A Scoop or Two

Now that we’re nearing the end of June, the humidity levels are starting to rise, and if we didn’t have a light breeze today, it would’ve felt like a sauna outside. I had to laugh to myself when I pulled into a driveway to meet with a seller, and as soon as I stepped out of my car, my glasses fogged, and when she got out, hers were also foggy. Since I’ve always been a watcher of crops growing, I can say the corn will be far taller than knee-high by the 4th of July again this year. It’s been said in farm families for generations, that if your corn is such a height or taller by the 4th, then you’ll have a good crop.

Thinking the way corn used to be grown many years ago, makes me think my memory is mistaken because what they did back then was very much different than today. Believe it or not, there were meticulous farmers who’d have their planters hooked up to a trip-wire contraption which would release the seed corn seeds at an exact distance apart, and for sure, each row of seed corn plantings matched up with those that had been planted in the previous. Talk about precision, time-consuming, and very tedious work!

The reason they planted corn in those “grid” patterns, was so they could not only run the tractor-mounted cultivators up and down the rows, but also in diagonal and right-angle directions. Once again, those farmers driving those tractors had to be exceptionally careful about keeping their tractor-mounted cultivators from taking out healthy corn plants.

You’re probably wondering why they went to so much work, and the reason being, is that they didn’t have all the herbicides we have today, which meant they had to remain diligent at keeping the weeds from growing in-between the corn plants growing in those rows. When speaking about this, I’m now wondering if there are any “botique” farmers who’re still using those methods to keep weeds under control.

Another form of planting corn in the olden days, was to plant three seeds of corn together in a hill, and those being spaced farther apart. Back when grew sweet corn, that’s exactly the way in which it was planted, and the reason being, was for those three corn plants to be able to support each other when growing. After they’d get about four inches tall, we’d have to go back out and hill them some more ever week or so, just so their support roots wouldn’t be exposed. If I were to grow sweet corn, that’s exactly the way in which I would do it, because those “corn hills” were easier to maintain than rows, and especially when they started growing taller. Oh how the memories return.

One of my afternoon appointments was to meet with some buyers at my office so I could write an offer on a property they looked at last week. Everything went smoothly, and after they left, I scanned and emailed it to the listing agent. As clean as that offer was, if I were those sellers, I’d be saying to the listing agent, “Where do I sign?”

I received a message from a buyer whom I’ve worked with in the past, wanting to see some homes over in Clear Lake later this week. Ugh! I’m still thinking the sudden rise of China-virus cases in our County, is coming from over at the Muddy Pond. I just read today where “The Other Place” in Clear Lake, which is a restaurant/bar, is closing for a few days because one of its staff tested positive with the coronavirus. Looks like I’m more right than wrong about Clear Lake being North Iowa’s “hot spot”.

When having a few minutes to kill, I went on the internet to catch up on a little news, and when reading a headline of an article, I couldn’t help clicking on it to find out more. Well, about 15 minutes later, and suffering from an information over-load, I learned more than I wanted to about the screwworm which was a scourge for our Southern farmers for generations until one scientist discovered a way to eradicate them. If you’re ready for your stomach to turn a few times over, look up screwworms, which are really maggots that feed on living flesh. Oh my goodness, what a horrible way for animals and sometimes even humans to suffer! I now know why I despise every type of fly.

While driving down 19th St. SW near the Country Club several days ago, I was sickened to see where some evil person had run over a red fox, and by the looks of it, there was more than one vehicle that had run over it. Every time I catch a glimpse of one of those beauties, it makes me smile, and especially when seeing a pup.

When I arrived at the office this morning, my first little project was to go and sweep up a broken glass bottle that was in the middle of the back alley. There’s no doubt it was someone either liquored up or drugged up, and I’m getting really sick of cleaning up after those devilment makers. Like I said to one of my clients today, “It’s going to be a brave new world out there by the time this virus is contained and the rioting has been brought under control. Don’t you think the job of living is hard enough without having more un-necessary stress added to our lives?

I met with a seller today to have transfer docs signed, and after we finished up, the seller asked, “Are you going to stay in touch after it’s all over?” I smiled and said, “Of course I will, because whenever I’m over-loaded with worry, I’ll call and ask if you’d take on a scoop or two.” Too funny.

Before heading home, I stopped over at my little garden and weeded, and then watered those tomato and pepper plants. The tomatoes are doing just fine, but I think those peppers are still working at establishing their root systems, and hopefully soon, they’ll be growing like all those other weeds.

Tonight’s one-liner is: We often hear about people breaking down from overwork, but in nine out of ten, they’re really suffering from worry or anxiety.

Joe Chodur

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