Body Bag

The cold was still with us this morning, but at least we did have a little sun to help brighten our days as they grow shorter. Since I had to get an early fill-up at a gas station, our pre-dawn cold air was enough to take my breath away. You can be sure I moved as quickly as I could to get filled-up and back into my warming vehicle. Over these past months, I’ve been carrying in my car, a bottle of an alcohol-based disinfectant along with a roll of paper towels which I use to wipe down everything I’ll be touching or grabbing, and today’s fill-up didn’t begin until I wiped off the touch screen on the pump, as well as its handle before proceeding.

I had some research to get done when I arrived at office, and by the time I was finished, it was nearing the hour I was to be at my closing, so I grabbed my file and headed in that direction. I walked in almost exactly at the prescribed time, but wouldn’t you know, there’d been another closing before me and the real estate agent along with his customers were still in the closing room, and to my internal disgust, all three of them were mask-less. What in the “yell” is going on with our general public when knowing fully-well this pandemic is deadly? I did manage to stay as far away from them as they were walking out, and you can be sure I chastised the closing agent for allowing them to be in her office without masks.

My customers did finally arrive, and the closing went as smooth as silk which is always a relief. I personally did my own final walk-thru on it late yesterday afternoon just to make sure the sellers removed all the junk they had stored in its garage, and the reason for it being, I didn’t want today’s buyers having to deal with someone else’s personal property. They did get rid of everything which was a relief for both the buyers and myself. While walking out, one of the buyers mentioned her hoping she’d be hearing me play at their church once they’ve opened its doors for their Sunday Services. I did mention again how much I enjoy playing for them because that particular church exudes a noticeable amount of holiness. I’ll continue to hope their pew counts start growing.

After reading one of today’s news articles, I wasn’t a bit surprised when finding our great State of Iowa is in second place in our Nation as having the highest number of per-capita deaths associated with the China-virus, and you can place much of the blame on our Governor for being in lock-step with our Commander in Chief’s denial over the deadliness of this pandemic from the get-go. The State in first place, is North Dakota which came as no surprise because that sparsely populated State is exceptionally conservative and terribly stubborn. My personal never-good experiences spanning many years with one farm family living in the far north, unfortunately caused me to lock horns with its matriarch more than once over our differences of opinion regarding her father, and each time she’d twist facts into fiction. In my own close circles I used to refer to her as, “The Dakota Queen” because she was as big as a cow and able to kick like a mule. After long being treated like a second class citizen by that tribe, I guess my wicked thoughts were appropriate. I’m still waiting for karma to pay them a surprise visit.

My afternoon was spent working on getting another sale to the closing table, as well as riding herd on several new ones that came in this past week. Oh if our general public were only able to see the sales statistics that I’m privy to, they’d all be dropping their jaws when comparing what certain homes sold for a year or two ago, and then what they’re now bringing. Just for example, there was one property which was purchased one year for just over $50K and not a year later, it sold for close to $170K. I’m sure they did a great deal of lip-sticking, but really? I’m sure those buyers were young and starry-eyed when they jumped on it, and likely now saying, “What the heck were we thinking?”

On the flip-side, there are two listings of mine which should’ve sold right out of the gates, and because they weren’t “tweaked” with stagings and a few gallons of cheap paint, they’re still for sale. Good bones and mechanicals are out the window with many of today’s buyers because they’re eyes are fully glued on the superficials. I first get internally angry with those buyers and sellers, but later end up feeling a bit sorry for the buyers who’ve allowed themselves to be so easily duped. But as we all know, we have to sometimes learn the hard way from our costly impetuous decisions.

One of my clients asked me several days ago why I don’t get involved in new construction since I’ve helped enough buyers over the years with their floor plans, along with understanding the whole process from beginning to end. It didn’t take me but a second to respond by saying I’m not about to immerse myself in all the layers of bureaucratic red tape before breaking ground on a new construction, and what I dislike the most, is having someone tell me they know better, when they really don’t. I call much of it a punitive way in which some justify their salaried positions. Just remember, the more un-necessary hoops people in power make you jump thru, the more justifiable their positions are. No thank you very much because I’ve already been there.

I got a good laugh today when a dear one asked me what I was planning for Christmas, and my devilish response was, “Christmas? We’re not even thru Hanukkah and you’re asking me about Christmas?” Oh if you only could’ve seen that classic look on her face. After getting her stirred up, I did mention that I’d placed an order at a meat counter for a small leg of lamb which I’ll be having Christmas Day. For the strangest of reasons, I’ve recently been having a hunger for lamb, so I’ll certainly have my fill come Christmas. I have a favorite recipe which calls for it to be marinated in a “body bag” containing garlic, rosemary, and red wine, and overnighted in the fridge before roasting.

Tonight’s One-liner is: We cling to our own points of view as though our lives depended on them, yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they’ll gradually pass away.

Joe Chodur

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