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It started with a hike…

On a sunny February day, my hiking partner Arturo and I ventured out for our annual snowshoe up Boy Scout Ridge. As we trudged along the White River towards the base of our climb marveling at Mt. Hood, I kept thinking, “I can’t believe there is no wind and where are the people!?”

You see, this is a popular spot and the kicker about Boy Scout Ridge is that when you finally reach the top of the intensely steep climb the wind is wicked which makes the stay short. There was one other obvious difference this year. The steep slope had no tracks. We would soon find out why.

Without hesitation I forged upward and ahead into the inches of glistening, fresh powder. Every step I took on the steep angle resulted in my snowshoes sinking deep and sliding back down the hill a half step. At some point, I stopped to catch my breath once again, looked down at Arturo and saw him shake his head. We were done. The safety was questionable. All I could think was, “BUT THERE WAS NO WIND!!!!!”  We had made it half way up.


Then the gardening accident happened…

In my attempt to get through my least-favorite-month of February, I managed to pack my social and work schedules so tightly that I was having pre-COVID flashbacks. Somehow I had lost all awareness of how important it was to maintain balance in these areas. Between the happy hours, teaching classes and showing houses, I decided to prune my wisteria and answer my phone while on a 10 foot ladder. As I climbed down the ladder to talk, the pruning shears that I had left on top slid off and landed open on my nose deeply lacerating it. Wisteria half pruned, showings now done by Bruce, other plans cancelled for the weekend.


Then my Dad died.

He passed on February 22nd after a battle with cancer. I knew it was coming and yet continued to plan my life knowing that all of it might need to be canceled. I bought a plane ticket for the next day to Pittsburgh within minutes of getting the call. Spent all of Wednesday packing, prepping to be away, rescheduling appointments and awoke Thursday morning to a blanket of DEEP snow and ice. I was going nowhere and would miss his funeral. I surrendered.


This is a story of life and real estate. Over the past 2 years, Portland saw double-digit appreciation of real estate values year-over-year. We were all on a roll with a destination, plans and goals. But affordability was in the rearview mirror for many. Could we go on this way? Then the Fed spiked interest rates and the faucet of cheap money was turned off. We were redirected. Prices began to decline. An adjustment was necessary. Comparing 2023 to 2022 through January, the average sale price has decreased 9.2%.

It is so important to remember that we can and must plan and step forward seizing the moment time and time again knowing that in any moment everything could change and we will need to adjust. This doesn’t negate the progress it simply humbles us and perhaps wakes us up to what is really important at the end of the day.

In Loving Memory of My Dad
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