Fortunately, Mason City was not hit with the sleet last night that was predicted. I always fear for people, especially the elderly out walking on the ice glazing that the sleet storms leave behind. Each day that passes gives us one less cold and sometimes dangerous winter day before Spring arrives.
On a continuing course of selling homes in North Iowa, I still cannot get over how people can live in homes and then one day simply leave without batting an eye. I showed a rather expensive bank foreclosure over the weekend that is located in a popular as well as pricy district. There were holes in doors, drywall that had been repaired in a sloppy fashion, stains on the carpets, and a grimy refrigerator standing in the attached garage. Even looking at it on the outside you could see the careless and destructive tendencies of the previous owners. I was mortified to have pointed out to me by one of the buyers a mouse that was trapped inside the egress window well that was munching on a deceased friend. Every time I read about the cannibalism that takes place with some starving animals nearly turns me inside-out. It caused me to recall a news clip I watched where an abandoned ship was found floating off the English where there were cannibal rats still living. I guess when it becomes a life or death situation, the survival instincts kick in and they do what is necessary to sustain life.
I was visiting with a client today about neighborhoods in general and the concept of learned behaviors within subdivisions. I was making him laugh because I was exaggerating a bit in giving him examples of how different districts conduct themselves. I started of with, “Sometimes during the summer I can drive down streets of neighborhoods and find vehicles parked in the front yards instead of the driveways.” He said, “Why would they do that?” I replied, “So they don’t have so far to walk to their front doors.” I continued, “And then we have the number of barbecue grills on the front porches rather than out back.” He asked, “Why on the front porch?” I replied, “So they can see how rare their neighbors prefer their meat.” I then added, “Of course you’ve seen the littering of toys including tricycles and bicycles on the front porches and lawns.” He then said, “Yeah, I’ve noticed that so what’s your take on that?” I answered, “So all the neighbors can see how affluent they are in being able to purchase so many toys for their children.” I know I was being a bit naughty so I went on to compare on the flip side of that mentality in other sub-districts. I continued by saying, “Did you know that there are some areas where neighbors even frown on others leaving their garage doors open? And did you know there are neighborhoods where there are at least one or two walking guard dogs who openly chide their neighbors who don’t mow their lawns or rake their leaves? There are even areas where driveways and sidewalks are not only hosed down regularly, but also scrubbed.” He shook his head and said, “Wow. Now those are neighborhoods that must really keep each other towing the line with their homes.” I replied, “Even the smallest of nests deserve to be kept tidy and that’s where the learned behaviors begin.”