Pecking for Food

This was the ugliest of Spring days with the rain being so cold which never seemed to stop for good.  It would rain heavy for a while, let up, stop for a bit, and then start all over again.  I’m not sure how much we received, but it was more than enough to fill up our dry waterways.

Perhaps the powers that be are smiling down on my office all the more during these past weeks because yet another one of my listings sold today.  Yeah!  For sure the lucky buyer will be living worry-free for a very long time because of how much extra effort the sellers made with all those recent improvements.

I had a touching comment made today by an old friend who lives out of State when saying, “Mason City, along with many parts of Iowa, have some of the most beautiful older homes I’ve ever seen.  I agreed with his comment, but almost added, “Yes, and if only they’d take better care of them and stop scraping or turning them into seedy apartment houses.”  Perhaps someday people will learn to take care of the historic gems that are still standing.

One of my little jobs was to go back out and take new photos of 402 – 21st St. SE.  The ones I took yesterday didn’t turn out to my liking, so off I went to get some better shots.  After I got back to the office and re-loaded them, I was much happier, with the exception of there being several small puddles of water that had seeped in from all the rain we received.  From the looks of where it came in, I’d say there needs to be more dirt placed at its foundation on the south-facing wall so the rain water won’t puddle and end up in the basement.

Puddling water is capable of doing the worst of damage to foundations due to extra sub-soil saturation which can cause footings to sink.  Speaking of which, there happens to be a building in the Downtown that has a downspout without extension on it which has been off for so long that the corner of that building’s foundation is starting to sink.  I can imagine the troubles that owner is going to have in years to come.

Since it was an ugly gray day, I felt all the more compelled to make another stop and see an old relative of mine, so I called and asked if I could pay her a visit.  Of course she was delighted that I had time to go over.

As usual, I was there far longer than I’d expected, but certainly had a wonderful conversation with her.  Since she still has a fine mind, she easily remembered names and places from many years ago.  Yes, life were harder back in the 1940’s, but certainly less complicated than they are in these times.  I almost shed a tear when listening to her speak about how much she liked my mother.

One of my clients stopped by the office today, and somehow we ended up on the subject of how people in society treat each other.  Our conversation centered around two words which we were able to expand upon.

The first word was reverence.  Most people would immediately consider it being restricted to religion, but when you think about it, the core definition of it is having a deep respect for someone or something.  Look at how we’ve forgotten about reverence for the elderly, nature, living plants and animals, and above all, the reverence we’ve forgotten to give those who’ve freely offered of themselves just so to make the lives of others less burdensome.  The lack of respect is a poison pill that’s unraveling the fibre of our society in general, and it must change.

The second word was decorum.  Once again, most don’t realize that decorum is all about  simply maintaining a behavior in keeping with good taste and propriety.  For sure good taste has fallen very much out of style to where if a gathering of a group of people doesn’t produce at least one tasteless jaw-drop, it borders on being miraculous.  When speaking about good taste, I’m reminded of a quote from Oscar Wilde’s writings that went, “I’ve come to believe there’s nothing in this world that’s moral or immoral, but rather being in good taste or bad.”  Yes, he was quite the shocker in his day, but I believe he hit it on the head when reminding us that good taste is exceptionally important in society.

Now having spoken about how reverence and decorum having fallen out of favor, I challenge each and every one of you to start making mental notes every time you see, hear, or read something that confirms my belief.

I can assure you that by just picking up a local newspaper and reading news clips, letters to the editor, and above all, their editorials, you’ll find pages dripping with irreverence and lack of decorum.  How about if we all begin setting standards in our own little ways to where we remind ourselves of the definitions of reverence and decorum before opening our mouths?

The above photo is one I took of a lone wild turkey out in a field.  What a nasty day to be out pecking for food.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  Above all things, reverence yourself.

Joe Chodur

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