A Shelter in the Time

Thanks to the cold westerly wind we’ve been having, it wasn’t much better of a day than it was yesterday, and when watching the news, they said our temps are at least 20 – 30 degrees below normal for this time of year. When looking at a few of the fruiting trees around town, it appears they hadn’t budded enough to where they’ll be injured by these overnight hard-freezes. I actually stepped on a north facing exterior entrance today, and just about ended up on my keister because of a sheet of ice covering it. Thank goodness I looked down.

Part of my morning was spent creating and sending a property evaluation for a client who’d requested one on her home. As I’ve mentioned before, the initial inspection of a given property takes little time, compared to the amount of research needed to make an educated guesstimate of value. It’s even more difficult in these recent months, due to our sales being all over the map to where I’ve found some selling for too little, and others for far too much. What I ended up doing, was zeroing in on those that appeared to fall in the middle.

You would think some of today’s buyers would be less intrepid than they’ve been about paying over-market prices for homes, but it looks like they’re remaining fearless over the effects this pandemic may possibly have on our economy in the months and years ahead. I’m glad homes are still selling, but I’m not happy about the “lipsticked pigs” I’m seeing with sold signs in their front lawns.

As lunchtime approached, I made sure to make a stop at Happy Wok and pick up a take-away of my favorite soup. In good times and bad, that family-owned Chinese restaurant does a very good job in providing good food at fair prices. The owner was up front, so I had a quick chat about his business, and unfortunately he said, “My health is good, but I don’t know how long I’ll be able to make ends meet if this pandemic shut-down gets extended.” All I could say, was for him to do everything he could to get thru it because I’d be very sad if they closed their doors. Many fond meetings for lunch were held there with friends, clients, and customers, and nearly all of them thought it was a great place to get a real Chinese meal. I personally like the way in which they’re not afraid to use extra garlic and spices.

Pretty much the remainder of my day was spent sending out emails and calling clients. I made an appointment to go out and re-take photos of a home I have listed which is showing snow in its current exterior shots. I told the owners I’m doing everything I can to get their home so, and fortunately they understood the greater difficulty we’re having in getting it sold during our State’s shut-down.

In an attempt to get myself settled down from my worries over this virus, I went back to my piano and found a religious piece I liked, and there I sat playing it thru until it “felt” comfortable. Since I’ve not heard it played or sung in any of the area churches I’ve attended, I went on the internet to find a video of it on Youtube. As chance would have it, I discovered an exceptionally good one which I’m sharing with you tonight. If you decide to listen to it, rest assured you’ll be as impressed by the voices of those singers, just as much as I was. Now those are the caliber of voices I’ve been wanting to hear in the churches I normally attend, rather than listening to a wanna-be carnival-style pianist and off-pitched male and female vocalists who “think” they have great voices. Thank goodness I listened to it, because I was beginning to wonder if I’d lost my “ear” for music. The name of the piece is, “A Shelter in the Time of Storm” by Michael Joncas.

While listening to it, pay special attention to the words, because they’re very much appropriate for the times in which we live. I read thru the verses before I played it, but when hearing them sung, made for a positively much-need lifting up of my spirits. Now just you watch, there’ll be someone in a church’s music department who’ll take this piece and run with it, but let’s hope its quality befits what you’re hearing tonight.

I received an email from a dear friend today who mentioned that since she grows a veggie garden every year, she’s decided to have one double the size of what she normally plants, and only for the reason that if our food supplies get weak, she’ll have enough for to share with any of her friends or relatives in need. I considered her words quite the forward-thinking, and especially when reading just today that Smithfield closed one of its plants out in Council Bluffs due to the coronavirus. I’m still planning on having a garden this year, but I’m going to be very proactive about keeping those vile deer out of it. I’ll likely be putting up a tall enough fence to keep them out, while caring all the less about all those other varmints that can squeeze their heads thru, or crawl up and over, because they never do the damage our resident deer are capable of.

I’m putting the word out to all of you regarding my belief that we all must start getting back to the basics and begin with growing our own food. Garden preparations and planting takes the longest, but the rest of the work is easier if only we stay ahead of the weeds, because if we do, there’s a growth point to where our vegetables over-take the weeds, so the idea of keeping every weed out of our gardens, really isn’t necessary.

When visiting about this pandemic with a thirty-something young man this afternoon, I walked away convinced that there are still far too many of our younger crowd in belief they’re invincible. No matter how much I tried to get it thru his head that the young can have the same serious issues with this virus as the old, he continued to believe otherwise by saying there’s something else that’s triggering their life-threatening conditions. Oh well, I tried.

Tonight’s one-liner is: A political machine triumphs when a united minority acts against a divided majority.

Joe Chodur

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