Salomeja Lescinskas, who goes by the name “Sunny,” recently became a U.S. citizen and a newly licensed Realtor, now working at Century 21 Agate Realty in Brookings at 1016 Chetco Ave.
Sunny moved from Lithuania seven years ago to be with her husband, who is a commercial fishing boat captain, working out of Port of Brookings Harbor.
“He was working here and coming home (to Lithuania) between seasons. One day we discussed ‘should he leave his job? or do I have to come here?’ and I came here,” Sunny said.
Sunny and her husband grew up in the same small town in Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, went to kindergarten together, and now are both U.S. citizens. They still have family in Lithuania, including Sunny’s parents, a grown daughter, sisters and brothers. They brought their youngest daughter with them to the U.S. She was 12 at the time and graduated from high school last year. They return to Lithuania every summer to visit family and friends.
When the couple flew to New York a few years ago, they toured Ellis Island.
“We listened to the story, and it was so interesting,” she said. “Those trunks, the old trunks in the museum, people had brought candlesticks, bedding, and silverware, and I caught myself because I brought old candlesticks and bedding. I wanted something that was mine and sentimental. Nothing changes from like a hundred years ago, except I had a suitcase instead of a trunk.”
In Lithuania, Sunny was working in the fashion industry and had several boutiques.
“I wanted a challenge and to do something new,” she said. “This is a new language, a new culture, everything is new.
“People here are more relaxed,” Sunny said. “We would have big China cabinets full of crystal that we would shine up to use just on special occasions, and here people just use what they have.”
In Lithuania people spend a lot of time cleaning their homes, and take their shoes off in the house, she noted.
“But here people wear their shoes, even putting their feet on tables," she said. "The first time it was a little bit shocking, but now I feel good. It’s a different culture. People here smile more. In Lithuania, people never say ‘Hi’ when passing. On the days I go hiking on the beach, everyone will say ‘Good morning,’ even when meeting me for the first time.”
Sunny became a citizen in April 2019.
“It wasn’t hard,” she said. “I enjoyed reading all the history and everything. It was very interesting because I never knew of all these presidents and about immigrants here and the Civil War.
“Becoming a Realtor was a little more difficult,” she said. “It took a while. It is good to know all the laws.”
Before becoming a Realtor, Sunny and her husband were buying and selling houses, flipping them after fixing them up. Sunny had been helping new owners with design and staging houses for other Realtors before becoming one herself.
“I was in the design business for a long time. Our friends told me ‘You should go and take your license,’ and I did,” she said.
Sunny told the story about the first house in Brookings the couple bought. While her husband was away for fishing, she found a fixer-upper to buy.
“I called him and said, ‘I think I found a house for us,’ and he said ‘If you like, it go ahead,’” she said.
She bought it without him seeing it, using some of their savings.
“I thought when he came back, he would see a brand new house,” she said.
The house had three different additions over the years and seven separate rooms, so she stripped it down to the foundation and studs to “make an open plan and one big area.”
When her husband had a window of bad weather during fishing and came home unexpectedly, he saw just the foundation and studs.
“He was shocked, and said, ‘Where is the house? Do you know how much it’s going to cost to put everything back together?’ I told him that the biggest job was done,” she said.
He helped her for a few days and then went back out fishing again.
“It was done when he came back, and he was shocked,” she said. She explained that for her, that kind of redesign is like putting together a puzzle one piece after another.
Sunny is happy she came here.
“I love this area,” she said. “It is the best place.”
Sunny started her first day at Century 21 Agate Realty on Feb. 18, and is ready to help buyers and sellers with her expertise, she said.