Choke Cherries

Another beautiful July day arrived with no wind and and a shining sun. Now if it weren’t so humid, it would’ve been perfect. While out and about this afternoon, it seemed every other person was out mowing and trimming, and likely due to how fast everything’s been growing since it started raining. When looking at our corn fields, I’d say our farmers shouldn’t have much to worry about with their crops this season. It seems every year, those corn fields appear all the taller, which you can give thanks to botanical genetic engineering. I’m still riding the fence regarding such, but that’s just me because I’ve always been a fan of open pollination.

I was to inspect a property early this morning, but just about an hour before I was to meet him, I received a text saying something had come up, and that he’d reschedule for a later date. It wasn’t that important of a meeting, as the only thing he was looking for, was some guidance as to what else he needed to do with his home before he listed it.

With that block of time suddenly opened, I busied myself with some personal chores until it was time to head over to my public open house at 207 N. Hampshire. I only had two couples show up, which wasn’t a surprise due to the weather being as pleasant as it was. I’ve come to realize that if the weather is good, the turnout is bad, but if it’s not so nice, there are all the more in attendance, which stands to reason.

After my open house was over, I headed back to office and printed out several detail sheets on the two homes I was to show, and just as I was leaving, I received yet another call on my Clear Lake acreage. It’s come as no surprise we’re getting so much activity on it because there really aren’t that many acreages left standing, which is due to our corporate farmers tearing down the endless numbers of buildings, cutting down all the trees, and then turning those few patches into farmland. Back when it all started, I knew there’d be a day when everyone would be asking, “Where’d all those building sites go?”

A number of years ago, I was involved in selling several homesteads for a family, and just before we had a full-price cash offer on a charming site with a livable small house on it, my seller died. After spending two solid days working on trying to get the executor to sell, it was still an absolute “Not”. Well, the rest of the story didn’t turn out so well for me or that estate because the executor thought the farmland which surrounded that acreage would sell better if that homesite was still standing, and as much as I argued against it, he remained determined not to sell it separately, so the listing was cancelled and I walked far away.

Don’t you hate it sometimes when you’re right? Well, after it was sold along with other parcels, I did my calculation on the price per acre, and that 40 acres went for considerably less to a grain farmer, and the reason why, was he had to pay to have the house and buildings scraped off, and the trees removed. Several years ago, I made a point to drive past that homesite, and if I didn’t know otherwise, I could’ve sworn there was never a building site on that corner. The really sad thing about that missed sale, was someone having lost the opportunity to enjoy that place to its fullest, because without a doubt, it offered some of the most stunning views of the countryside. Yes, it was a great shame.

I’m pretty sure I’ve already received a “cloaked” phone call from the farmer who owns the land bordering my acreage listing in Clear Lake, and the reason why, is how blunt he was when I told him the asking price. I have no doubt that if it were at a discounted price-per-acre price, he would’ve purchased it that day, and then after it closed, there’d be bulldozers and back-hoes out there to level everything down. Yes, all that to get five more acres. Isn’t it sad to think how much our world is all about acquiring more?

My two showings didn’t produce an offer, but at least my buyers are becoming better acquainted with our current inventories and prices. One of those showings was at my listing at 240 – 7th St. SE, and since it seems every home they’ve looked at, ends up selling shortly thereafter, I told them if it does sell in the near future, I’ll be getting in touch with them to walk thru each and every one of my new listings because they may unknowingly have the ability to change the “resonance” of homes in a very positive way. Truth be told, a number of years ago, there was another couple who had the same effect. I told them at the time, they had the “touch” and didn’t even know it.

While out in “the bush” this morning, I happened upon a choke cherry tree with its dangling fruit, so I grabbed my camera and took the above photo. I was a bit surprised there were some cherries still hanging there because the birds usually get them before they’re ready to be picked.

Every time I see their dangling fruit, I’m reminded of my youth where I’d be out helping my mother pick them. You can only imagine how many had to be picked to get enough to make choke cherry jelly. Believe it or not, I can still see the process in my mind, along with how beautiful those jars were when sitting on those shelves in our basement. On many a cold winter mornings, I’d be served a full breakfast of soft-boiled eggs, a few strips of bacon, and toasted homemade bread already loaded-up with real butter. My breakfast desert, was a good smearing of that choke cherry jelling on one of those slices. Yes, my mouth is now starting to water.

As many would admit, those were hard times, but also good times where everyone pitched-in to help make each other’s lives better. I’m still wondering what happened to that mentality in today’s society. Once again, it’s not all about me.

Tonight’s One-liner is: The key to overcoming all challenges, is patience.

Related Property:
207 N Hampshire Ave Mason City 10089 230th St. Clear Lake
Joe Chodur

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