to open their presents on Christmas morning, we get the same euphoric feeling when we can share the wonderful “gifts” our community has to offer with those who are considering a move to Florida. Often times people tell us,
“You both should work for the Chamber of Commerce. You’re so enthusiastic about your community and you make us feel right at home.”
While we never take any day for granted, this time of year makes me appreciate our community and those who give so much to make it so special even more. Just look around and see the warmth you receive from store owners, restaurateurs, strangers you meet on the street and the efforts of scores of volunteers whose tireless efforts can be seen in our parks, weekend farmers markets, craft fairs, not to mention our year round concerts, events and more.
As we say to those we meet in our real estate business, “Our friendships don’t end at the closing table,” and it is with that appreciation that this month’s message is one of gratitude for the friends we have, the blessings we’ve received through those friendships, and the thankfulness to all those whose efforts make our community so very special.
May this holiday season bring you and your family an abundance of peace, joy and good health, now and throughout the New Year.
– Gary and Gail Cardillo