I Don't Care Who You Are, This Will Make You Cry...We Let A Stranger In Our House...And A Friend Into Our Hearts

By
Real Estate Agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/The Masiello Group
http://actvra.in/gHg

I Don't Care Who You Are, This Will Make You Cry...We Let A Stranger In Our House...And A Friend Into Our Hearts

In early July 2011, I admit, we did something most people would consider a very foolish thing. We let a total stranger in our house.

It was a Sunday morning and my Chris and I were about to pull out of the driveway on our way to find breakfast at a yet to be determined restaurant, when I noticed a car was pulling over to the side of the road opposite our driveway. I asked Chris to roll down her window as I expected the solitary gentleman in that car might have a question or perhaps need directions.

"Do you live here?" the fortyfive-ish stranger asked,
"Yes we do," Chris replied.
"This is the house where I grew up," he said. "Could I visit for a minute. I won't take much of your time. I can see you are on your way out."
With that, I stepped out of the car and said, "Why don't you pull into the driveway and get your car off the road."

In the next minute, we were shaking hands in the driveway and he introduced himself as Pete Martin. He asked if the Kelleys still lived next door and pointed to the second floor bedroom that was his and described how the chimney ran right up through the middle of the room. I asked if he would like to tour our home. He happily agreed.

As we passed through each room, Pete shared some little memory about the room and about the house and asked if the lilacs were still behind the house where he had buried his much loved dog. I showed him that the lilacs, and most likely his dog, had been relocated to another part of the yard to make room for the pool that we now enjoy. Through this stroll down memory lane, Pete shared a bit about his life.

Pete told us he had retired from a military career in the Air Force and now lived in Tennessee. After over twenty years of service, he was still not ready to give up flying and serving our country, so he worked for a Government contractor flying special operations forces in combat missions over Afghanistan, and tomorrow, he would be on a plane going back there and not returning until September.

Out of pure coincidence, he was visiting a friend in Londonderry, NH and asked if he could borrow his car to drive over to North Hampton in the hope we might be home when he knocked on our door. He had made this drive some years earlier, and we were not home. :-(

When we finished the tour of the house, Pete asked us if we could take a few pictures of him with his mobile phone and we took a few with our camera. We exchanged email addresses to stay in touch. As he was getting ready to leave, Pete made it clear, that by inviting him, a total stranger, into our home, we had given him something he would never forget. We had given him, the WORLD....and yesterday, well, he turned around and gave it back to us, in a way I know I will never forget.

While I was at my first showing yesterday, Chris called me on my cell and told me we had received a package from Afghanistan from Pete. I could not get home fast enough from the showing.

Seated at the kitchen table, Chris handed me the package and asked me to open it. Inside, was an American Flag, a copy of the Stars and Stripes daily newspaper published for members of the military, a copy of the July 2011 edition of Freedom Watch Afghanistan magazine and the following letter and special presentation:


Letter From Pete Martin

American Flag

Special Presentation

Pete on Front Stairs

Now, most of you know I am a Pease Greeter at Pease AFB in Portsmouth, NH, welcoming our troops home from duty or sending them overseas to Iraq or Afghanistan. If you enjoy freedom, thank someone in the military. Maybe you could stop by Pete Martin's Facebook page and thank him. I know that's where I'm headed as soon as I publish this blog.

If you would like to know why I chose Seacoast New Hampshire to make my home, click here to email me, and I can make a real convincing argument for you to choose it too! Or, if you would like to do your own home search, sign up NOW on my website for our exclusive Home Scout Program.

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          John McCarthy
          Your Seacoast NH Realtor
         408 Lafayette Rd, Hampton, NH 03842
         603-926-4466 Office
         603-418-1521 Cell 

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Re-Blogged 12 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Cindy Westfall 08/14/2011 03:31 PM
  2. Sherilyn M. Whistler 08/14/2011 11:23 PM
  3. Mary Macy 08/14/2011 11:37 PM
  4. Ted J. Macy 08/14/2011 11:49 PM
  5. Mike Jones 08/15/2011 07:46 AM
  6. Joan Cox 08/15/2011 10:56 AM
  7. Elizabeth Cooper-Golden 08/15/2011 12:42 PM
  8. Angie Duncan Gilbert 08/15/2011 04:29 PM
  9. Judi Boad 08/15/2011 05:45 PM
  10. Roy Kelley 08/15/2011 07:24 PM
  11. Missy Caulk 08/15/2011 07:25 PM
  12. Joni Staples 08/16/2011 11:04 AM
Topic:
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Location:
New Hampshire Rockingham County North Hampton
Groups:
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Tags:
freedom
military service
north hampton
rockingham county
nh real estate
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Rainmaker
154,017
John McCarthy
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/The Masiello Group - North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH

Hi Sybil ~ So glad you found your way to this post! As I mentioned in an earlier reply, I wrote this almost 3 years ago and am astonished (pleasantly) that it has come to life today with a series of new comments. Just the magic of AR I guess! I greatly appreciate your kind thoughts. Thank you!

Jun 04, 2014 11:16 AM #135
Rainmaker
681,572
Jeff Jensen
Annie Mac Home Mortgage - Greenwich, CT

Cool.  That nicely plasy out the message, Stars and Stripes forever.

Jun 04, 2014 02:09 PM #136
Ambassador
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Norma Toering
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes & Beach Cities Homes in L.A. CA

Very cool experience for all.  I drove past two of my previous homes when I was in the area, and it does stir those old memories and emotions.

Jun 04, 2014 03:38 PM #137
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

What a heartwarming story, John. And a lifelong memory you have created.

Jeff

Jun 04, 2014 07:26 PM #138
Rainmaker
174,395
Joan Congilose
RE/MAX Central (732)232-5277 - Manalapan, NJ
CRS, CDPE, Top Producer Marlboro, Manalapan Homes

What a beautful gesture, thank you for sharing your story.

Jun 05, 2014 03:05 AM #139
Rainer
172,298
Richard Burge
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
ABR - Property Manager - Notary

Good to know that all strangers are not crooks or brigands.  It is hard to trust anyone in our state of the nation today.

Jun 05, 2014 06:38 AM #140
Rainmaker
154,017
John McCarthy
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/The Masiello Group - North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH

Jeff ~ Thanks for stopping by. I wholeheartedly agree...Stars and Stripes forever!

Norma ~ People are connected to their homes by the memories created there. It great to be in an industry where we can help people find homes and make new memories.

Hi Jeff ~ Hope all is well! This post has received 80,000 hits and was reblogged countless times both here and all over the web. It points up the importance we place on friends, homes, memories and the men and women who have served in our military. I'm happy to have had the opportunity to share this story!

Hi Joan ~ Thank you for finding your way to this post. Hope real estate is busy for you in central NJ. I lived in Marlboro for a number of years and loved it there.

Jun 05, 2014 06:44 AM #141
Rainmaker
154,017
John McCarthy
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/The Masiello Group - North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH

Hi Richard ~ A little faith in people can sometimes bring great rewards. I knew by Pete's questions he was genuine and knew the house, so I had little concern. So happy it has turned out to be one of my favorite memories too!

Jun 05, 2014 06:48 AM #142
Rainmaker
505,292
Sarah Oswald
Eastvale Team Realty & Property Mgmt - Corona, CA
Broker, Realtor, CDPE, CIAS, SFR , Investor

Thank you for sharing your experience with a total stranger that ended up being a friend. Your home will never be the same knowing the history from one who lived there!

Jun 05, 2014 07:43 AM #143
Rainmaker
154,017
John McCarthy
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/The Masiello Group - North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH

Hi Sarah & Lester ~ Hope all is well! You are so right. I can't walk past the Lilacs without remembering Pete's dog. LOL!

Jun 05, 2014 11:16 AM #144
Rainmaker
66,272
Will Allen
Long Beach, CA
I deliver successful results,results that move you

John . . .  such a moving story, I'm not sure if you let him in because you are in the real estate business. . .  OR if the propensity to let him in is why you are in the real estate industry...  but you and I probably have more in common than you may know.  Nice piece, thanks for sharing. 

Jun 05, 2014 11:49 AM #145
Rainmaker
154,017
John McCarthy
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/The Masiello Group - North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH

Hi Will ~ I can't say exactly why we invited Pete to tour his childhood home, other than I choose to look for the good in people. Yes, you can be easily disappointed, but the reward usually outweighs the risk. Thanks for stopping by!

Jun 05, 2014 12:05 PM #146
Rainer
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Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Yes, I have tears in my eyes and in my heart and soul. Beautiful story. Going back to our childhood and our treasured memories is a type of a miracle gift - like the gift you gave to the stranger and the gift he returned to you.

 

Jun 05, 2014 01:45 PM #147
Rainer
35,337
Rachel Khoury
Tailwinds Mortgage - Highlands Ranch, CO
Your Wingwoman for Colorado Mortgages

This is an incredible story, Pete sounds like a great man.

I find it sad that is is now a generally accepted practice to NOT let strangers into your home. 

A perfect example of Hebrews 13:2. "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.

Jun 05, 2014 08:09 PM #148
Rainer
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Frank Iglesias
Working With Houses, LLC - Atlanta Real Estate Investments - Lawrenceville, GA
Atlanta, GA Real Estate Investor

What a story, John! Thanks for sharing...

Jun 05, 2014 08:16 PM #149
Rainmaker
243,408
Bill Dean
Worth Clark Realty St. Louis, Mo. - Fenton, MO
William Dean - Broker, Salesperson

Great Story!   Reminds me of the first place I lived for a brief time in 1972 when I got back from Nam.  I still drive by that area and always hope I can catch someone outside to ask them if there is still a toilet and kitchenette in their garage!     Not as bad as it sounds, only stayed there a few months and rent was $20/week!  Had to go thru a breezeway and knock on the door of the house to use the shower.  Fun times back then. lol

Jun 06, 2014 10:27 AM #150
Rainmaker
159,744
Wayne L. Brown
SecurityNational Mortgage Corporation - Alpine, CA

John

What an amazing story. Blessings to you all.

Jun 06, 2014 11:33 AM #151
Rainmaker
274,757
Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

Great story - thanks for brightening my day!

Jun 07, 2014 03:43 PM #152
Staff
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Alicia Clarke
Seattle, WA
Putting the Social in Marketing

What an incredible story, John. Thanks so much for sharing! 

Jun 11, 2014 09:33 AM #153
Rainmaker
287,851
Lisa Friedman
Lisa Consulting VT - Stowe, VT
25 Years of Real Estate Experience!

John, I absolutely love this story and it brought tears to my eyes. I will certainly visit Pete's Facebook page to thank him for his service. I would also like to thank you for being a Pease Greeter - what a wonderful thing to do!

Aug 18, 2014 08:58 AM #154
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John McCarthy

Realtor - Seacoast NH
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