February Connection

Well, December came and went in a blur of head colds, Christmas shopping and work. 

January has been a good month health-wise.  Our entire family has been cold free – something we haven’t been since James started kindergarten in September.  Business has been great so far.  I’ve been working with both buyers and sellers and have already put together some deals this year.

And finally, I’ve managed to scribble out this latest Connection update just before the snow starts to melt!

Christmas in the Dickson household was as wonderful as it was exhausting.  Charlie, at 17 months, experienced his first real Christmas where he could enjoy the presents, decorations and music.  One of his favourite activities was to get Mommy or Daddy to turn on the musical mouse that sings, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and be danced around the room.  Another favourite pastime was to be lifted up so he could grab and throw ornaments off the Christmas tree. 

Now 5 years old, big brother James is a seasoned Christmas veteran.  In the days leading up to Christmas, James excitement level increased to the point where he couldn’t sleep at night, too excited at the prospect of counting another day off his Advent Calendar.  His usual wake up time shifted from 6:30 to 5:00 or 5:30.

Along with his lack of sleep and heightened excitement levels, James became prone to meltdowns, with fits of crying, screaming and hitting out at anything that displeased him.  To his credit though, he was always quick to apologize, ever aware of the omnipresent Santa Claus, who knew when he was bad or good. 

So here’s how Christmas Day went down for the Dickson family: 

Christmas Eve, 11:00 PM

Carolyn and I pack it in after setting up our Christmas milieu around the tree.  It’s a later bedtime for us, but still early enough to get a decent amount of sleep.

We had negotiated a 5:00 AM wake up time for Christmas morning with James, in return for his promise to go to sleep that night at a decent hour.  James actually drifted off to sleep fairly early and slept soundly through all our preparations for the next morning. 
So far, so good. 

3:15 AM - Houston, we have a problem. 

“Daddy, is it Christmas yet?”

“Who?  What?  No, it’s not Christmas yet, James.  Go back to sleep.  Santa won’t come if he knows you’re awake.”

“Has Santa come yet?”

“No, not yet.  Now go back to sleep.” 

“I have to go to the bathroom.”

“Okay, go ahead.”  (Hmm, maybe I should go with him to make sure he doesn’t …)

“HE WAS HERE!!!  He ate the cookies and apple juice!  Oh, and he brought more presents!  Daddy can I open one now?”

Miraculously, Carolyn and I are able to herd James back into bed without waking Charlie, though I have to lie in bed with him to keep him from crying and more importantly, to stop him from getting out of bed again.  Finally, I threatened to call Santa to take back his presents if James didn’t go back to sleep. 

“How many presents will Santa take back?”

How many presents?  What!?  I expected crying, shouting , whimpering, arguing or even (best possible) silence at that threat of losing his presents.  But not James.  He’s calculating acceptable losses for starting Christmas at 3:30 AM! 

5:45 AM – 45 minutes after negotiated wake-up time

Finally, James and I are sound asleep in his tiny bed.  Mommy comes in his room with Charlie on one arm and the video camera on the other to wake us up with, “Merry Christmas, everybody!”

“I’m too sleepy Mommy.  Can I sleep a little longer?”  Unbelievable!

“But it’s Christmas, James,” says Mommy, “Don’t you want to…”

And James is at the Christmas tree in seconds, his speeding footsteps scarcely touching the floor.

The carnage wrought by a 5-year old opening presents is controlled only by Mommy imposing strict rules of conduct – stocking stuffers first, then Santa’s presents, then presents from family.  And we all have to take turns so we can see what each other has gotten.  The idea here is to prolong the thrill of opening and taking time to appreciate all our individual presents.  To a grown-up mind, this strategy is logical, flawless. 

To a 5-year old mind, it’s just silly. 

As far as James is concerned, nothing should impede the steady rush he gets from opening gifts.  The only thing I’ve seen remotely close to this phenomenon was a psychology experiment where lab rats pushed a bar to stimulate the pleasure centres of their brains.   James attacks his presents like a white shark on a wounded sea lion, his eyes rolling back momentarily in their sockets as he tears open each one.  A quick whoop of joy, two blinks of his eyes as he mentally registers and catalogues the toy for later use, and he’s on to the next gift.  Or he helps Charlie, Mommy or Daddy open theirs, as we are all taking far too long unwrapping.  For James, it’s only about opening gifts – his or anyone else’s, it doesn’t matter.  His body is almost humming with the excitement and accompanying rush of endorphins coursing through his body, intermingling with the chocolate he’s eaten from his stocking.

Time to get some food into this boy before he implodes.

Charlie loves the wanton destruction of the colourful wrapping paper, caring little about the present inside.  And the boxes!  Charlie loves the empty boxes the most!  He crawls in them, sits in them and puts them on his head.  And when he gets bored with the boxes, he goes to the pile of discarded wrapping paper and tears it up further.  He is truly in Toddler Paradise.  His favourite present Christmas Day is a remote controlled Thomas the Train which he is thrilled to push around the living room floor, still in its display package. 

11:00 AM

Breakfast is over, all the gift wrap detritus cleared away and Charlie is down for a nap.  James has consolidated his cache of presents in a heap on the couch, methodically examining and playing with each one in small turns.

It’s off to Salmon Arm to the In-laws’ home for an early Christmas dinner.  I phone ahead, reserving the guest room bed for Daddy’s nap and recommending that Nana and Pop drink some strong coffee before we get there - they’ll need that and more to keep up with Hurricane James and his sidekick, Cyclone Charlie. 

Our Salmon Arm visit is a peaceful happy one.  James teaches Pop how to battle with a dual light sabre, Charlie plays with more empty boxes and Mommy and I both get a little nap time.  Thank God for grandparents! 

Both boys fall asleep in the car less than fifteen minutes into the drive home.   We’ve gone the full day and, except for a little bit of whimpering from James at 3:15 AM, we’ve had no tears all day! 

Truly, a Christmas Miracle!

 

REAL ESTATE NEWS

 

December sales closed out 2010 with a whimper at a total of 33 home sales.  Total for the year stands at 906 home sales, compared with 914 home sales in 2009. 

Vernon & Area Monthly Home Sales 2010 *

               
                                                         
 

Sep

Sep %

Oct

Oct %

 

Nov

Nov %

 

Dec

Dec %

TOTAL

TOTAL %

                               

Under $100,000

3

3%

2

2%

 

2

3%

 

1

3%

26

3%

                               

$101 - $200,000

16

17%

10

12%

 

11

17%

 

5

15%

124

14%

                               

$201 - $300,000

21

22%

24

30%

 

15

23%

 

9

27%

234

26%

                               

$301 - $400,000

21

22%

25

31%

 

20

30%

 

9

27%

251

28%

                               

$401 - $500,000

15

16%

9

11%

 

9

14%

 

6

18%

135

15%

                               

$501 - $600,000

8

8%

7

9%

 

4

6%

 

1

3%

68

8%

                               

$601 - $700,000

3

3%

1

1%

 

2

3%

 

1

3%

30

3%

                               

$701 - $800,000

1

1%

3

4%

 

1

2%

 

0

0%

14

2%

                               

$801 - $900,000

0

0%

0

0%

 

1

2%

 

0

0%

8

1%

                               

$901,000 +

7

7%

0

0%

 

1

2%

 

1

3%

16

2%

                               

Totals

95

 

81

   

66

   

33

 

906

                                 
 

 

 

 

                                                           

 

This year, I’ll be looking at sales statistics for the entire North Okanagan, rather than the Vernon and Coldstream areas only.

Sales for January 2011 were a total of 67 units, compared with 69 units in January 2010.  Here’s hoping the 2011 sales volumes climb higher than 2010!

 

 

North Okanagan Monthly Home Sales 2011 *

 

 

     

 

 

 

Jan

Jan %

 

 

Under $100,000

2

3%

 

 

$101 - $200,000

14

21%

 

 

$201 - $300,000

18

27%

 

 

$301 - $400,000

17

25%

 

 

$401 - $500,000

10

15%

 

 

$501 - $600,000

2

3%

 

 

$601 - $700,000

2

3%

 

 

$701 - $800,000

1

1%

 

 

$801 - $900,000

0

0%

 

 

$901,000 +

1

1%

 

 

Totals

67

 

 

                        * Statistics are gathered from Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) and subject to verification.

Details of Sales search parameters are available from Ken Dickson.

         

 

Ken Dickson

Ken Dickson

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Executives Realty Ltd.
Contact Me