On Government

Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.

– Ronald Reagan

I have the greatest wife ever

If you happen to be a Facebook friend of mine, and have seen my status updates the past three days then you know I’ve been under the weather, suffering (miserably if I may whine some more) from some variation of the Death Flu and / or Plague.

Now I will freely admit that I don’t handle being sick very well. What can I say, I’m a man. I whine like a five year old. I want my mommy to take care of me. I am not a good patient.

Enter the wonderful Francy. Her achievements as the Master of the Real Estate Universe and Queen of Brokerage Operations are relatively well documented.

What receives far less attention is just how amazing a person she is outside of the whacky world of real estate.

She not only has put up with my whining and moaning, she actually helps me. She takes care of me. She feels bad for me.

Sure sure there is the whole “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” thing. But some twenty odd years after saying those words Francy still lives by them. Wife #1 never really gave a crap about anything but herself. Francy is the polar opposite, sacrificing a LOT for her kids, and for me.

She rocks my world. I can’t imagine life without her by my side…



All you need is love?

One of our agents, Kristin LaVanway, made a little video the other day about how  to get through the trials and tribulations of the real estate business.

She claims that… all you need is love.

And while love is indeed pretty special, I think that sometimes it takes more than just love to fix this whacky world of real estate.

Here’s what you may need, in addition to love…


Here is Kristin’s video…

Remembering the week after 9/11

This past weekend marked the tenth anniversary of the utterly devastating terrorist attacks on our country. Retrospectives and remembrances were all over the TV, newspapers and internet — as they should have been. We must never forget that horrible day, or those that lost their lives.

But with few exceptions, I saw very little mentioned about the aftermath of 9/11. (One glowing exception is Heather Elias’ post, Remembering, Reflecting, and an Opportunity for Change. It’s a fabulous piece, go read it. I’ll wait for you…)

This morning I was walking along a bike/jogging path near my house. The temperature was a perfect 71 degrees and the remnants of last night’s rain clouds made for a spectacular sunrise. Thinking about all the work this weekend that took place to set up the Tempe 9/11 Healing Field — putting up and then taking down almost 3,000 flags honoring 9/11 victims — and thinking about what Heather wrote, I was wondering why it was that we lost that… togetherness… the country felt in the days following 9/11.

Eight people jogged past me this morning. I said a warm, “Good morning!” to every one of them. Care to guess what the responses I got were?

Five people completely ignored me. Two had head phones on so maybe their excuse was they didn’t hear me. The other three looked me right in the eye. Right through my eyes actually, and said nothing. I might as well have not even been there.

Two people smiled slightly but said nothing.

One said “good morning” back.

Remember the days that followed the 9/11 attacks? American flags were everywhere. People were nice to each other. People were patient. In just a couple of hours that horrible Tuesday morning we had our perspectives radically adjusted. And honestly, adjusted for the better. There was a sense if unity in the air, a sense of togetherness.

Ten years later that seems to have been lost.  So many seem to be back at the grind, thinking of themselves, trying to get ahead. Ignoring a fellow citizen that greats them with “good morning!” on a beautiful day.

It’s rather sad.

September 11, 2001 was a monumental day in history. The devastation and loss was unimaginable. But there was some good that came out of that day. Of course I hope and pray we never experience another day like September 11, 2001. But I do find myself wishing we could have some of those good feelings from the day’s after…



I Wish I’d Spent Less Time With My Children…

I don’t know this for a fact, but I strongly suspect no one has ever laid on their deathbed and thought, “I wish I’d spent less time with my children.”

I have been blessed to have two amazing kids, both of whom are about to hit milestone birthdays. On September 11, my son will turn 20. TWENTY. How in the world can I have a twenty year old child? And on October 27, my daughter turns 18 and officially and legally becomes an adult. My baby girl. An adult…

Yesterday I spent three and a half hours on a golf course in the blazing heat with my son, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent together. Today I’m sitting here pondering how much he’s grown and developed. Pondering how his childhood is gone.

And I’m sitting here wishing I’d spent more time with him and his sister.

I don’t think I was/am a bad father. But I do think I could have done more. Spent more “quality time” with them. Even spent more totally nonsensical time doing absolutely nothing “important” other than being with each other. Both of my kids have grown and developed into wonderful young adults. They are smart, well adjusted, considerate and caring and empathetic individuals. Some of that can be attributed to genetics, much of that can be attributed to their Mother, and hopefully at least a small part was my doing.

But couldn’t I have done more? Yes, I could have. However I can never go back and try again. You don’t really get “do overs” in parenting.

Maybe it’s normal to sit back and reflect when your children reach these ages. Do that, and the “woulda coulda shoulda’s” come rolling in. Was I the best father I could possibly be, every single day? No, I was not. All too often work takes over. The daily grind, the trials and tribulations of life, those things tend to take over and consume us. Obviously I had to work — after all the kids need shelter, food and clothing. But work doesn’t equate to love. And oh how I do love my children. More than life itself. I would do anything humanly possible to protect them. That’s why when they drive away to school, to work or to just hang with their friends I still worry about them.

I trust my children completely — maybe more than I should. I know they will make solid decisions. Oh, they will make stupid decisions too, we all do — I still do at 50 years of age. But I worry about them when they are out there in the world, in a place where I can not protect them. A place completely out of my control.

I also realize I can’t always be there. Part of growing up is learning to live on your own. To make choices. To live, and to learn.

That doesn’t stop me from wanting to protect them though.

And nothing stops me from wondering what more I could have, and should have, done as their father.

Despite being 50 years of age I have many young friends that are just starting their families. While I am not really in any position to give them advice — everyone parents differently — I will say this to them: You can not spend too much time with your kids. Trust me, you don’t want to be sitting there 10, 15, 20 years from now wishing you had done more as a parent. Enjoy your children while you can; be there for them every moment that is humanly possible. They grow up really really fast. Laugh with them, cry with them, share with them and love them like there is no tomorrow.