Category Archives: Story

Smeared with Color

Smeared with ColorAfter I arrived at my office this morning, I noticed that it wasn’t getting warmer, but rather colder during our first daylight hours.  While on my way out to a breakfast invite with several clients, I noticed my car’s thermometer had dipped below 10 degrees due to the wind having started up again.  Since I normally don’t eat that much for breakfast, I found myself being all hungrier and ordering more.  My body must’ve been quietly telling me, “Eat more! I’m running out of fuel to keep your machine working!”

About 11:00 am I received a text from a tenant frantically saying his furnace was out and his home was getting cold fast.  I picked up the phone and called him, and from what I gathered, it sounded like one of those electronic components having gone bad.  I immediately called the furnace company I normally use and scheduled an ASAP service call.  Still wondering what could’ve possibly happened, I went over to the tenant’s house, and just as I walked in, he said the furnace finally kicked on.  From what he was telling me, the batteries in the thermostat went dead so he changed them, but the furnace still wouldn’t start. It wasn’t until he shut it off, waited a moment or two and then turned it on again, and at that moment it finally started.  I did mention to him that some furnaces have to be shut off in such cases so to re-start their cycles.  I couldn’t have been happier all was back to normal.

Not long after that incident, I was on the phone with a well known saying situations like a furnace not working in weather like this is but one more reason why I intensely dis-like winter.  I become very concerned about heat plants not working and pipes freezing during these times.  It’s also a reminder of how helpless we would be if our electricity would go out and all our electronically controlled furnaces not being able to heat.  That’s a pretty scary thought isn’t it?  We must remind ourselves once in a while of how many assumed “they’re always there working” peripherals we have in our lives of which we take for granted.

One of my appointments today was with a client who recently sold his inexpensive home.  My meeting with him concerned the buyer of his home requesting a money concession for things not being of his liking or possible expectations.  After considering all options, my client decided to make a goodwill gesture by offering his buyer a token amount just to keep the sale moving forward.

After he left, I couldn’t help but think how so very many people refuse to keep buying a used home in perspective–especially when it’s in a lower price range.  You can’t expect a home under $50K to be of the caliber of say one that’s $250K because it’s all relative.  In every tier of home pricing, you get what you get within those ranges without the expectation of something far greater.

After taking a quick peek in my gifted book which I spoke about last evening, I found another word I’ll certainly be placing into use.  My new word for tonight is: mottled, which means something that’s either spotted or smeared with color.  Thank goodness I found it because whenever describing something that’s blotched with color, I normally refer to it possessing spots, or being spotted, but in reality, they’re normally not spots, but smears of color.  Think of all of those many cats and dogs that we’ve known which really don’t have spots, but rather being blessed with smears of color.  With my new word, I can’t wait to consider someone’s pretty little pussy as being mottled, rather than spotted or blotched with color.

Stay warm and keep those furnace filters clean and thermostat batteries charged.

Sweeping Temperatures

Sweeping Temperatures-1There’s no question I was out of the office more than in today with it being the first of the month as well as a Monday.  At least I did get everything accomplished including having one of my listings sold.  Looks like December is going to be an active one.

One of my personal chores today was to go over to the bank and have some debit cards created for Christmas gifts I’ll be giving to a select few individuals who I believe are deserving.  I’d rather give money because unless you know exactly what someone wants, it turns into nothing but a crap shoot.

Since my mother’s passing over a year ago, I’m still not yet up to speed with holidays.  In these times, I’m perfectly happy with the “fly overs” I make when public celebrations arrive throughout the year.  I just find something else to do and call it just another day. Of course I’ll be sure to attend a Christmas Service at an area church.  It’s interesting how two deaths in a family can create rippling effects of change that reach out farther than one would’ve ever expected, but life must go on after realizing there’s not much else we can do other than move forward with the present while looking to our futures.

Tomorrow is the day our run-off elections take place for two vacating seats on our City Council.  I hope everyone has done as much research on those candidates as possible before going to the polls.  I have some mixed emotions along with “bad gut” feelings regarding several of them.  After doing some extra reading this past week, I’m now certain which one I’ll be voting for in my Ward tomorrow.  I smile while thinking about an old German saying which translates as, “New brooms sweep clean.”  But you know what we have when someone lights a match to a new broom?  You have a new broom creating a major fire hazard in the room.

These next days I’ll be sure to contact Travis Hickey for remaining steadfast with his beliefs during that special Council Meeting last Tuesday.  We need more people like him in our government who refuse to be swayed by loud-mouthed special interest groups. It was amazing how calm and collected he remained during those three grueling hours while most others were spinning and squirming.  Several days later someone said, “I’m so glad our City managed to dodge a bullet.”  I quickly replied, “In time, our citizens will realize it was more the size of a Scud Missile.”

Tonight was the second time I noticed a City bus driver not being more careful with his/her driving.  About a month ago, I noticed a female bus driver drive right thru that 4-way stop at the corner of S. Pierce and 6th St. SW.  Tonight, as I was waiting for the arrow light to turn green when at the corner of S. Monroe and Hwy 122 so I could turn left onto the highway, it turned green and while I was beginning to turn, another City bus started crossing the highway and heading north on S. Monroe.  I had to slam on my brakes so I wouldn’t turn into him/her.  I laid on my horn, but that bus continued to freely sail past me.  Don’t those drivers understand 4-way stop signs and green turning arrows?

I was actually happy to be outdoors most of our early afternoon.  Can you imagine it was 65 degrees at 2:00 pm today?  It felt like September returned for but a few hours.  Now look at it!  The temps have dropped about 30 degrees and the wind is picking up.  I’ll certainly remember this day as yet another example of how North Iowa can experience wide sweeping temperatures.  I can hear the wind howling all the more out there, so stay indoors where it’s warm and safe.

The Neighborhood’s Filling

320 1st NE #209-1Several hours of my morning was spent with clients/customers who were either buying or selling.  As noontime rolled around, I suddenly came to the conclusion I’d just had two back-to-back meetings with ISTJs which is an acronym of people who are introverted sensing, extroverted thinking, introverted feeling, and extroverted intuitive, or simply considered “old souls”.

For me, I find them exceptionally comfortable to visit with because of their straight-forward approach to conversation without high-anxiety dramas.  With old souls you get what you get and that’s just fine because they’re comfortable enough with themselves that they don’t have to put on airs or create illusions.

One thing I wish old souls would do more, is appreciate their abilities enough to where they’re ready to put their shoulders against anyone trying to brand them as being inferior to those loud-mouthed wanna-be’s holding those branding irons.  I’ve also decided that most old souls have deep wisdoms which are rarely shared with others unless they’ve grown comfortable enough with another and share.

Somehow we managed to get on the subject of Garrison Keillor’s recent firing from NPR.  So terribly sad to see him go because he’s been much loved by millions for a very many years.  I did happen to catch in an article where there’s likely going to be a story written by him in the near future which will more fully illuminate what really happened.  My old soul client was equally shocked by his dismissal.  You’ll be sure to find me watching for the rest of his story regarding the incident that happened many years ago.

I’m confident you all remember me saying some time ago about how many sociologist are closely watching and studying this generation due to it being the first “look at me” generation to surface since the Science of Sociology came into existence.  Do you think this flood of sex scandals is just one more by-product of our “look at me” generation?

Naughty me couldn’t help but say, “You must’ve noticed that sex shop called Pure Pleasure while driving between Mason City and Clear Lake on Hwy 122. Well, it will not surprise me if business begins to boom with purveyors of sex toys, videos, and those soon to come to market, near perfect virtual reality chambers.”  She laughed and said, “Well you know, I heard they’re already selling some discreet little gadget in Shopko.”  It’ll come as no surprise if those types of businesses start mushrooming, and just remember, you heard it from me first.

Back to Prairie Place on 1st.  One more was listed today which I now have posted everywhere online.  It’s Unit 209 which is the last one of its floor plan available.  We are now down to 13 units still available out of those 32 original “empties” in their complex.

Wouldn’t it make a great Christmas present for one of your favorite Seniors?  All I can say is, “The vacancies are fewer while the neighborhood’s filling with the most delightful people.”  I’ve yet to meet one of those residents who aren’t happy with their move.  It’s just a darned nice place for them to live out their so much deserved golden years. Click on the link if you want to take a peek at Unit 209.

320 1st NE #209 Mason City

Hell-bent Ride

Hell-bent Ride-1Another soft landing took place today with one of my listings, and just before we finished up with it, the buyer announced to everyone how much she enjoyed working with me because of my being very kind and helpful during the whole process of her purchase.  I finally had to say, “Please. If you say anymore, I’m going to get teary-eyed.”  Of course I had to respond by saying how wonderful she was to work with, and that I’d certainly be staying in touch with her.

As chance would have it, I managed to get another one of my listings sold today to an absolutely wonderful couple.  They were a bit nervous about the whole purchasing process in the beginning, but I think now that their offer has been accepted, they’ll be finally getting a good night’s sleep after some recent half-sleepless nights.  Yes, buying a home is a big step and worthy of being a decision that’s not to be made lightly.

Early this morning I had to return a phone call that I dreaded because even though many of us would like to accommodate the wants and needs of others, there are rules in place which restrict us from freely fulfilling someone’s wishes.  I did my best to be as kind and gentle when communicating the bad news, so I’m hoping that person doesn’t think I was being personally punitive in any way, but rather following hard and fast rules that allow only rare exceptions.  I made sure to extend my best wishes for the Holidays.

Later this afternoon another Realtor brought an offer in on one of my listings I’ve been really wanting to have sold and closed.  I presented it to the seller and hopefully we’ll get it put together in the next day or two since we’re not that far apart on price.  If I were a young person looking for my first home, I’d be jumping on it in a New York second because of the upside potential it has for future value, while being a great place to call home without having a monster mortgage to service every month. Even though they’re working with another Realtor, I do hope they get it because I’m near certain it’ll work hard for them for many years.

For some reason, my phone was overly touchy today where I actually made two “butt” calls without knowing it.  Both times I got embarrassing return calls of which I had to apologize for having unknowingly made.  So much for our evolving smart phones which for some reason, seem to be developing minds of their own. Computers really are growing all the more scary whether we want to admit it or not.

While taking a moment to read the online news today, I was again disturbed when reading about another missile being sent into space by North Korea.  I’m beginning to wonder if their leader is suffering from a testosterone overload, along with the possibility of also being noticeably deranged.  These are dangerous times in which we live due to one looming fact; there’s a rogue nation on our planet in possession of nuclear weaponry.

Without question, today was an exceptionally productive day.  My utmost high was when I was able to get a few belly laughs out of several familiar stoics who were certainly in need of them.  Don’t you think everyone should take a moment or two out of their day just to listen or read about someone else’s comical real-life adventures?  The one I shared today was about my hell-bent ride on a horse.  Too funny!

Evolving of You

Evolving of YouWasn’t it just an absolutely beautiful day we had?  I think it was above 60 degrees this afternoon before the wind changed directions and started sprinkling.  Thank goodness for it being that warm because I took the afternoon off so to get some outside work done and most happy I didn’t have to bundle up while out.

The streams of vehicles on the highways was certainly yet another sign of how maniacal shoppers are about Black Friday.  I had planned on stopping at Menards for some supplies, but when I saw how full their parking lot was, it was definitely a “forget it”!  Standing in a long check-out line is on my top ten list of things of which I try avoid if at all possible.

I was visiting with someone this morning about Prairie Place on 1st which are the newly built senior condos in walking distance to our Historic Downtown.  While driving back to the office I thought of yet another marketing possibility which I thought thru very carefully and it makes absolute sense. We all know there are those not so wealthy parents in North Iowa of children who’ve created noticeable wealth in their professions. Those parents likely paid for the educations which helped jump-start their careers.  What better way those children to show their appreciation for what their parent or parents have done for them than to purchase one of those life estate condos?  Of course they’d have themselves named as beneficiaries so when their parents do pass on, those condos would not only be a great gift of appreciation, but also a long term investment that’s protected against lawsuits and probate.  It would be something on the order of purchasing a paid-up life insurance policy on another with yourself named as beneficiary. Don’t you think it’s a great idea for wealthy children to give back to their not so monetarily sustained parents and still come out ahead in the end?

Surely you all must think me possessed when speaking often of the crow population in our City.  Well, I did forget to tell you they’ve found another roosting spot which is in those tall trees along the creek south of the mall.  Late yesterday afternoon, they were circling and landing amongst their already numerous brethren.  If someone could invent a devise that would keep them permanently driven away in our US of A, they’d make millions.

It sounds like tomorrow we’re going to have wind again and I do hope it won’t be a deterrent for people attending my public open house at 422 S. Tennessee Place.  The owner is on a burn to get it sold, so whomever does buy it will certainly be happy they were in the right place at the right time.

I got a good laugh today while on the phone with one of my peppery clients when mentioning that should his home not be sold by the time he has to be moved out of State for his new job, I’d be sure to check it on a regular basis.  He actually said to me, “That’s very evolving of you.”  I was nearly speechless when hearing those words, but then finally replied, “Shouldn’t you have said, “That’s very big if you.”?  He chuckled and said, “I’ve never considered you to be either horizontally or vertically challenged.”  Yes, there are always those who must have the last word.

Tonight’s photo is one I took late this afternoon of those creepy-cool clouds that were sailing through North Iowa.

1034 Park Lane

1034 Park Lane-1Ouch!  Looks like we’re going to be pounded this winter with an abundance of Alberta Clippers sailing thru North Iowa.  Each time that wind starts, it feels all the more biting than it did the last time it arrived.  At least many of the seasonal outdoor workers will be taking numerous days off with the exception of perhaps driving a plow every time it snows.

One of the appointments I had today took me to a very rickety and ultra-filthy bargain basement home.  It was of course empty, but the “essence” of the previous occupants lingered on.  First off, they certainly had more than one dog, but even though the heat was off, the pungent smell of them remained.  For sure they must have had real substance abuse issues because the signs were evident nearly everywhere I looked.

While walking thru, I was praying they didn’t have children living in that squalid structure. Too many wonder why children grow up to be “bad seed” burdens on the State. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to trace their lives back to when they were children and exposed on a daily basis all our social evils at such tender and innocent ages.   I said to the buyers, “All I see is a big lot, and a shell with relatively good bones, but everything else needs to be scraped off and hauled away.”  Surprisingly they agreed, so I guess they’ll be putting a pencil to their costs of improvements and get back to me.  If they do buy it, I’m confident the quality of tenants/occupants will be markedly better than what I viewed today. I did teasingly say to them again, “You know this is Realtor abuse.” Coming out of places like that oft times makes me want to burn and/or bury all the clothes I’m wearing.

Oh, I must share with you a sight I hadn’t seen in many years. An elderly lady just had to show me a hand corn planter that came from her grandparents.  I was totally intrigued by it because I’d not seen one with all its components intact.  We laughed about how today’s farmers wouldn’t have a clue what it was, or the reason why many years ago farmers would “drill” their corn with special planters with trip wires.  That’s back when we didn’t have herbicides and the fields had to be cultivated several times during growing seasons.  It all took me back to the “big farm” we lived on before my parents decided to move to our fair City.

Holtz Realty has another “curtain rising” today on a new listing.  If it doesn’t sell before the end of this year, I’ll be extremely surprised because it offers everything most buyers are looking for here in Mason City–especially its location.   It’s a roomy 3+ bedroom ranch with 1 3/4 baths, open kitchen/dining/living area, big bathroom, finished basement with a possible 4th bedroom and 3/4 bath, 2 car attached garage, and a very large fenced back yard.  It’s priced to sell at $128,500.00, so don’t hesitate to call or tell friends and relatives about 1034 Park Lane here in Mason City.

Click on its link to see for yourselves.

1034 Park Lane Mason City

Back on their Menu

SEA_5735This month has certainly re-affirmed the nickname Mason City was given a number of years ago by being, “The Windy City of the North”.  Seems there hasn’t been a day it hasn’t been blowing.

My morning took me over to Clear Lake again on an errand, so on my way back, I stopped Downtown at Cabin Coffee and grabbed a take-away cup of their run-of-the-mill.  I’m still not into “designer” coffee because it’s either too strong, or masked with other flavors.  I guess I’m a little old fashioned where if I’m thirsting for cup of coffee, I want it to taste like coffee–not a hot desert that’s been loaded up with sugars and fats.

Just as I was finishing up on preparing myself for today’s public open house at 1415 – 9th St. SE, a client of mine whom I’ve been negotiating on the purchase of some appliances he’s decided to sell, text me saying he’d sell them and be delivering them in about 20 minutes.  I had to race and make room for them along with reminding him he’d have to hurry so I don’t make myself late for my open house.

He made it on time and with my help, we got them off his truck and into storage.  I handed him his check, we visited a little bit, and just before he climbed back into his truck I said, “Are you ready for another one of my dark jokes?”  He rolled his eyes and said, “Sure. Why not?” With a newscaster’s voice I announced, “It’s interesting how different nations have their dogs make different sounds.  An American dog goes “Woof Woof”, a Czech dog goes “Haf Haf”, a Dutch dog goes, “Blaf Blaf”, and a Chinese dog goes “Sizzle Sizzle”‘  Yup, I got a good laugh out of him and his helper.  I’m confident he’ll remember it and share because he really does NOT like dogs of any kind.  His two cats are quite the characters–especially the younger one.  He takes better care of them than most people do their children.

My public open house was a far greater success than I’d imagined. There were people coming and going the entire time I was there.  I made sure to bring my trusty broom with me after having noticed leaves on its front stoop while placing my tent sign out front early this morning.  It was a good thing I did, because the other Realtors that showed it most recently had even tracked them into the house.  At least I got everything swept out and ready before the first group of lookers arrived.

Just as I was getting into my car and go out to place those signs this morning, I noticed three huge crows at the back of the building next to mine.  It looked like they were hurriedly eating something, so curious me got back out of my car and walked over as they flew up and perched themselves on a parapet while greedily staring down at me. I walked over and got a good look at what they were eating.  Now tell me, what’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever seen three crows eat?  I won’t say exactly what it was, but you can certainly draw your  own conclusions.  Let’s say there was someone at the bar down the street last night that must’ve loaded up on pizza and giggle water, and likely had too much of both, because that pile of this morning’s “crow food” looked like it came from a big boy’s stomach.

Feeling a bit wicked-ish, I went back into my office and grabbed my camera so to get a photo if those crows should be back down gorging on that chunky, greasy, sticky, and slimy pile of upchuck.  Sure enough they were back with yet another one of their friends having arrived. The larger of them were getting the bigger chunks, while the smaller had to suffer their their “pecking order” turn.  Since crows are very clever creatures, three of them flew back up on their perches, while leaving one of the smaller, free to eat its fill.  The above photo is of that little dirtie birdie helping itself to some poor devil’s gastrointestinal mis-fortune last evening.  When I arrived back at my office after my open house, I walked over to that  late night  scene of pain, and wouldn’t you know it, the entire area had been cleared of any and all evidence.  Now that’s what I call a crow’s drive to eat every available morsel and drop.

While on their early morning scout, I’m sure they were delighted to discover that meat was once again back on their menu.