Privacy for a Price

It was certainly the blizzard we had this morning, but at least we didn’t have the sleet they were predicting. Just to stay ahead of it, I shoveled out in front my office three different times, and mostly because I don’t like having to work harder at getting the packed snow scraped off from tracking pedestrians. Yes, I certainly got my work-out with my various rounds of shoveling which had to wait until the afternoon when it finally quit snowing.

Due to the weather, my late afternoon appointment for a final walk-thru in Clear Lake, was moved up to Noon, and very happy for it, as I knew the drifting was going to get worse. I had to take it slow getting over there, and when I turned off the main drags, I noticed the side-streets hadn’t been plowed. Fortunately, my 4WD safely takes me more places in deeper snow.

When I pulled up, I noticed the owners hadn’t shoveled, so I grabbed my shovel and got a good path opened from the street to its front door, and just as I was finishing up, the buyer pulled up. We spent about a half hour going thru the home, and of course I showed her where the shut-off was in the basement for its main water line, just so it would get turned off in case the furnace went out. In this weather, you can’t be too proactive.

After she called it all satisfactory, I made a bee-line back to the City, and purposely drove past the site where the old “Lady Bug Restaurant” was, and wouldn’t you know, there’s not even a remnant of it visible. If a person didn’t know it was there, you would’ve sworn it’s always been a vacant lot. I’m now wondering if that site is still “poisoned” by whatever naughty spirit was manifesting itself from time to time. Without question, that whole rickety build-out needed to be sent back to the earth.

When I got back to our city limits, I figured I might as well stop at Hy-Vee and pick up a few groceries since the parking lot was looking pretty empty. Whenever I’m there, I usually check the meat section for in-store specials, and to my surprise, they had Hormel bone-in pork shoulders for .99 cents a pound. Now that was a bargain worth my stop, so I purchased the largest one they had. Most don’t realize that if you slice that big chunk into steak sizes and then freeze them, you’ve got a tender piece of meat for far less.

I’m sure many of you have had breaded pork steak, which I’ve always considered a good piece of meat for an evening meal. Likely others would cut them even thiner, lightly bread them, and send them to pan-fry. That would also be good to have between a sourdough bun with all the extras. For whatever reason they were selling them so cheap, I’m just glad to have found a large one today. It’s already cut up, placed in freezer bags, and sleeping in my freezer.

When I returned to office, I had several calls to return, and one of them was to the buyers who’ll be closing on their home next week. We visited about the timing of their closing, along with when we’ll be doing a walk-thru, just so there’ll be no surprises that day. I always smile to myself when thinking about that home because it has the exact floor plan of another I sold about five years ago which belonged to a family I’ve known since I was in high school. I’m sure they still wish they didn’t sell after having to live thru a tragedy in their immediate family shortly afterwards. To this day, my heart continues to go out to them.

When thinking I didn’t get much real estate work done, the hours still managed to go flying, and likely due to my snow battles. I really couldn’t tell how many inches we received because of drifting, but if I had to guess, we must’ve received about four inches.

Early this morning, a friend of mine announced we’re not going to be seeing much if any reprieve from this cold until the 13th or 14th, which is going to create one heck-of-a long ten-day stretch. You can be sure when it does begin to thaw again, there’ll be potholes miraculously appearing in our streets, and mostly due to the deep freeze we’ll be getting. The damaging strength of freezing water never ceases to amaze me.

A young man I’ve worked with on-and-off this past year, stopped by to visit about possibly looking for an acreage for his young family when Spring arrives. Oh, if only you were a mouse in the corner listening to our conversation. My first question was, “Have you ever lived in the country?” His sheepish answer was, “I used to spend weekends on my grandparents farm during the summer.” Well, after he shared that little tidbit, I flung opens all my doors regarding those little and big differences there are when moving to the country, while expecting the same conveniences, but different scenery. By the time he left, I had him over-loaded with all the good, bad, and ugly which comes with going rural.

As I mentioned yesterday, there’s going to be some illuminations taking place with those who’ve purchased acreages this past year, and today’s minor blizzard is nothing compared to what they’ll be experiencing during our winter months. They’re also going to get another awakening when having to pay their first LP bill which is more expensive than natural gas, and especially if they haven’t gone under contract with a provider.

Being a nature lover, I’ve always considered living in the country a bonus, but as we all know, there are down-sides with everything. When going rural, you’ll get “Privacy for a price.”, which should be the title of a book sharing the real hard-core stories of rural life.

Tonight’s One-liner is: The secret of genius, is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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