For the last seven months we have been trying to (1) sell a house in Houston, Texas and (2) buy a house in Richmond, Virginia. This kind of thing happens every day of every week of every month of every year–hundreds of times per day in fact. This is the American way of life.

          Not for me, it appears. Three weeks before I put my house on the market in Houston the market “tanked.” I didn’t even notice to be honest. The news went sailing right over my head. Now, with the market the way it is, you can’t give a house away in Houston. Potential buyers mock the asking price, offer an insult, then castigate the seller for rejecting it. Thrilling process.

          I did have one buyer actually make a decent offer, sign a contract, and set in motion an entire scenario for us to get into a house here in Richmond. Then, at the eleventh hour, he broke the contract, withdrew his offer, and went somewhere else to play the game. It cost him a hundred bucks but, hey, that’s the cost of playing the game.

          His breach of contract also caused the collapse of a deal I had pending here. Now we’re back to the starting blocks.

          A recession is when your next door neighbor loses his or her job. A depression is when you lose your job. Perspective does make a difference.

          CNN said last night that the market is only going to get worse. September, 2007 was the worst month on record for home sales in the history of keeping track of such things. Lucky me.

          Funny thing about the market–the downturn hit Houston sellers immediately. I was forced to reduce my asking price dramatically. But, here on the east coast, the bomb has yet to drop. Prices have not dropped significantly–yet. They will in about a year after I have already bought.

          Now I know why I got out of the practice of law. I can’t imagine living on the edge like this every day of my life. I guess the adrenaline rush could get addicting, but those 14 vodka martinis every night to counteract the adrenaline of the day could be hazardous to one’s health. Is it any wonder many lawyers are (a) divorced (some several times), and (b) alcoholics?

          Stress kills. It kills human beings literally and it can kill faith if one is not careful. No wonder Jesus warns us about being anxious.

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