Something in a Ditch

It was another early Saturday morning at office which allowed me to get some much- needed reading and research done, and since this week had me running hither and tither with all the extra to-do’s I had for the first of the month, it was a welcome relief when able to get back to my normal pace. There are a few of my colleagues who seem to always be in a big rush, and most times it’s chasing after either a prospective buyer or seller. I think if I were a person in the general public having to deal with such mindsets, I’d be looking for the nearest exit because that stirring has never set well with me because it seems to transfer.

I had an extended appointment out of town this morning, and unfortunately where I was, my cellular signals were nearly non-existent, which unfortunately caused me to miss some calls. Thank goodness the people trying to get in touch with me did end up sending text messages which I was able to reply. As much as our cellular companies pride themselves in being “nationwide”, there are still a very many areas of North Iowa which are dead zones, and especially if you happen to be in a lowland.

Out of that long meeting, I learned something new about a certain breed of dog and that being a Red Heeler. I had no idea how territorial they are, as well as being extremely protective. I had to laugh when he said, “My Heeler believes he owns my dooryard and I’m his servant taking care of it.” He even went on to say his dog is able to kill raccoons, opossums, skunks and weasels. I was shocked when he mentioned raccoons because they can do some major damage to dogs because they always go for the face and eyes. Well, his dog manages to give them a number of disorienting knock-out punches before he goes in for the kill. He also went on to say how extremely protective that dog is of his family, and if there’s some stranger at the door, there’s an immediate change in attitude. For the life of me, I’ve never heard of such a small dog being that aggressive and protective. In these times of rampant thievery, that’s my kind of dog breed.

When I arrived back at office, I printed out and then reviewed an offer I received on one of my listings. I then picked up the phone and called my seller to let him know we had one, and since he’s looking at purchasing a particular residence, I encouraged him to take another look at it before he made his decision. He agreed, so off I drove to meet him. Fortunately I didn’t have any appointments the rest of the day which allowed me to spend a good two hours with him, just to make sure it was what he wanted, and by the time we left, I had a pretty good feeling it’s the one, so that’s all I can do is wait for his answer before that offer’s deadline.

This is another case of life transitioning, and whenever I’m involved in such, I’m all the more careful about making sure all options are talked about, as well as timing. I’ve come to realize that whenever people are in such states, it’s best to be as re-assuring as possible, but never pushy because I’ve always been of the belief that if level-headed people are given all their options and then left to make their own decisions, they almost always make the correct one. Maybe that’s why I rarely ever have any unhappy buyers or sellers who come back to me saying, “I should’ve, would’ve or could’ve.”

On my way back to office, I happened to notice a past client and his wife seated outdoors, so I stopped and had a nice visit with them. We somehow got on the subject of the ways of old when people would can everything out of their gardens, do their own butchering, and even make their own soap. Of course his wife was getting squeamish when he was recalling the way in which they’d butcher a hog. Oh yes, I remember those huge tubs they’d fill with boiling water and then dunk those dead pigs in which would cause their hair to loosen, and after hoisting them back out, they’d have curved scrapers which they use to remove the loosened hair. I had to admit I just happened to have one of them, but the wooden handles have long been gone. Since he was a woodcarver, he mentioned using one to assist in his carving, and the reason he liked it so well, is because it remained sharp longer than his “modern” woodcarving tools. To this day, I can still remember seeing a ham in my mother’s oven with it’s hairless skin still on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they left them on to keep the meat from drying out when being baked. My how times have changed.

Before I left, I told the both of them I’d never forget them because of the photos I was shown of the hand-carved and then painted horses he created. They had to be at least four feet tall, and the detail in them couldn’t have been more remarkable. Yes, we have some great talent living in our midst, and if only we could tap into those latent resources for the good of our younger generation.

Several times today I happened to notice a flock of geese moving south in their “V” formation which is telling us winter is around the corner. While driving back to the City, I happened to notice a small flock of swans in a picked field of soybeans, which meant them must’ve had a stop-over for some nourishment on their long journey south.  I also notice two crows tormenting a red-tailed hawk which was trying to catch something in a ditch. Crows are another over-populated group birds we have flying around North Iowa. It’s too bad our State doesn’t resurrect the bounties they once had on them. All you had to do was deliver their feet to the courthouse and you’d get paid. Perhaps that would be more profitable than dumpster-diving for bottles and cans in the back alleys of our Downtown.

While driving past Cent Credit union, I was troubled when seeing they changed the normal American flag to one that had black and white stripes, and the one in the middle being blue. If there wasn’t so much traffic, I would’ve stopped. Go see for yourselves.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Our successes are dependent on glands; our sweat glands.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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