Journey 20: Day of Contrasts

contrasts biz expo logo

Today’s journey involved lovely contrasts. After working at home this morning, taking care of business via phone, computer and the internet, I let inspiration guide me as I was drawn to different areas of my home to fill empty space. Small areas in the kitchen were reorganized. A shelf in the dining room arranged. And as the balmy spring like weather continued, complete with a rain shower this afternoon, I felt drawn out onto the front porch.

I have themed decorations for spring/summer, fall and the holidays. However, I never quite know what to do with my front porch after Christmas. It feels too early for the spring collection. I don’t really have a winter theme or Valentine’s Day decorations. I stood looking thoughtfully at my new framed Tolkien quote, hanging alone above the empty table. My spare bedroom has most of my every day décor hanging out on the bed and various tables and chairs, awaiting my decisions on what space they will next grace. I selected pieces that appealed to me and gathered them together on the little yellow table on my front porch.

contrasts front porch table

My Great Aunt Roxie’s old red box, that she used as a foot rest, sits now on one end of the table. It’s flipped upside down so that mason jars holding votive candles can be tucked into a corner along with a red wooden heart. A trio of wooden candlesticks that I’ve had for years anchors the other end. A woven table runner, a stone bird, and my old favorite metal charger complete the grouping. I like it! That look will carry me into spring.

The rain pelted down earnestly as I returned indoors. It was tea time and I enjoyed a cup of hot tea with a shortbread cookie, snug inside while rain sluiced down the windows and drummed on the roof. I spent a wonderful 30 minutes sipping tea and browsing through a beautiful book that I picked up from the library. Titled “Style & Simplicity: An A to Z Guide to Living a More Beautiful Life”, the book by Ted Kennedy Watson shares ideas for “making time spent at home graciously comfortable, visually rich, and truly personal.” Ted is a Lifestyle Retailer and blogger. His hope is that his book will be a starting point for discovering things you love and integrating them into your life. Looking at the gorgeous pages of the book, and seeing vintage collections and repurposed items used creatively, inspired me to continue on my journey of creating beautiful, intimate spaces in my own home. What a lovely tea time!

contrasts style and simplicity book

After a solitary and peaceful day at home, I undertook a very different type of journey this evening, visiting the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo with my sister Linda. This is a huge annual event, set up at the convention center, featuring 200 exhibitor booths. Tonight was the business to business evening, actually a Business After Hours, with only the business community invited to attend. Tomorrow the event is open to the general public. This evening though the business community turned out in record numbers to connect, network and of course, enjoy food and drink. It is a noisy, crowded glorious event and I attend every year. I love the opportunity to talk to people and see business friends that I haven’t seen in a while. I never know who I will bump into, literally, and Linda and I always have a great time. Lots of marketing goodies get handed out, business cards exchanged and appointments set. Keller Williams Realty has a booth at Business Expo and I normally work at the booth parts of both days. However, this year, I declined working in the booth and attended the Expo just to have fun and see friends. It was great to mingle and go home early.


I loved the contrast of this day’s journeys….the quiet serenity of the morning and afternoon, with time for work and creativity, and the bustle and noise of the Business Expo with its throng of people. Both were perfect, exactly as they were. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Nothing is worth more than this day.” So true. And to that sentiment I might add….and this day’s journey.

contrasts biz expo

Midwest Regional Ballet Company demonstration at Biz Expo

Day 294: Business After Hours at Keller Williams


The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, which is an amazing five star organization, holds a networking event once a month at various member locations. The purpose is two fold: it gives JACC members an opportunity to chat with others about business and life and set up appointments to meet and further each other’s businesses and it allows a company to shine in the spotlight by hosting the event.

This evening Keller Williams Realty hosted the Business After Hours, opening its doors and firing up the grill to welcome the business community. I believe Keller Williams had an after hours years ago, when the company first opened a market center in Joplin. However, this was the first Business After Hours in its current location and my first time to participate here in the Keller Williams office.


It was a beautiful evening for this get together and the KW Social Committee did a wonderful job of preparing for and hosting the fun event. I know agents Debbie, Joni, Sandy and Barbara put in many hours of work before the first guests arrived at 5:30 today. Our Team Leader, Vicki, was busy running a vacuum cleaner when I arrived late this afternoon and our Director of First Impressions, Dylan, was tidying up and wiping down counters. Members of the Social Committee were finishing up food prep in the kitchen while out back, on the patio, drinks were chilling in tubs of ice and Tim was grilling brats. Throughout our gorgeous building, agents were making sure their offices were neat and the hallways clear. I love the people and culture of KW. This feels like a family and we operate as such in the office. We uphold the culture by supporting and encouraging each other in all aspects of our businesses and our lives.


The Business After Hours was a success. The food was plentiful and delicious and the drinks cold. A jazz band performed beneath a KW canopy. And the back patio and parking lot overflowed with business people chatting in groups, exchanging biz cards and setting up appointments and lunches. I loved seeing people I haven’t seen in a while and also greeting friends and fellow agents that I see frequently. Next week I’ll enjoy several lunches and meetings that I set up tonight. And I had the pleasure of introducing some people to each other and connecting people together. I appreciate that in Joplin, and at Keller Williams, it’s not about competing so much as it is working together to make everyone successful and profitable. I am very proud to be part of such an extraordinary community and part of such an innovative and progressive company. I am blessed!

BAH KW jazz band