Thumbing a Ride

It was bordering on bitterly cold when I left for work, but come tomorrow morning, the minus double digits we’re likely going to have, will be even more noteworthy. Thinking I’d just walk down to City Hall to pay some water bills, I soon discovered how poorly many of our business owners keep their sidewalks shoveled because there were several times I felt like a greased pig on ice. The sidewalk intersections were the worst to where I had to be careful when stepping up and over those glazed humps. You can bet I was glad to get back on my noticeably cleaner sidewalks. Considering what I saw today, they’re about the cleanest to be found in blocks.

Finding I had to go out and buy a new office machine because of our not so wonderful manufacturers creating planned obsolescence in their products, part of my morning was spent getting things readied for it, and then all the more time spent properly hooking it up. After great frustration, I finally got it working the way I wanted, and will likely never use all those needless functions they’d included which I believe make for all the more things to go wrong when the time comes for it to expire. I’ve yet to find one office machine comparable to those old IBM machines which were built to last, and out of real metal instead of all the hardened plastique that’s been forced upon us.

My late morning and early afternoon was spent getting several listings renewed for our Spring marketing season. I afforded time with both of them just so to bring them up to speed regarding recent activity and what competition we’ve been dealing with. I assured both of them that once warmer weather arrives, and barring any great negative and unforeseen impact on North Iowa, it should be smooth sailing to get their homes sold. Some may think I just passively play the waiting game, when in reality, I’m always working at getting each and every one of my listings sold more sooner than later.

Since I help some of my investors with their rentals, I had to set appointments up with several tenant households for their five year inspection which is required by our City, and since one of the requirements of those five year certifications is to have their furnaces inspected, I stopped by my friendly HVAC contractor and set up times for him to go do an inspection on them. Now that our City is requiring CO2 detectors in every rental, I’ll be delivering a new one to a home that doesn’t have one. If only some of our naughty monkey tenants would realize that their landlords are doing them more favors than they’d ever realize, perhaps then, they wouldn’t be so naughty any longer.

On my way back to the office, I made sure to stop at several vacant homes so to be ensured their furnaces were working properly because of how cold it’ll be tonight. You can never be too careful when living in a deep freeze like Northern Iowa. All was well with them, so I headed back to my office.

One of the people who works down the street, stopped by to admire the Jade plants in my front window, and asked if she could possibly get a cutting off of one of them so she could grow one of her own. I smiled and when pointing in their direction, I said, “I already have three babies growing, so you can stop back tomorrow and I’ll have one in a pot for you.” I believe she became speechless until she realized I truly was going to give her one of them. I felt a little bad after she left because there’ve been others asking about getting a “baby” from one of them, but never bothering to call them back because I didn’t have any at the time. Out of sight and out of mind is yet another one of our great pit-falls when unknowingly allowing a promise to go unfulfilled.

Late this afternoon I had a soulful chat with one of my colleagues whom I’d not spoken with in weeks. We somehow got on the subject of things we’re passionate about, and when he causally mentioned his no longer having any real passion for anything, I was taken aback. Because I think the world of him, I shook my finger his way and said, “Even I have a passion or two, so if you don’t have one, you’d better throw a bucket of coal or a few big logs on your dimming embers, and get yourself heated up enough to were you’ll find a new passion in life.” After he left, I was all the more saddened by those words out of his mouth because I’m of the belief that if we don’t have at least one passion in life, we’re colorlessly living in a black and white world. Too sad.

There’s no question how thankful I am for having more than one life passion, and I’d say one of my longest lasting is horticulture. Perhaps it all started back when very young and on a farm where I always helping with the whole process of starting plants from seed, transplanting, nurturing, and then finally harvesting. I didn’t realize at the time how much I had a knack for growing just about anything.

Over the years, people have asked how I’ve been able to easily grow things that others find difficult. I couldn’t ever give any real answer because all I do is pay closer attention to their needs. Speaking of needs, I do wish I could find someone who’s driving a regular pickup truck, or a even moving van to either Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, or California, because I would freely and gladly give them my 13 year old avocado tree I started from seed which has out-grown the front window of my office.

You can be sure if it were permanently planted in one of the States I’ve mentioned, it would be thankfully bearing fruit the following season. If any of you know someone heading in the direction of those corners, please let them know there’s a free avocado tree standing in my office that’s been thumbing a ride for months on end.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Go for it now because the future is promised to no one.

Joe Chodur

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