Thursday, January 18, 2007

I'm tired of Ice!

I love those hot summer days when I am sitting outside enjoying the warm air, the smell of the steak sizzling on the grill and that cold drink with lots of ice in my right hand; lots of ice please! But too much of a good thing can be a catastrophe.

As you have probably seen by now in our video podcast, we are in an ice storm. Everywhere you look there is ice. It is actually pretty to see it as the shrubs and trees take new shapes and the ice shimmers with many colors kind of like a prism. But that is only if you look closely, because if you look at what it has done to our area, it is devastating. It looks like a bomb has gone off right in the heart of the city.

When the storm hit, ice blanketed everything. It was interesting to watch at first, then as it started to accumulate the damage started to begin. The ice stuck to every kind of plant, shrub, and tree; oh the trees! Those beautiful wonderful trees just could not handle all of the weight and branches began to drop, one, two, then thousands upon thousands came crashing down. The sky continued to have blue flashes everywhere as the power transformers began to explode. All of the sudden, it was dark.

Thousands of people, around 70,000 in Springfield alone were without power. No power, no heat. It will back come on I know it will, it always does! But this time, 8 days later and still thousands upon thousands are still sitting in the dark, cold, wary, and very irritable.

We are coming, I keep telling everyone; and we are as fast as my body will allow. I will not give up, I will not quit, and I will continue to take care of my owners and tenants alike. However, the tenant with the bedroom door that won't close just right is going to have to wait. Somehow I just don't think it is that big of a priority.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Well it finally happened. After 20 years of managing real estate investments, we had a fire. Not some little fire mind you, a real flame coming out of the roof kind of fire. One so hot that the heat from it melted the two cars in the driveway.

On January 5th about 5:30 am I get the emergency call all property managers fear. "Sir we have a fire." I immediately jumped out of bed, got dressed and out the door I ran. I called my office manager who also hurried to get to the home. Not knowing what to expect, it was an eerie site. As I approached the neighborhood, one could see the lights from the emergency vehicles at least a half mile away. There were 10 fire trucks, 2 ambulances, police cars, Fire Marshall, and 31 firemen. They were prepared. Truly a sight to see.

We are very blessed that no one was killed. Yes, killed. Within 90 seconds, that's right 1 1/2 minutes or less from having fatalities. If it was not for our hero of the day, Mike, this whole thing would be much different. You see, we always think of the damage the fire does, but often forget about the carbon monoxide that is emitted from the fire. Sometimes, people just don't wake up.

The home had smoke detectors, 4 of them actually, but the tenants took them apart rather than have to deal with that annoying beeping noise that tells us to change the battery. That little annoyance, almost cost these tenants there lives.

This experience teaches me how fragile life can be and to look for and appreciate every detail of my life, including the little things. Some times little annoyances can be big blessings in disguise, and I hope I never overlook them.