This year’s trip to Osoyoos almost didn’t happen. With the fires burning in the hills to the east, we were somewhat concerned about smoky air quality and even for safety. However, we decided to go and assess the situation first hand. Overall, the skies above us and to the west were blue for the majority of our stay.
One of the worst things that happened on the trip was me getting offered a senior’s menu in Hope on the way to Osoyoos! However, it didn’t take long for me to overlook the offense when I saw the preferable pricing of the menu items.
Go karting in Osoyoos was a great time as most of the kids were willing to race and challenge for my go karting crown. I was having a good race and my cart was running great. I just needed to pass Adrianna and I’d be drinking from the “golden chalice” again. But then, the unthinkable happened. As I was just about to finish executing my bold outside move to overtake Adrianna at turn 4, she accidentally on purpose bumped my rear fender and spun me out. I was quite sure I heard a menacing laugh as she passed by. mWahahahahaha. I would have been more disappointed if I hadn’t been so proud of my daughter that day. With a willingness to “do whatever it takes” to win the go-kart race and get into those fuzzy areas of what’s fair and what’s not, I had to chuckle that I’d taught Adrianna too well!
Another fun outing was when a bunch of the kids and I rented a boat and driver for a few hours of fun on the lake. It was fun watching the kids tubing, but once that was done, it was time for Dad to pull up the tube and put on a show. I told the driver to set me up with a slalom ski. As I sat on the back of the boat adjusting my ski to “super pro” mode, the driver offered me the second ski which I flatly rejected. Daddy doesn’t do 2 skis, although it has been about 10 years since I last water-skied. I dropped in the water, let the boat slowly take up the slack in the rope and yelled “Hit it!” I had made up my mind that I’d drink that whole darn lake if I had to, but I was NOT going to fail to get up on the one ski! And once the speed of the boat got up, I rose up out of the water to the cheers of the kids back on the boat. After thumbing the driver up to my old 32 mph speed, I carved some beauties with a cascading spray the kids don’t see at the local water park. It was great to be 15 again! At the end of my ski, I climbed back into the boat to high fives and a request for an autograph from the driver, a nice kid who, small world, Adi knew from her high school days. I asked the driver why he earlier pushed the second ski on me and he responded that as a driver, every summer he sees “mature” guys like me trying, and failing, to re-live their glory years. “But bruh”, he said, “you were sick!”
Andy and I did a lot of hanging out in Osoyoos. He was my morning Tim Hortons buddy, and my afternoon walking partner for an afternoon treat, whether a snack at Boston Pizza, a pop, or even some beef jerky. We bought Andy a new baseball glove at the Home Hardware, and threw a lot of balls on the beach. Water football, and a few bike rides were also on the agenda. So good that Andy has sisters that love him so much and take him out with them to float on air mattresses or rent paddle boards!
The Klassen annual mini golf outing to Rattlesnake Canyon didn’t turn out so good for me, though. As usual, Mrs. Klassen was playing not for fun, but to win at all costs. She’ll deny it, but does anyone really have a cold late July such that they have to cough on my backstroke. And I’m sure there was a sarcastic edge to her “you were so close” encouragement on my short putt miscalculation. Anyways, I overcame Cindy’s psychological intimidation tactics and was neck and neck with her as we teed off on the 17th hole. If you’ve been to Rattlesnake Canyon, you know the 17th hole has been the bane of many golfers in the past. I call it the Volcano Hole because it has this hill at the end of the green with the hole at the top. So if you miss, you go right down the hill again. Well Mrs. Klassen scored a 3 I think, so I’d need a 3 or 4 to put that bad sport in her place. Fast forward 5 minutes and Cindy was quite happy to offer to mark down my “6” for me. I have filed a formal complaint to the mini-golf association of BC. There’s no way the “volcano” hole on 17 is sanctioned.
Fun family times, I haven’t even mentioned:
So that’s a wrap. The summer went by quickly, and now all we have is the memories. We’re looking forward to another great Fall!
Cautionary note by newsletter editors Morgan and Adrianna: The stories in Steve’s Family News are “loosely” based on real life events...
Happy Spring, everyone! It’s so nice seeing a bit more of the sun, and enjoying the longer evenings. Here’s what’s been happening with the K-Team:
The three things in life I love the most are Jesus, my family, and sugar. Only the last thing on this list is a vice. Many of you know that Cindy and I enjoy running, and have run the Sun Run on a few occasions. This year, we decided to run the “Virtual Sun Run” with a team from my RE/MAX office. In a few short days, we’ll all run a 10km route along the Fort to Fort Trail in Fort Langley, and submit our times to the Vancouver Sun. Unfortunately, it’s been hard for me to get super motivated to make the training and dietary sacrifices necessary to be in race shape. The craziness of the local real estate market often causes me to reach for the comfort foods of chocolate, double double steeped tea from Tim Hortons, and anything else containing sugar like peanut butter (yes, I eat it out of the jar), sugar blam blam cereal, and ice cream. About 3 weeks ago, I cut out sugar. The first thing that happened is that I got a headache for 2 days. But in time, that cleared, and I noticed my food cravings dropped off, especially the mid afternoon craving for sugar energy. In this time, I’ve dropped 4 pounds, and I even feel better with more energy and better sleep. Unfortunately, with the 4 pound weight loss, I’m still 10 pounds over race weight, so I’ll be running with the extra bulk. Now, I know myself. Once the race is over, I’ll probably pull into a Tim Hortons for a steeped tea double double. But with beach holidays on the horizon, I hope to keep the sugar habit at bay.
Cindy hasn’t been to our shed recently, so I haven’t got in trouble yet for buying yet another family dirt bike. I just bought a Yamaha TTR 230 for Adrianna as the TTR 125 she has been riding is getting a bit small, and one of the other kids can ride it. Cindy did know that I bought a small quad for Andy to rip around on, but of course as soon as I bought it, he became brave enough to once again ride the little Honda CRF 110 we have. Years ago, I was giving Andy a riding lesson on the Honda. While I was on the back, and instructing Andy to go gentle on the throttle, he did the old “whiskey throttle” which immediately elevated the front end of the bike and threw us both off. Nobody died that day, but Andy refused to get back on the bike, and repeatedly stated he needed “4 wheels”. So I bought the quad which he now doesn’t ride because he’s back on 2 wheels. Well, Cindy says she’ll ride the quad, and we’re all excited to see her out on the trails soon! It’ll be a challenge, as it has always been with a bike helmet, to convince Cindy of the importance of a safety helmet, and that families that ride dirtbikes are ok with less than perfect hair.
Because we now have 5 dirt bikes and a quad, I had to buy a bigger trailer. So I went out and bought a 14’ tandem axle trailer with a loading ramp. When I got it home, Cindy called it a “horse trailer” because it was just a “bit” bigger than she expected. I love the new trailer, and Andy wants to do some camping with it soon!
The lease on my 2017 Audi SQ5 is up, and my new 2021 SQ5 will be ready in a few days. The other day, Cindy and I, along with Nicole and Andy, drove out to my parents’ place in South Surrey. I love how my Audi drives, and since I had to turn it in soon, I decided we’d drive it, instead of the “family vehicle”, out to see the folks. One of my favourite places to rip is the hill on 8th Avenue that takes you down into the Hazelmere Valley. It’s a great twisty road that really demonstrates the superior handling of German designed vehicles. So I threw the Audi into sport mode and attacked the downhill. It didn’t take long for the “Emergency Voice Alert” to activate from the passenger seat, sounding just like my lovely wife, to tell me I was going too fast and driving in an unsafe manner. My response that the Audi is engineered to take on much more than I just put it through was not graciously accepted. And it didn’t help that sweet Nicole piped up from the back seat to tell Mom that I usually go “way” faster. I guess Cindy isn’t impressed with “performance” vehicles and believes I should go perform when he is not in the vehicle. Fortunately, the kids are used to Dad’s spirited sprints through the “S” curves, so I’ll have to remember who’s in the car when I decide to punch it.
So that’s an update from the K-team! If you have any thoughts or funny memories, shoot me a text at 604-312-8920, email me at email@example.com, or message me on Facebook!
Adrianna is in her fifth and final year at SFU, and Mireya is in her grade 12 year. Two graduations coming up! Mireya is considering post secondary education while Adrianna is keeping her options open. Whether to get out into the workforce to save up some money, or to continue her education. We’ll see what happens!
We’ve been doing a lot more skiing this year, and the kids have improved their skiing form. Our usual outing is a Sunday “Night Owl” ski at Cypress. The prices are a bit more affordable, and the lift lines are usually fairly short. We like to start skiing at about 5pm, put in a few runs before we have dinner at the cafeteria, and then a few more runs before we head home. We usually like to take an annual trip to Mt. Baker, but for this year, I’ll take a few of the kids to Manning Park for a day trip. When you have a big family, these ski excursions can get expensive, but what else would I spend the money on? Well, wisdom would say retirement planning would be a smart idea. However, I’m not that smart, and so my idea is to spend my money on fun family experiences, and I’ll just work until I can’t anymore. I told Cindy that in order for me to be less of a financial burden on her, she can plan my retirement party to be the same day as my funeral!
JUDE THE REALTOR
After finishing up his third year at Bible School, Jude, and his wife Morgan, moved to the Fraser Valley where Jude took on a landscaping job to “pay the bills”. During that time, he took the Real Estate course and got his license. Jude is now working with me as part of the Steve Klassen Real Estate Group, and is doing well. Jude did his first real estate transaction within a week of getting his license, and it might have gone to his head a bit. He started taking the good parking spots at the RE/MAX office, and I think he might have even used my coat hook. All joking aside, Jude has been reaching out to his sphere, just to let people know he’s in the business. That effort has landed him his first big listing! It’s been interesting getting his perspective of what real estate is, and what he thought it was when he was a youngster observing his Dad. I have to say I think I’ve done a pretty good job of being around for my family, but what the kids didn’t see, which Jude is perhaps realizing now, is that once they went to bed, I was back in the home office for a few hours of paperwork. Jude and the kids thought I was joking when I often quipped:
Q: “What does a Realtor do after an 8 hour day?”
A: “Stop for lunch!”
Q: “Does a Realtor ever just work a 20 hour week?”
A: “Yes, when he is on vacation!”
CINDY THE STAGER
Cindy, as a professional stager, has been staging my listings for a few years now. She and her staging partner Susan do an incredible job, and their work really does result in my listings selling for more money and in a shorter period of time. But I have to say, Cindy’s vocation is affecting our family life. Not that long ago, my daughter Nicole complained that her desk was missing. Cindy told her to suck it up as the desk was needed for a staging job, and that homework could be done in the dining room. And speaking of the dining room, all of the sudden our dining room table and chairs were gone, and replaced with our outdoor patio set. Cindy explained that the furniture was needed for another staging job. Cindy loves her job, and is really good at it, but if I can’t watch the hockey game because the TV is missing, I’m going to file a grievance with the professional stager’s union! So that’s an update from the K-team! If you have any thoughts or funny memories, shoot me a text at 604-312-8920, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message me on Facebook!