Brick Collectors

It was a delight having the temps higher and the sun out this morning which I’m sure made everyone’s day all the brighter. It certainly did mine because I managed to get nearly all of the main accounting and bill paying completed early enough before the phones started ringing.

My first appointment was with an advertising rep from KCMR Radio who usually stops once a month to talk about my month’s plan for the radio time I purchase. As far as I’m concerned they do a good job in putting Holtz Realty’s name in the ears of their listeners.  Knowing the demographics of their fans, it only makes sense to target our older crowd whenever advertising Prairie Place on 1st condominiums.

After going over the proposed ads for this month, we took a little time to visit about this and that regarding the direction North Iowa is moving. Having grown to know him better, I decided he’s yet another of our residents in possession of a fine mind who doesn’t go around gloating over the sheepskin he’s likely got hanging on a wall in his home office.

As it was approaching the 11th hour, I gathered my things and headed out of town to my appointment in Northwood. Once I crossed over into Worth County, I began noticing all the more snow on the ground, and when I arrived in Northwood, I could see a marked difference between the amount they received, and what we ended up with. I couldn’t help asking someone about the amount of snow I was seeing, and was not surprised to hear they got a whopping five inches. For the 6th of November, that was quite a bit of snow.

My appointment didn’t take as long as I’d thought, so I did my own little windshield tour of the town before stopping at their Subway sandwich shop to pick up a six-incher to take back to my office for my noon meal. Their shop didn’t look like what I see in Mason City, so I asked the manager why, and he proceeded to tell me that Subway Corp. is in the process of forcing their chains to update to their new look. I was impressed by their shop’s clean lines and open spaces.

On my way out of town, I slowed down enough to get a good look at the Shell Rock River. It didn’t surprise me to see how high the water was. For sure, our soil should have more than enough moisture this winter to keep our trees and bushes alive. Most don’t realize that “winter kill” is oft times due to there not being enough water in the subsoil. Whenever doing any tree planting in the Fall, it’s extremely important that the soil around it is well-watered.

After arriving back at my office and downing that sandwich, I drove over to see how a project is coming along which is under a time crunch. I was happy to find definite progress being made which gave me hope I’ll be meeting a hard-fast deadline. There’ve been too many times when under pressure, the stress levels end up creating oversights which in the end cause frayed nerves and hard feelings.

It was a good thing I got a fill-up on my car yesterday because I also had an appointment to show the Lady Bug restaurant this afternoon, and when on the outskirts of Clear Lake, I was glad I left early enough because that highway traffic was bottlenecked again. Ugh! I did manage to get to the property and get all the lights turned on before the buyers arrived. It was a lukewarm showing but not worried because we’ve suddenly been getting some good interest in it, and hopefully one of our recent lookers will pull their trigger.

My last showing of the day took me to an exceptionally ragged property which one of my long-term clients asked to look at. Thank goodness I arrived before they did because I’d never been in that property before and wanted to familiarize myself with it. What a mess! They got themselves a good look and certainly an earful from me regarding how much time and money would have to be spent to get it back to life. They may have thought me kidding when saying, “The only thing I find acceptable in this home is it’s basement, so if you’d get it cheap enough, tear it down to its sill plate and re-build.”  I felt blessed those walls weren’t able to share some likely horrific stories.

In spite of that horrible showing, we did have time to catch up on what’s been going on in our lives, and while driving back to my office, I couldn’t help thinking about how some, when in relationships with others, develop dirty habits by testing endurances of those in their circles. I’ve come to the conclusion that the more bricks we throw at others, the more they’re gathered by them, and after a time, those brick collectors begin building thick walls, tall windows, and sealed doorways. The brick-slingers will always be out there, but in the end, they’re trapped on the outside and more sooner than later, they will run out of bricks to throw.

Tonight’s one-liner is: The pleasure we feel in criticizing robs us from being moved by very beautiful things.

Joe Chodur

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