Category Archives: Life

Beyond our Reach

Beyond our Reach-1My morning started out about as usual as every other workday.  There were those spill-over calls and texts from yesterday that needed to be answered along with some unexpected research I was called to do for an appraiser who wasn’t able to access online statistics due to his computer having likely been compromised by a virus or two.

I’ve been finding it becoming all the more commonplace with older people and their computers. Just yesterday someone was talking about her computer that’s been working at about half speed and likely due to uninstalled upgrades and viruses.  It’s no wonder those naughty monkey cyber criminals are holding so many companies and people hostage with their ransomware programs that lock down computer systems belonging to innocent victims until they finally cave and pay the ransom to have them unlocked.

I’m finding the world rapidly evolving to where many young living in countries which border on being considered third world nations, either get trained by criminals, or even teach themselves to willing and freely go after the assets of some innocent parties just because they believe they’re more deserving.  I’ve noticed this mentality even in our Country where thieves steal without thinking twice from someone they don’t even know because of their funked up justifications, and the main one being, “They didn’t work for it, and likely given to them, so they deserve it more just because…” Sad but true. Please don’t think me overly negative, but I believe it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Just yesterday I stopped at a store and found they had bags of potting/starting soil on sale so I purchased a bag for a single apple seed that I’ve kept stored away which was from a historic crabapple tree I found growing at an acreage last year.  The deer managed to eat what apples they could reach, but I found one still hanging much higher.  I picked it, tasted it, and decided to save a seed or two.  After opening it, I discovered there was only one good seed.

I stored that seed in a dry place over winter and kept reminding myself when Spring arrived that I needed to get it planted so I could some day show off the fledgling old-time crabapple tree.  I cleaned out a nice sized pot and planted it so if it does germinate, I’ll be able to get it planted outside before winter arrives.

Later this morning I received some staggeringly bad news from a client informing me that a dear familiar of mine passed away suddenly and without notice yesterday.  I’ll likely awaken in the night believing that phone call was just a bad dream.

Just thinking about the happenings these past 24 hours, I’m hoping all the more that crabapple will sprout and grow so to be a constant reminder to me of the dear one who passed yesterday.  If a life ends, then there must be a new life beginning.  I will always hold the fondest of memories of the dear soul and there’s no question in my mind there’s another very happy spirit enjoying a newfound home.

I believe the above photo is an appropriate reminder to us all that those who’ve passed are just beyond our reach.

They’re Swinging

SEA_5621Without question, this work week of mine has been quite the roller-coaster ride in my attempts to keep everything balanced to where everyone remained on the same page.

While driving away from a meeting with some of my Realtor colleagues, I’ve decided many have interesting perceptions of themselves as well as those around them.  Even in my profession, there are those who believe they can get everyone to agree if they’re the ones being the most intense.   Fortunately, those tactics don’t work with me. It doesn’t matter if someone is trying to soft sell or hard sell me, because if I don’t believe in, or like something, my opinions cannot be changed, so I just remain seated and listen until they’re finished with their diatribes.  What’s unfortunate for many is that oft times they believe silence is an acknowledgement.

The times when people ask my opinion on something, I’ll soulfully give it with no strings or future values attached.  Long ago I learned how easy it is for clients and customers to become unhappy with me because they received my opinion that was contrary to what they were expecting.  I believe in being professional by sharing my thoughts when asked real estate related questions. That’s what professionals are supposed to do, give sound and selfless advice–right?  As long as I continue to remember that my customers come before me first and foremost, I’ll continue sleep soundly every night.

I’m hosting a public open house tomorrow from 1 – 3 pm at 1202 – 2nd St. NE here in Mason City.  It’s truly a rare find being tucked away by itself where owners can enjoy nature without being pestered by loud neighbors and barking dogs.  The views of the Winnebago River from the dining area are breathtaking.  It’s an in-town homestead made for memories.  It’ll be one open house I’ll certainly enjoy hosting.  Be sure to stop by tomorrow and stay a while.

One of my long time clients stopped by today with a copy of several very short stories she wrote in her younger years.  After she left, I took a few minutes to scan their subjects and characters.  I’m going to take the time to read them in their entirety, and if they’re as well written as they’ve appeared, I’ll possibly be including several paragraphs in my daily writings of them. For several days there’ll be a “to be continued” line after they’ve been inserted. I believe our younger generation should like them because they’re mid-century.

This afternoon while working in my office, I happened to look outside and see a vehicle parked which had one of those sure-to-be-noticed metal thingies hanging from its underside.  The first time I noticed one of them on road some years ago, I was appalled.  From that time on, I’ve been seeing all the more which causes me to question what’s really going on in the minds of those men/women who dangle such stuff out in the public’s eye.

I took the above photo of that disgusting thingie as a reminder to everyone to NEVER hang from your vehicle’s underside such vulgar, obscene, smutty, indecent, insulting, and downright crude objects.  Thank goodness I’ve never entered into conversation with the males or females who possess such, but be assured, I really work at not being forced to drive behind a car or truck when they’re swaying with every bump and dip in the road.  Thank goodness for corners and four lanes.

Brewing Storm

Brewing StormNow some would say the 21st of June is the longest day of the year, while of late, most say the 22nd is the day offering us the most sunlight.  Be it yesterday or today, we’ll say it’s the end point of the earth’s two-way dirctional tilting.

Every year when this time arrives, I recall my readings from long ago about the Celtic tribes, the Druids, and a handful of other pagan groups and the rituals they’d be performing during this time.  There would be lighted bonfires, all night merriment, naked treks into forests, along with secret incantations that were chanted so to increase fertility in crops, animals, and their fellow tribespeople.  Of course there would have been the inclusion of some sort of primitively fermented drink with just enough alcohol to get everyone shedding their clothes and skinny dipping in nearby rivers and ponds.

Can you imagine for a moment what it must’ve been like in those times where life was brutally hard and food never in an abundance while always trying to survive those cold winters in their makeshift huts, cabins, and caves?  Just think of what the smells were like back then?  Keep in mind there were no bright blue outside toilets that would get hauled away the next day after the parties were over.  Even the most basic and taken for granted things like nail clippers didn’t exist.  I don’t even want to think about what their hands and feet must’ve looked like.  But we must remember, it was a life they’d grown accustomed to since coming down their chutes, and I think they must’ve been happy.

A number of years ago, I had several relatives visiting in and around this time.  After the suggestion by one, we all decided to have a bonfire to celebrate midsummer.  That was certainly an evening to remember.  It’s interesting how when having soulful chats around  a blazing fire, people can conjure up some of the most interesting thoughts and words.  It comes as no surprise when people talk about strange things that have been said around a “recreational” fire ring.

I believe outdoor fires must awaken those primitive sections in our brains to where thoughts are shared that would’ve never been considered during a regular get together.  Cryptic statements, off the wall observations, and deep secrets seem to stream out of the mouths of those who’d allowed themselves to be pulled into conversations of those who’d already been hypnotized by those mesmerizing flames.  It comes as no surprise we’re seeing more backyard fire rings being purchased and used by North Iowans.  It makes one wonder if we’re progressing or regressing?

The highlight of my day was getting the acreage I have listed in Fertile reduced down to $129,500.  It’s certainly at a bargain basement price right now and more sooner than later, it’s going to get sold.  As jaded as I am, I could certainly see myself living there.  What a great hobby acreage!  I do hope whomever buys it will follow thru with their dreams and turn it into a show stopper to where many of those who’d considered buying it will say, “I should have, and I could have” and forevermore be angry with themselves for not pulling their triggers.

The above photo is one I took standing in Fareway’s parking lot looking east.  What I noticed not but 5 minutes earlier was all the more impressive, but didn’t have my camera with me.  It looked like there was a real storm brewing over our City.

Reed and Spel

Reed and SpelFinding the weather today exceptionally pleasant, I decided to spend some hours back at one of my “pet” projects.  Of course yours truly forgot the word “stop” until nearly full physical fatigue started setting in.  I was happy to get quite a bit accomplished, but was a little upset with myself for not finishing earlier so to enjoy the afternoon out of doors.

Before I went into my work binge mode, I called a dear friend of mine who lives out of State whom I hadn’t spoken with for several months.  We nearly always have delightful conversations that span nearly every subject imaginable.  Today’s was no exception.

Since I’ve known her for a long time, we are familiar with each other’s well knowns.  She spoke about some of the crazy things that are happening in her family, and then suddenly asked,  “Where do you think they get such mindsets?”  I went on to tell how oft times there’s a cookie cutter copy of one of our grandparent’s, aunt’s, uncles, or siblings that get that same cookie stamp into the personality/mentality of their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and even farther on into the next, next, and next generation.  If I’m not mistaken, I read something once where scientists have discovered genetic strengths and weakness can be carried forward for 13 generations. I believe personalities are also genetically inherited.

We then both started comparing similarities of the older ones in our families with the younger.  She felt better knowing that it seems to be happening in every family and now she doesn’t have to worry that she’s living in a city where the water’s possibly tainted or there’s radioactive wastes secretly buried to where it’s causing some of the craziness in her family.  Yes, we got our laughs today and glad we had time to have a good long visit.

Before she hung up, she had to tell me about her new volunteer job.  It seems she’s been acting as a bit of a pen pal/mentor for some fourth graders.  She said she’s enjoying it, but is also concerned about their handwriting, their composition skills, and most of all their spelling.  I interjected and said, “It’s a new world out there with the schooling of our youngsters. They spell a word as it sounds, they’re heavy into printing, and above all, they’re becoming far too passive and find it very difficult to create because it’s foreign to them.”  I went on to say how in our time, learning was far more active than passive.  There were nearly never multiple choice questions, because you either knew the answer or you didn’t, and likewise with spelling where the word was either spelled correctly or it wasn’t.  I laughed and said, “Remember, we didn’t have computers back in what many of our juniors consider the Stone Age.”

I pity people who work in the area of adult education at our universities where they have to rapidly bring a great number of students up to speed just so they can move forward with the college studies.  With the advent of audio books, there’ll be all the more of our young people who’ll be finding it difficult to read and spell.  I don’t even want to think about what I believe the next crude awakening for us will be.

The Mulberry Bush

The Mulberry BushThank goodness it wasn’t raining outside because I had some menial chores to get accomplished this morning before noon arrived.  I really don’t mind it because it gets me unplugged from thoughts of my regular job.

I found it a bit odd while outside and minding my own business when a woman whom I absolutely did not know, decided to stand at the sidewalk and watch me.  It didn’t bother me at first, but after a while, I was beginning to become a little irritated.  I think she was waiting for me to stop what I was doing and engage her in conversation.  She must’ve finally realized I wasn’t going to stop, so she finally shuffled on down the street.  I’ve found the least amount of attention paid, gives watchers all the less purpose.

I’ve been noticing more people on bicycles with back packs hanging from their shoulders around town lately. I have my suspicions regarding what it’s all about, and if they be confirmed, there’s a problem in our City that’s growing all the larger.

My public open house at 2040 Hunters Ridge Drive today had no visitors the first hour, but when the second hour arrived, there were people coming and going the entire time.  Everyone who arrived for the viewing were surprised by its size.  There’ve been several over these past several months that have looked at it more than once, so I do hope they make a decision to purchase it.  It offers far more privacy than what’s normally available for townhouses in our area.

Since I didn’t have anything pressing later this afternoon, I decided to take a long drive to one of my favorite churches which I’d not visited for some time.  I’m still working on what it is about that church that makes it so special.  Today I was in a sort of hyper-awareness state to where I was not just absorbing the “wholeness” of it all, but rather visually investigating each component of its structure.  I then turned to the music, the voices, the faces, the “texture” of the wooden pews, and lastly, the lighting.

There are three stained glass windows quite high at the back of the sanctuary.  I never paid that much attention to them until today.  Whomever created their design was very talented. One of them had a face so realistic, it gave the impression of a very good painting that was set aglow by the natural light filtering through the canvas.  I did have my camera in my car, and made up my mind that I’d go and get it after the service and snap of photo so to share with you, but since it’s Father’s Day weekend, there were families hanging about afterwards with their fathers.  The next time I’m there I’ll get a shot of that window.

I pulled up to a house I had to inspect when I returned to River City, and happened to notice a mulberry bush that was loaded with berries.  In such numbers,  they were staining the sidewalks.  I was surprised the birds hadn’t plucked them.  The above photo exhibits but one of its many branches.  While driving home that old nursery rhyme suddenly popped into my head, “Here we go round the mulberry bush.” It’s very annoying sometimes when some random external happening triggers a tune in your mind and continues to repeat itself over, and over again.

The Andy Griffith Show

DSC_4067-EditMy morning started a bit earlier with my continued work on several files that are supposed to close next week, along with getting sales numbers together for a closing that will be taking place the week after next.  Yes, performing the job of a Realtor is not only dealing with the “nows”, but also diligently working on transactions that are going to be coming to close in the foreseeable future.

Of course I also wasted some precious time while waiting for someone to arrive as promised today, but then had to chalk the appointment off as a “no show”.  In this age of every form of cellular phones, there’s absolutely no reason for someone to at least be courteous enough to call and cancel.

Some time in the near future, there are going to be several agents who are going to get scolded for their lack of respect of others as well as not following instructions.  Just speaking about protocol to another today, I felt myself being pulled into a conversation that evolved into nothing more than that person being “dismissive” towards me. For some, respect is not contained in their vocabularies. So I guess if there are those who choose to hear what they want to hear, and then become passive aggressive when hearing what they don’t want to hear, then we’ve got problems.  Oh well, life goes on after we’ve had our says and sent down.

I asked someone later today who has worked with me for many years, if I really give the impression of being overly-demanding.  Since this person never minces words, the only response was, “No, you’re not.  You are just one who has always wanted things done, and done right.”  Those words were much needed after hearing some of those off the cuff comments about me which I considered un-true. I did mention to my long-time colleague how much more people in our work world side-step facts along with any form of confrontation–especially when a mistake has been made.  All the more people in our society are growing to where they’d rather have their head’s shaved rather than bring themselves to take ownership of failings.

Please be sure to stop by my public open house tomorrow which is located at 2040 Hunters Ridge Drive.  It’s a much larger than it looks townhouse that offers all the bells and whistles, and certainly for much less than if you’d be looking go out and have one similar to it built considering today’s costs of construction.  I know we need rain, but I’ll be hoping it won’t during the two hours I’m there from 1:00 – 3:00 PM.

The above photo is the gift I received from one of my sellers yesterday.  It’s a keeper!  I was instantly carried me back to much quieter and simpler times.  The Andy Griffith Show was one of our family’s favorites when I was young.  My mother especially liked watching it.  I’m glad they’re still playing the re-runs of those great many episodes.

Enough of More

Enough of More-1Looks like the heat and wind is back at it again after just one partial day of reprieve.  I’ve been empathizing with several of my sellers who’re getting themselves moved out of their homes in this heat before their closings take place later this week.  All I can remind people is to take it slow and keep ahead of their fluid intake.

Without appearing to be dodging the outdoors, I spent most of my day working on files in my office.  I can say I’ve got pretty much everything under control after last Friday and Saturday’s real estate blitz.  I’m not so sure we’ll be seeing the market slow down any time soon.  The buyers had better get themselves situated in their new homes before there’s another interest rate hike.

I’m been having some not so pleasant thoughts again about big charities that seem to bombard us on a daily basis via emails and mailings.  Some of them even make personal phone calls.  Ugh!   Today someone mentioned some letters he’d received from a charity that his father had donated to while he was alive, along with money he’d freely chosen to give as a bequeath out of his estate after he died.  He was angry as well as confused after receiving letters from that charity asking for more financial information regarding his father’s estate.  Wow!  As if a handsome gift of money wasn’t enough!

After having that conversation with him, a memory returned of an estate I was familiar with about five years ago.  Pretty much all that sweet little gentleman had left was his modest house with a hefty mortgage on it.  One of his relatives took me aside and told me she believed he was nearly sucked dry of money funds by all the written pleas from countless charities.  I said to her at the time, “What really makes me angry is that those fundraisers who work for many of those charities get huge percentages of their takes and are likely spending most of their time on a Florida beachfront sipping margaritas.”

Having seen firsthand what willful waste takes place with those funds given to charitable organizations, I’ve developed a mindset to give freely, but make near certain those funds are being used as they were intended.  I’m afraid the more these stories get out regarding those bogus charity drives, there’ll be all more reasons our general public will have to justify their own selfishness.  Selfless no-strings-attached giving is good, but one must always get plenty of first-hand knowledge before opening a checkbook.

I posted an alert today that I’m having a public open house this coming Saturday at 2040 Hunter’s Ridge Drive.  I’m still a bit puzzled why it hasn’t sold. We just recently had a major price reduction on it to where it’s certainly competitively priced.  Click on this link and be sure to make a note to yourselves and stop by Saturday between 1:00 – 3:00.

2040 Hunter’s Ridge Drive Mason City

I now leave you with my last thought.  “For many of those consumed by greed, there’s never enough of more.”  Unfortunately, their numbers are growing exponentially.