The May 15th fire that destroyed a large part of our town seems like a long time ago now because so much has happened since that date. Having said that, the past 6 or so months have also seemed to drag by because nothing was happening fast enough. I would imagine the emotional chaos experienced as both individuals and a community in general are typical of a town that has gone through so much devastation. One thing is certain - Slave Lake will never be the same again - and we all have to get used to a new kind of normal.

There are a lot of people who lost their properties to the fire and there are a lot of people who didn't. Those who lost seemed so lost, and many didn't even know if they wanted to stay. Those who didn't tried to help those who did and suffered their survivors guilt in silence. The truth is we all lost that day. Friendships and relationships have been strained. We were left with a town divided both figuratively and literally, and none of us will ever be the same.

Some people returned and some didn't. Some are rebuilding both their homes and their lives here and some chose to rebuild with a fresh start elsewhere. I'm sure people in both situations are still second-guessing their decisions at times.

Personally we're glad we stayed. Our old Century 21 Northern Realty office burned but we have a new and in some ways better location right in the heart of old downtown. It took some time and effort but we're up and running and on top again. Our office staff has gone through alot both individually and as a team but they're amazing people and we've all managed to regroup, so it's been business as usually for a long time now. And thanks to the generosity of our business friends including our competitors, who while dealing with their own happenstances made sure we had a new location, office furniture and the paperwork needed to open for business, we were able to our jobs. We will never forget the kindnesses you offered and you can never know how much you are truly appreciated.

We also lost our office computer back-up location, so our client database to send out seasonal greetings is not possible this year and we apologize. But as our very valued clients please know how much we've appreciated your business and your loyalty over the years. We will do our best to continue to earn that loyalty by offering experienced, professional service and proven results. We are so very grateful to you all. And to those of you who put your trust in us after May 15th, thank you. Sincerely, thank you. You've kept our spirits up, our doors open and our sales team focused on accomplishing what you hired them to do. 

The real estate market is strong and there is much activity. We expect that to continue in to the next year as we anticipate much growth in the area. The future of our local economy and industry in general looks positive, as does the current real estate trend. Time does heal and we do have a lot to be grateful for. We have a wonderful community because of the people who fought to save it, the people who strive to rebuild it, and the people who choose to live here and raise their families. 

We want to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Sincere best wishes for 2012.

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