1 November 2008 0 Comments

The warmest Halloween + the thinnest Real Estate Section

Two interesting things happened this weekend – The first time I can remember a Halloween night being so unseasonably ‘warm’ in Bend & The first time I have ever seen the Bulletin’s Real Estate section being so thin, so thin that both sections had no inserts, not a single sheet in the fold. Why even have two sections?

MummyGranted, we’ve only lived in Bend for 8 years, but since I can recall Halloween nights have always been a bone chilling expedition and at times thwarted by scattered showers. To boot, this years Halloween fell on a Friday night, TGIF + H.

My sister cruised over to hang out with Max and I, so we popped in a Mel Brooks fav – Young Frankenstein. Max had never seen it and thought it was pretty funny ‘for an old movie‘ LOL. It was a fun evening of trick-or-treats, movies, drinks , and little Halo 3 (toward the end of the evening). Laurie and Ana came back w/ a boatload of candy from what was obviously a well executed high fructose corn syrup run.

This morning I cruised out the front door to pick up Saturdays paper. On Saturdays The Bulletin (our local newspaper) runs their Real Estate Section – which has been getting thinner and thinner over the past six months or so. Today it was the thinnest I’ve ever seen.

Skinny Real EstateI remember when that section was super thick, I mean fat. Full spread ads by brokers, full page ads by builders, agencies, etc. Granted, they were making money hand over fist. I too encouraged my home builder clients to advertise in The Bulletin in addition to our other cross-media venues. Why not? The market was hot, they were making record profits, and everyone – at the time – was in the red ocean. The Bulletin was loving it, selling ad space like there was no tomorrow at fairly high prices, no doubt making record profits as well.

Well, not any more, and not for a while. I’m thinking we’ll see that section staying pretty thin for some time. There really is no incentive to advertise – What’s the incentive to buy a home in an overpriced market when you can just wait for a foreclosure or short-sale? It’s harsh, but true. This market is overpriced – even when moving here we thought – ‘Really, you want that much?’.

If you’re going to try to sell your home (or homes) in this market, place a classified. In the paper sure, but for sure online, it’s free. Less is more these days, and it’s apparent now that less should have always been more – but living in a  100 sq. ft home takes the adage to a whole new level.

The Real Estate Market is still alive and well in other markets though. I have friends selling $2,000,000 – $4,000,000 condos in NYC no problem – for a medium sized residence in the The Big Apple that makes sense. Granted, we’re talking two completely different markets, but $1,000,000+ for living in the heart of downtown Bend? That’s funny.

Regardless, over time I hope to see those pages fill up again with home prices more in check with reality. And a return to a cool, crisp, Fall evening for Halloween would be nice too.

13 October 2008 1 Comment

Day 23

Continued from a previous post.

What a weekend! It started early with another Friday morning visit with Dr. Eshraghi. We left our house in the morning and made it just in time for our 11:30. The ride up was pretty chill, but there was a brief moment when traffic slowed just past Madras – it looked as though a trailer full of pears had somehow dumped its contents all over the highway – that being fresh pears. So for a brief moment we drove over what looked like a river of crushed pears – a green river that bridged the highway severed only by the tracks of north and south-bound traffic. We continued on. The turning leaves just past Mt Hood weren’t as bright as last week but still nice to look at.

Day 20We didn’t know what to expect at Max’s appointment – but we knew that that one area on his arm had not healed as fast or as completely as every other burn had. It was/is still an open wound. The big unanswered question, and the one that was on everyones mind was ‘Is Max going to need surgery?’. Max has been such a good sport throughout this whole time, and had already reluctantly assumend surgery was going to be the outcome, but it was our job to remind him it wasn’t a certainty and that’s why we were going to the doctors again.

We arrived at the hospital (where the doctors office was – on the 5th floor) and made our way to our appointment. The doctors assistant escorted us to a room, somewhat smaller than our previous visit, and asked Max to remove his shirt, he did. She took his temperature and removed his dressing and left. Dr. Eshraghi walked in, smiled briefly and went directly to Max. He looked carefully, thoughtfully, and delivered his conclusion. We had three options. 1st: We do the surgery and remove the burn. 2nd: We wait several weeks, return and do the surgery if the wound is still bothering Max. 3rd: We return after several weeks and if the scar looks fine and does not bother Max, we leave it alone. He looked at us and basically stated that Max’s injury was borderline, but would be fine without immediate intervention – but made it clear that it was our choice. I think he really didn’t want to put us through any more. The hospital already had us booked for surgery that afternoon – so we were prepared, but not really looking forward to another procedure on Max. We chose option three, the doctor nodded and agreed. We liked the doctor – from the moment we met him at The Burn Center, we could tell he cared. He pointed out what to look for in Max’s wound as the weeks progressed, and gave us some information on what things we could do to help his scar heal properly. And with that we left the hospital.

We were all so happy. For the first time in what seemed a long time, we were a happy family again, no worries and most importantly for Max – no surgery. I made calls, sent some texts out about the good news and we set off for lunch.

Lunch was great – we met my cousin Nicole for a tasty lunch at this place on Mississippi called Muddy’s, then we cruised to a comic book store up the street to kill some time before heading downtown and hooking up with our friends Mark and Heather.

We cruised across the river, parked and made our way around the Pearl, stopping at Powell’s and mio gelato for some, well, gelato.

We met up with M & H at their cool studio across from W&KScenic as they were wrapping up their Friday with their cute little Welsh Terrier Layla. We hadn’t seen them since Max was at the Burn Center, but didn’t really have the time or energy to really hang-out, so it was good to see them under less stressfull conditions.

We (Laurie, Max, Ana, and I) stayed at their home for the evening – which was memorable for sure (good times, good times). We had our own room and the kids were set up in a tent – they loved it. Ana spent most of her time playing with Layla, and Max was plugged into the PS3. It felt good to be in Portland with friends – not a hotel, being in such a relaxing environment removed us from our reason being in Portland in the first place and allowed us to chill. Thank you Mark and Heather for having us over and being such wonderful hosts.

Saturday rolled around and we made our way back home. No stops this time, Ana had a soccer game to get to and she didn’t want to miss it. The ride was fast and uneventful. We got home and all was well. Our neighbor Megan had watched Coco and Lucy for us, thank you Megan!

The weekend melted away as I spent most of the time hanging inside with Max, who was taking a day off from having to smear massive amounts of SPF on his face and arm. We played Halo 3 online w/ my brother and Max’s cousin (we kicked butt) and started organizing Legos.

Day 23Max’s burns are for sure getting better, but there’s no doubt there are still marks that tell the tale. Before we left the doctor’s office I had asked how long before his skin started blending back to look as it did before this all happened. I was told he would look ‘normal’ in about twelve months, but there would be a chance that some areas may look a little ‘different’ but time would tell.

I’m positive Max is going to do great in these upcoming months. He’s shown nothing but strength and resolve throughout this whole ordeal. His outlook has been and contiunes to be positive and that counts for alot.

With such a great community of family, friends, and well wishers how could he not get better? :^)