Storm Band

With it being Sunday, I made sure to get to my corner of spirituality where I continued on with my contemplative mode of prayer and reflection. After finishing, I once again felt soulfully refreshed and renewed, and even a little more enlightened.

As chance would have it, just this past week I had a nice visit with one of my dear ones who has also developed her own form of contemplative spiritual renewal. When sharing some of the benefits she’s received, I confirmed my having experienced similar positive effects from it. I’m happy to find like-minded people living in North Iowa who’re also working quietly on their own spiritual growth and development.

After finishing up, I proceeded to change my clothes and drive over to a project I recently started, and worked there for about three hours until the little showers arrived. I was pretty much drenched from the sweat and rain when I finally decided to call it quits until another day.

When I got back to my office, I changed my clothes, cleaned myself up and then headed out to do a little groceteria shopping before the afternoon crowd arrived. The first thing I noticed, was a repeat of the very weak supplies of paper towels, which is making me wonder if people are back at their crazy hoardings. There did seem to be enough toilet tissue, which puzzled me all the more.

The meat sections seem to be running low on processed meats that’ve already been cooked/sliced, but the raw meats were plentiful. It’s becoming all the more bizarre when seeing certain shelves of staples completely full, while others near-bare. This China-virus is certainly triggering some strange behaviors in the minds of grocery shoppers.

Having a few more hours to kill before my mid-afternoon appointment, I went back to my office and returned several phone calls that had come in while I was gone. One of the callers was a long-time client of mine who’s now looking for a home in Clear Lake. There was one which has been on the market over there for some weeks which he wanted to look at, but when I called, the agent said it just went under contract this weekend. I called him back, and during our conversation, I gently warned him about how the market at “The Lake” is insane, and my being of the belief that’s it’s going to hit a brick wall, and after the crash, there’ll be all the many troubling upside-down loans. He was a little disappointed, but knows there’ll likely be more once the cold returns.

One of my clients recently mentioned that when he decided to move back to North Iowa, he had absolutely no desire to live in Clear Lake, and mostly because of how tight-fit many of the homes are, and also how congested it gets during the summer. I couldn’t have agreed more because I also don’t like how most of those homes are sitting on postage stamps, and of course the real estate taxes over there are insanely high. I wish them all good growth and prosperity, but still not a place for me to be.

I was glad the rain came and went before I had to head up to that acreage. It was a pleasant drive, but now that I’m paying closer attention, I’m finding all the more vegetation being devoured by the Japanese beetles. One particular Linden tree which must be at least 30 feet tall, was nearly void of its green leaves, and now looking as if someone had sprayed it with brush killer due to all the brown leaves hanging on it.

For some reason, those beetles must really enjoy eating Virginia Creeper leaves which most people mistake as grapevines. You do know those Virginia Creepers can crawl right up a tree and basically take over their canopies, but those I viewed today, showed huge patches of brown creeper leaves against the green backdrop of their host trees. It’s very interesting when seeing the specific preferences those beetles have for food sources.

I’m wondering if it’s the “smell” of the trees and bushes which attract them, or possibly the sugar content in the leaves they prefer to eat. I did mention to a colleague yesterday that if the Japanese beetle numbers grow to the breaking point, it wouldn’t surprise me if they would go after anything green if they’re hungry enough. As with most hungry creatures, the fight for survival surpasses foods of choice. Yes, come next summer, it’ll be interesting to see how many more there are if our community continues to turn a blind eye to them.

My showing at the acreage went well, and thank goodness I had my spray can of mosquito repellant, because there were swarms of them under the canopy of those many trees. Since the buyers were showing a great amount of interest, we did a full tour of the home and grounds. I didn’t realize it until we were in a clearing, that the site does sit on a bit of higher ground which would offer great views of the countryside if the tree canopies were raised. I’ll be calling the seller tomorrow to give him my report regarding today’s showing.

While driving back on the blacktops, I made sure to take in all the bucolic settings, and especially the area around the Shell Rock River. I was wishing I had my camera with me because I could’ve taken a great photo of a young gentleman fishing from its banks.  Yes, I can tell we need more rain because the river is looking pretty shallow right now.

The above photo is one I took this morning of a storm band moving into our area. It was moving pretty fast, and by the looks of it, somebody to the east got a good downpour.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Great is the power of habit because it teaches us to bear fatigue and to despise wounds and pain.

Joe Chodur

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