There are some smart folks in Virginia

Today, I drove from the bottom of Virginia to the top.  It’s always a great drive.  As I pass the exit signs along the way, I’m always reminded of people I’ve met and the great things I’ve learned from them.  There are a lot of brilliant, clever and fun people in Virginia.  Let me give you an example.

The game warden pulled up on Buck one morning and said, “I’ve got you.  I Fishermantold you not to fish in this pond.  See that sign over there.  NO FISHING!”

Buck, “I wasn’t fishin’ officer.  I was training my pet fish.”

“Now Buck, you know you don’t have any trained fish.  Hand ’em over.  You’re going to jail this time.”

“Seriously, officer.  I bring ’em out here a couple times a week so they can get a little exercise and work on their tricks.”  

“Alright, let me see their tricks.  I’m not buying it, but if they can do tricks, I want to see it.”

“OK.”  Buck leaned down, released all the fish, and they swam off.

The game warden said, “Let’s see some tricks.”

Nothing happened, and finally in frustration, the game warden said, “Alright, I’ve seen enough.  Call your fish back.  They don’t do tricks.  You’re going to jail.”

Buck said, “What fish?”

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A message from the pink princess.

I have never been one of those who could live in a box.  My life has always been a mixture of family, faith, work and service.  There are so many people I meet who would love to do something beyond themselves, but they don’t The pink princessknow how to get started. When I was in St. Augustine, FL in 2012, I came across a pink princess, and she had a message to share.

This little pink princess gives you all you need to know.  The sign hanging on her carriage is a great start.  It says, “Faith, courage and strength.”  If you’re going to help others, you’ve got to have faith.  You might be a great tutor.  There are a lot of kids who need a good tutor.  There is also an adult population who need tutors.  Years ago, a friend of mine taught adults to read, and yes, there are plenty of adults who can’t read.

You may be good at finances, or helping others lose weight and get fit or some other need people may have.  The options are endless.  It takes faith to get started, but beyond that, it takes courage.  Some people who need your help may reject you at first.  They may resent your offer to help.  They may welcome you initially, but when an offer to help becomes a personal responsibility to act, it may get touchy.  You’ll need to have faith that your cause is right, and then you’ll need courage to stay the course.

That takes us to the third word on the pink sign; strength.  Faith and courage are essential, but you’ve got to have the strength to continue when it would be easier to quit.  I recently received a call from a former inmate I worked with 20 years ago.  He had recently been released from prison.  I actually married him and his wife while he was incarcerated.  He called to let me know he was out and had started his own business.

There were many days it would have been easier to drop him and skip those trips into the prison, but I didn’t.  I didn’t know him before we linked up in prison.  He wasn’t someone I owed anything to.  When we met, he was a nameless inmate.  There were some stressful times, and some days I left the institution feeling like a total failure, and then one day I get a call, and someone I touched twenty years ago is saying, “Thank you for not giving up on me.”  It takes strength to stay the course.

The most important part of the photograph may be what the pink princess is telling you.  With a very determined look on her face, she is pointing for us to “Go!”  All the faith, all the courage or all the strength in the world would not mean much at all if we don’t ever go and use them.  As you look for ways to have a well rounded life, I encourage you to offer yourself in service to others.  You will make a difference.

 

Some days you can’t make this stuff up . . .

OK, I get a call while on the beach today.  (Yes, I had my Iphone with me.) 
An older gentleman says, “Hello, is this Quality Electric?”  In my best “I’m not really on the beach voice,” I said, “Yes it is, how may I help you?”

He said, “I have some ceiling fans I want to install in my house, and I didn’t like the other guy who gave me an estimate.”  Translated:  The estimate was too high.

Me: “I’d be glad to look at that next week, but I’m sitting on the beach in Daytona, FL.  When my office phone rings three times without someone answering it gets transferred to me.  I’ll be back next week.  Does that work for you?”

Him: “How about if I come to Daytona and get the estimate in person?”

We had a chuckle, and then talked about his electrical needs.  At the end of that part of our conversation I asked, “How did you find us?”

Him: “I found you on the Internet.”

Me: “Oh, I thought you might have found us in the local paper.”

Him: “I did, but I don’t like to call people in the paper.  They’re idiots.”

Me:  “I see.”

Him: “Yeah, I found you in the paper, but then I looked online, and I found you on the Internet.  You have quite a clientele.  I figured anybody with that large group of businesses as clients must be pretty good.”

Me: “We do have a lot of large businesses that use our company, and yes, we are very good.”

Him: “When I found you in the paper my wife asked if I found anyone, and I told her I did, but I said, ‘They’re all idiots?’  Then when I was online I found you first on Google.  After reading your site, my wife asked if I found anybody online.  I told her that I did.  She asked, ‘Who?’ and I told her.  She said, ‘Oh, that’s the idiot from the newspaper.’”  

Some days you can’t make this stuff up.  What a delightful conversation we had, and of course I’ll be dropping by when I return to Winchester.  If you need electrical service or repairs in Winchester, VA, gives us a call, Quality Electric Co., LLC.

Winchester, VA real estate market continues to improve – May 2012

The Winchester, VA real estate market continues to show signs of improvement, but it is in inches rather than leaps.  The current market has 513 available properties spread over the Winchester City and Frederick County area.

Of those 513 listings, 15% are distressed properties.  That’s par with the April numbers, but it’s a 3.3% drop from the beginning of the year.  The number of available listings have increased since April, and with the decline in distressed properties that’s a positive trend.  Frederick County, which has more available properties, holds 16% of all distressed properties, while Winchester City has dropped to 13%.

The more startling numbers come when you look at pending sales.  There are 321 pending sales in both Winchester City and Frederick County, VA.  The pending sales may give a better window into where the market has been.  In Winchester City, 48% of current pending sales are distressed homes.  Frederick County has 46%.  Again, those are high numbers, but it is only 47% combined.  It has been as high as 63% this year.

That’s also an encouraging trend.  The number of available listings are up.  The number of available distressed listings are down, and the number of pending distressed properties have fallen 25% since the beginning of the year.  The shift in the Winchester / Frederick County real estate market is in the right direction.  It’s moving slowly, but that tells me that bargain hunters still have opportunities if they move now.

The Winchester, VA real estate market continues to show signs of improvement.

Winchester / Frederick County Available Listings – May 2012