From Mothers

The trees seem to have suddenly come alive with their near overnight budding. It comes as no surprise considering how warm it ended up getting, and believe it or not, it was near 80 degrees later this afternoon. I’ve also been noticing a number of Magnolia trees blooming which when seeing them, always brings a smile to my face. There are now a number of variations with them to where we’re finding the early bloomers, the old standards, and even the late blooming reds which remain in flower longer.

It seems no matter where we look, there are so many more varieties of flowers and vegetables than there were say 25 years ago. Back then, you’d be forced to take what was available. Now it seems there are so many to choose from, we end up getting confused over what would be best suited. It’s almost like a child walking into a Toys-R-Us with a gift card and wandering around for hours trying to decide on what to buy.

I was just reminded how some of the plants we buy, have been genetically altered to where the seeds from the plants will not germinate, and there are other ways in which the suppliers have manipulated our growers as well. For example, several years ago I purchased two raspberry plants that were on sale, and planted them in a protected area, just to create a little greenery. Well, as chance would have it, those raspberry plants have been doing very well, but even after two full growing seasons, they’ve not sent out even one basal shoot, which are commonly known as suckers.

Having suckers on certain plants, allows for the multiplication of the species because if you dig up one of them, and plant it in another spot, you’ll have an exact copy of the same plant. And another good reason for having suckers, is that sooner or later, the “mother” plants will die, which is no worry because her little “sucker” babies carried on with the providing of tasty raspberries. Now if you think about it, those suckers will grow into healthy plants, and subsequently send out their own suckers, and thus the genetic “carbon-copying” continues.

Another interesting thing I’ve found, is that modern-day varieties of petunias, don’t have the pleasant aroma of those from years gone by, and I’m wondering if the seed producers somehow bred the aroma out of them. I was reminded of it some years ago when finding some petunia seeds that had been saved for a number of years, and as chance would have it, several of them did germinate, and believe you me, the smell of those flowers carried me all the way back to my youth.

Someone told me several years ago that there are only three or four major seed producers who supply the bulk of seeds being sold all over the world. Now that tells me there’s too much control over plants, which is why I prefer to buy the more expensive seeds from organic seed houses like Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah. What I also like about them, is that they mainly sell certified organic seeds which were not genetically modified. I guess if you want to maintain true originality, just save the seeds from your favorite flowers and vegetables you’re now growing, for next year’s plantings.

My mid-afternoon appointment was with a seller who’s looking at putting a home she owns on the market this summer. I spent about two hours with her, and I’d say by the time she walked out of my office, she was fully loaded-up with information regarding the whole process. Since I’d already walked thru the home, I made sure to point out all the little deficiencies she’d best take care of before listing it.

One of my morning phone calls was from a seller asking about the progress on getting his home sold and closed. I gave him an update, and since he lives in a metro area, we talked about how things were down South. He was surprised to hear that our market is still moving along, and likely because we haven’t more than 14 reported cases of the China-virus in Cerro Gordo County.

We somehow got on the subject of how society is changing to where people think they can say or do anything they want, and being just OK. Some think it’s just the younger ones, but I was reminded by today’s client call, that even the retirees are at it when mentioning having seen a “sixty-something” woman standing in a garage and giving a passerby the middle finger. Now that’s what I call a pretty sad sight when publicly viewing a “granny” giving another the finger. To think something wicked is bad enough, but to say or do it, is way over the line of decency.

It goes to show why so many of our educators are having one heck of a time keeping order in their classrooms. Since I’ve worked with a number of teachers over the years, I can say it’s getting progressively worse to where there’s likely little or no time for teachers to teach and students to learn. I hope and pray America isn’t dumbing down.

I was informed recently by an educator that likely 25% of the students in today’s classrooms are from mothers who were heavily drinking alcohol or using drugs during their pregnancy, and unfortunately, chronically affecting their children in various ways.

A number of years ago, some clients of mine who couldn’t have children, decided to adopt a child out of a Russian orphanage which was located in a city in the far northwest of Russia. They actually made the trip there, and luckily discovered before it was too late, the child they went to pick up, was from a mother who was heavy into the alcohol during pregnancy. They weren’t so sorry they’d spent all that time and money, yet sadly glad they discovered what they did before it was too late.

Tonight’s one-liner is: One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do, and always a clever thing to say.

Joe Chodur

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