11717It’s amazing how our landscape was transformed in just a bit over 24 hours into an ice-covered plain where not even our dogs can walk without their legs wanting to give way to the greasy surfaces.  The two showings I had this afternoon were treacherous to say the least.  I couldn’t believe the buyers were not wearing more appropriate footwear.  I had to hold my breath several times when watching them going up steps along with walking a sidewalk that was at a bit of an incline. Thank goodness we all managed to stay erect.

Finding I’d run out of chicken grit when I went looking for more to spread on the sidewalk outside my office, I immediately drove out to our east-side hardware store where I purchased the previous bag. I walked back to the aisle where it was the last time, and found every type of ice melt imaginable, but no grit.  I went back up to the front counter and asked a young gentleman who seemed more interested in making an impression on a young female clerk than waiting on me.  When he finally decided to come over to the counter and help me I said, “Do you have any chicken grit?”  He answered, “Hunh?”  I raised my voice and again said, “Do you have any chicken grit?”  Pointing in a direction he blurted, “It’s down in aisle 4.”  I walked back to the same place I’d just come from and looked all the closer thinking I’d missed it.  The “Hunh” clerk sauntered back where I was and said, “It looks like we’re out of it.”  Feeling my internal fires starting to burn I said, “Does your store in Clear Lake have it?”  “Oh yeah,  I’m sure they do.” he grunted. While walking out, all I could think of was that rude “hunh?” being blurted out of his pie hole.  Where have all our manners gone?

Off I went on my unplanned drive in the fog to Clear Lake.  It was so foggy over there, I almost missed my turn at the entrance to their other hardware store.  After walking in, the first thing I asked the nearest clerk was, “Do you have any chicken grit?”  “Nope” he said.  “We ran out a couple of days ago.” he added.  Fuming inside, I walked out thinking all the more about that flirting little male clerk who caused me a worthless trip to Clear Lake.

Deciding I needed to treat myself to something warm to drink on my way back to Mason City, I stopped at one of the convenience stores nearest the Interstate.  Paying no attention to anyone around me, I busied myself with a new-age coffee machine. It was sort of a dial-your-taste mechanism.  A voice to my right said, “Aren’t these quite the sophisticated machines?”  I looked, and found it to be a customer I recently sold a home to in Mason City.   We had a nice chat and before I left I said, “Do you know of any place here or in Mason City that sells chicken grit?”  Thank goodness he directed me to the Co-op on Hwy 122.   I drove there and thank goodness they had two bags left which I willingly purchased. They are the nicest people whom I’d freely give a gold star for service.

Back to my office I went with the feeling of a mission finally being fulfilled.  After my arrival, I put on an old work coat and carried those two 50 lb. bags to the store room.  The front sidewalk was finally made safe for walking after over two hours of time spent finding that much needed grit.  The person I blame the most for this wild goose chase is myself for not checking to see how much I had available for this winter. It was yet another lesson in need of being re-learned.  At this late hour of the day, I suddenly realized that our current date of 01/17/17 and added together as single digits equals the number 17.  Interesting, don’t you think?

Joe Chodur

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