Comfort Food

It was quite the glorious day outdoors with the blue sky and bright sun, and when stopping for but a moment and having a good look at it all, I was reminded how beautiful North Iowa can be when the weather is near perfect.

I had no showings scheduled, but I did go out and visit with two different sellers who’re moving towards getting their homes readied for sale.  Both of them are about a month away from having them showable.  I’m finding that it’s not so much the repairs that are needed, but rather the gleaning of their over-abundance of “stuff”.  All the more people, and especially the young, are in possession of way too much to the points of over-flow.

Whenever going to inspect an estate home, I fully understand the clutter due to a lifetime of saving all that family and friend memorabilia, but to find all the clothes, out-dated electronics, and cheap broken down furniture in the homes of our younger crowd, I’m beginning to wonder if their main hobbies are centered around shopping and playing with their electronics.

While slowly driving down a middle-class district of our City late this afternoon, I wasn’t surprised when seeing all the cars in driveways, but not a soul to be seen outdoors.  Of all days, they still had to be indoors, and you can tell how many mow their yards just to keep it from getting tall, and those few others who take pride in their home ownership.  Not to say I judge a book by its cover, but I’d also wager many don’t sweep their corners and keep their porcelain fixtures shining brightly.  You can be sure I’ve seen some pretty disgusting kitchens and bathrooms these past months.

What really gets me, is how many of our tenants and sellers have absolutely no shame when it comes to having near perfect strangers walking thru their piglet pens.  If I were one of those sellers, I’d be filled with shame along with feeling very cheap and low due to a first impression others would be having of my living quarters.  But unfortunately, there are all the many who could care less.  I wonder why.

I know I’ve talked about this before, but again today I discovered how all the many of our once healthy looking trees appear to be under some sort of stress, and it’s not with any given variety which makes it all the more creepy.  I’ve seen Birch, Oak, Pine, Spruce, Maple, Chokecherry and even Hackberry trees struggling.  There’s a beautiful Maple I’ve always admired in the front yard of a home, and when looking at it today, it appeared that about eight inches of its recent growth branches were barren.

It sort of makes a person wonder if there’s something un-noticeably subtle going on in our environment that’s affecting them.  It could possibly be a combination of little changes in temperatures, our rainwater, the soil, over-spray of chemicals, and possibly even un-detected bacterias or viruses.  Whatever it is, it’s affecting our healthy trees.

I read an interesting article today that sure made me think.  It was regarding the studies of memory and how they’ve found that if we eat food made from old recipes out of youth, the eating of it, triggers and/or resurrects memories of people, places, and things from our childhoods and younger years that were long forgotten.

Without even thinking of it, I was at a Realtor luncheon today that was sponsored by First Citizens, and one of the things they were serving, were brats with old-fashioned sauerkraut.  When I say old-fashioned, I mean just that because it had all the old-time ingredients contained, including caraway seed.

One of the people setting next to me noticed how much I had on my plate and remarked, “I don’t know how you can eat that stuff.”  I looked at her and said, “Don’t you like it?” I was shocked when hearing, “I’ve never eaten it because of its smell.”  Wow!  That was a real eye-opener because that person is definitely not a spring chicken.

After I’d finished, and while seated listening to the program, I realized I was more settled than I normally am when dining out.  I don’t think I was having any re-calls of past events entering my mind, but I’d say that kraut must’ve triggered the sense of  home comfortability.  I was actually there the entire time and wasn’t a bit fidgety like I normally am.  So without realizing it, I’d experimented on myself with this business of food memory.  With that said, I’m encouraging every one of you after having a bad day, to go and search out your own nearly forgotten “comfort food” and see if you suddenly find yourselves settled to the point of being in the midst of a pleasant setting from long ago.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  Character is much easier kept than recovered.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

Firstofall....JoeChodurreallydoesn'tliketalkingabouthimselfbutthisiswhatwehavefoundoutabouthim. more about: Joe Chodur

View page.