THE SECOND STORY | August 13th, 2009

Standing up vs. supporting.

(A dahlia from my friend Jackie’s garden.)

In the past ten days I’ve had the opportunity to think about what it means to stand up for something or somebody. I’ve shared my thoughts with a few close friends and they in turn began to think about the difference between the two. I had the amazing experience last week of having someone dear to me stand up for me during a emotional meeting involving a personal real estate transaction. I honestly couldn’t remember when the last time was that had happened. It was nothing short of overwhelming. And comforting. And reassuring. And freeing. And relieving some of whatever the burden was I was carrying. Thank you, Larry!

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had amazing support throughout my life for things I’ve attempted to do, ended up doing, and ended up abandoning. But this ‘standing up’ concept really hit me last week. ‘Support’ seems to be a background position. It’s all good and it’s appreciated.

But standing up for a cause or a person…that’s making a statement, a loud one even without a loud voice, without hesitation, in front of others. Sometimes it comes easily and naturally. Sometimes it comes after great consideration of the issue, and/or the risk to oneself for taking a stand. Once a stand is taken, it’s pretty hard to call for a do-over.

This lead me to recall two instances when my mom stood up for me. They are as fresh in my mind as if they happened yesterday. I was not close to my mom. She did a great job as a mother but we didn’t really click, didn’t talk about day to day things, didn’t do mom and daughter things together. She was wrapped up in making my dad’s life 1950’s perfect and they saw perfection in each other and that worked for them. Plus they had three squirrely sons, younger than me, who demanded attention.

When I was in fourth grade I went to three different schools because my dad was transferred around with his job and promotions. The short time we lived in La Jolla, we rented a very cool house, hanging over a canyon. The only place to play was in a flat cul-de-sac downhill from the house. There was a witch that lived down there. At least that’s what we called her. She hated kids and especially kids that didn’t belong on her street. We were playing kickball or baseball and she took our bikes and threw them off the sidewalk into the street. I couldn’t believe it! I ran up the hill and got my mom. She trotted down the hill, got to the witch, and let her have it full blast about how these kids needed a safe place to play, that they were good kids, didn’t hurt her or anybody else and she’d better not bother us again – ever. I was dumbfounded and she never bothered us again.

In my junior year of high school, I was accused of vandalizing the language lab. They had traced the act to the seat and time I was in it. Thus I was guilty. I was appalled! They sent a bill to my folks for around $100, if I recall. My mom asked if I knew anything about this and I had no clue. We lived close to Corona del Mar High School and once again, she trotted over to defend me. She asked no more questions were asked of me. But she let Mrs. Townsend, the Girl’s Vice Principal really have it. Once again, I stood by dumbfounded. And it turns out they were wrong in accusing me. Apology? Nope. Grateful for my mom standing up for me? Yep, very much.

I’ve wondered when I last took a stand for someone. I must admit, I can’t think of who or when that might have been. That’s scary. I guess when I speak at a Planning Board meeting or in front of the City Council that is taking a stand….but when that stand goes against the grain growing in the room….that’s a bit risky, eh? Plus those meetings are televised live so that eliminates an easy do-over. The two last times I’ve spoken it’s been about unions and mismanaged contracts, inept former elected officials, and really inept hired (now fired – oops resigned) city management. Yet reversing a stand may take even more courage and conviction. It says a mistake has been made. But it also states that one is willing to admit it out loud in front of the same group the initial stand was made. That’s more than gutsy. That’s ethical.

Alameda real estate this week….

It’s been a super busy week. I put two new listings on the market. 757Pacific, a complete fixer, with the third bedroom falling off the back of the heavy texture-coated bungalow. The calls on the fixer have been non-stop for two days….unbelievable. And we put a lovely home at 1727Clinton on the market. I’ll be there Sunday 2-4 for an open house. Come on down! I also listed a condo but will put that on the market as soon as some cleaning gets done. And today, the condo at 933 Shoreline is to close.

Note the large number of pending sales this week. What I see in those is a few high priced properties, and lots of funky properties that have been on the market for extended periods but are now getting snapped up, including short sales and bank repos.

Kinda close to home…real estate action in Silicon Valley

Active listings 167, 168 last report
Pending listings 117, 113 last report

Tuesday Tour 9 with 2 repeats

Highest priced new listing
Lowest priced new listing

New 12

BOM (back on market) 3

Price changes 11

Pending 21

Sold 10

Expired 1

Withdrawn/cancelled 4

Alameda real estate awards this week…remember this is only my perspective.

Winner, Grand Dame, Got me a Makeover

Bang for the Buck

Get me to Rehab and the second Get me to Rehab

That’s a wrap! Carry on!

Have a great weekend! marilyn

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I arrived in Alameda in 1973, as a new bride...with husband Carl Schumacher, both of us from Newport Beach. He was embarking on his career as a Naval Architect (i.e. yacht designer) under Gary Mull. Please see the 'ABOUT ME' page in this website! to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!