White Sands

It was yet another bitterly cold day in North Iowa, and I’m liking it all the less. Let’s hope polar vortexes like the one we’re now experiencing, isn’t going to be a yearly event, and if so, I’m gonna have to find have myself both physically and mentally prepared for them before they arrive. I now understand more fully, why the upper-crust of centuries ago, would have their outerwear lined with some sort of animal fur which usually draped all the way to their ankles. Inverted fur balls is what they were. How nice.

I had another putzing day where I actually had to look for something to do. Yes, there were phone calls and emails to return, but that wasn’t enough to keep me occupied. When visiting with one of my colleagues today, we both came to a hard realization that this year’s real estate market is going to be markedly different from the last, and mostly due to there being a distinct shortage of listings. Oh well, our coming months will be another acclimation which we’ll just have to grin and bear.

There are a handful of listings I’m hoping to have signed-on these coming weeks, but I’m afraid this bitter weather has slowed those sellers down with what they want to have done before I list them. One of them has been calling me on a weekly basis to tell me he’s not forgotten about me, and only due to his having more things to complete than he’d realized. Yes, when one starts getting ready to sell, there are always those little projects which evolve into others.

Of course there are those who go on for months and even years saying they’re going to get this or that done on their homes, but never happen, which in turn, gives them excuses to stay put. Yes, moving out of a home you’ve lived in for decades, is more a psychological house cleaning than a physical home prepping chore. I’d say there are at least six sellers I know who’ve been putting their life transitions off for far too long.

About nine months ago, a couple who’d eaten-up many hours of my time for at least 10 years with my showing them a number of homes, along with giving them tips on what to do with theirs, and in the end, they finally did purchase, but happened to be a FSBO. I was convinced the only reason they didn’t list their so-called “palace” with me, was only due to their deep-seated embarrassment. I’m actually glad they’re no longer darkening my door, because for the strangest of reasons, the husband always seemed to enjoy making little “jabs” about my supposed wealth. Really? If I had the money he believes, I sure wouldn’t be wintering in North Iowa, but rather joyfully playing on a white sands beach in the Caribbean. I really don’t bother my brain over such remarks, because in the end, such statements are always handed back to givers of the like, while saying to myself, “Such words don’t belong to me.”

Just today, I heard about several more of our professionals who’re planning on retiring this year. One of them really isn’t that old, but I’m now wondering if this pandemic is having an effect on those who already have retirement options. I’m now beginning to wonder if these many months of living in fear, are creating more of an urgency with those nearing retirement, to start enjoying the years they have left, instead of suddenly winding up dead due to the China-virus. Last week a recent retiree mentioned how she’s clearly focusing on doing those things she’s always wanted to do, and since her health is still good, she’s going for it now, instead of wishing in her rickety years, she did.

I know there are those who’re fully satisfied with their comfortable little retirement boxes, and usually they’re the ones that’ve seen more of the world than you or me. With that said, all I wish for those who are soon to hang up their career hats, is to keep both their minds and bodies active, which is exactly what I’m planning on doing. There’s one core feature of myself which I know fully-well, and that’s my hatred of having time too heavy on my hands. So if I should live to be 105, you’ll be sure to find me putzing with something in need of attention, an only to keep at least my brain alive.

Last week a gentleman who retired about seven years ago, stopped by my office to get some information, and after researching and then printing it out for him, I asked how his love of gardening has been. In a somewhat ashamed voice he replied, “Oh, I got tired of that several years ago.” He left me near speechless, as I fully remembered how impassioned he was over his gardening. I didn’t even ask what he’s now doing to fill the hours of his day. I’m just hoping he hasn’t turned into another couch potato like so many others.

There happens to be another elder-gent living in our City who’s been retired for at least ten years, and on several occasions, I casually mentioned something about him getting involved with senior groups in our area, and only because I knew he’d been spending too much time in front of his television. Each and every time his reply was, “I’m not hanging around those old people!” Wow. You can bet I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying, “Aren’t you a senior citizen?” I’m sure by now, he’s worn out a few more televisions from over-use while creating all the many more health issues.

Later this afternoon, I had to meet with a contractor regarding some improvements that were need of being done at a property, and while outside, my little coughing jag started again. Just those 15 minutes I was out there, I felt like a popsicle by the time I got back to my car. I don’t know how some of these people who’re working out in it all day, can stand it. They must be wearing some super-insulated underwear that’s wired to a strap-on heat source. But, at least every one of these disappointingly cold days, bring us one more closer to Spring.

Tonight’s One-liner is: What is absurd and monstrous about war, is that men who have no personal quarrels, should be trained to murder one another in cold blood.

Joe Chodur

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