To its Underground Larder

Here it’s the 19th of October and we haven’t yet received a light frost, and to top it all off, while I was in Nora Springs this afternoon, my vehicle’s thermometer registered an outside temp of 80 degrees. Now wouldn’t you consider that being a bit unheard of say twenty years ago? What’s even more crazy, more than one person mentioned our long-term forecast for this coming winter to be exceptionally cold with little snow. I only hope and pray it won’t be a repeat of last winter’s three long weeks of below zero temperatures because I was near fit to be tied by the time it was over. Let’s hope for a good blanketing of insulating snow with warmer than expected temperatures.

I had two home showings today with one of them being in our City and the other in Nora Springs. The one here was very well cared for, but the pricing on it was more than questionable. I have absolutely no idea where some sellers get their starting prices because the one I showed is at least thirty thousand dollars over-priced.

My second showing in Nora Springs was an absolute waste of my time, and of course the buyers kept insisting that what they were walking thru appeared completely different than what they were seeing in person. I was glad to have arrived about ten minutes early, just so I could get my own preview of it before they arrived.

Just as I was walking up out of that dungeon of a cellar, they showed up, and my first remark was, “I’ve resurrected a number of homes in my day, but this one is beyond help because I wouldn’t know where to begin or end with this cluster-cobble.” At first they thought I was being a bit hard on it, but after I pointed out a number of glaring red flags, they were in full agreement. Of course sassy me had to add, “They claim this house was built in the 1950’s, but there’s no doubt they must’ve made a mistake and inserted a 9 instead of an eight in its year built.” When the husband and I were in the basement and looking at all the powder post beetle damage, I laughed while saying, “I think these floor joists were the last remnants of a sailing ship.” Yes, they were that bad.

I think if someone wanted to do some extensive research on that property in the Floyd County Courthouse, I’d wager its original structure was one of the first built in that town, and possibly even a small farmhouse on the edge of their village. Any time you find such simple structures in close proximity to bodies of water, they’d likely be some of the first homes built. We have to remember they weren’t drilling deep wells at the time, so being close to a water source would enable them to provide water for themselves and their animals.

The real dead-ringer for the home’s age, was seeing the rough-sawn oak floor joists in its partial basement which were an odd size that appeared to be 3″ x 5″ and spaced about 24″ apart, and yes, the main floor felt soft and squeaky when walking on it. The frosting on the cake of that home, were the ceilings on the main floor being not much more than about six and a half feet tall. When in such homes I feel like I’m in either a mobile home or storage shed. The best part of that home was hopefully seeing it nevermore in my rear-view mirror while driving off.

When I arrived back at office, I found calls to return and emails to respond to, and one of the emails happened to be an alert saying a certain loan officer in one of our local banks having taken another job at a financial institution. As I’ve said before, today’s workers are not as loyal and faithful as they used to be, and you can bet there’s going to be more of it happing before our economy settles down. Just these past twelve months, we’ve seen a number of real estate agents either joining up with another office, or opening up their own, and the few I’ve asked why, the answers have always been for economic reasons.

I received a call from one of my sellers late this afternoon who wants me to look at the progress he’s making on a home he’s readying for sale. From the sounds of it, I’d say he’s a good month away from having it listed, and when it does hit the market, I doubt it’ll be listed long because of the features it’ll be offering, as well as its prime location. The home is exceptionally well built and now with high-end updates, it should be a slam-dunk of a sale as long as our market continues to move as fast as it’s been.

Before heading home, I had to make a stop at Hardware Hank and pick up more wide-mouth rings and lids for my canning projects, and since all the stores have been out of regular rings and lids for months, I thanked myself for hanging onto the number of wide-mouth jars I’ve had in storage, because if I didn’t I would’ve had to do something drastic with my tomatoes and cucumbers. For sure I have enough kosher dill pickles to last me for a year which came from only two plants. It must’ve been a perfect spot for them and the best weather because I’ve never seen so many being produced by just two plants.

While seated outdoors and enjoying this evenings pleasant weather, I happened to notice a chipmunk secretly stealing dry dog food my my pet’s dish. I’d almost forgotten that they have those pouches on each side of their jaws which they fill thru their mouths, so when it was standing at the edge of the dish looking my way, it looked more like a miniature lion’s head. Quite the sneaky little devil, but oh so cute. While I was seated out there, it had already made four trips back and forth to its underground larder. Yes, the animals that have to winter-over with us, are working diligently at gathering enough food to sustain their lives until Spring arrives.

Tonight’s One-liner is: The only way to achieve harmony in one’s life, is to marry one’s feelings with one’s beliefs and ideas.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

Firstofall....JoeChodurreallydoesn'tliketalkingabouthimselfbutthisiswhatwehavefoundoutabouthim. more about: Joe Chodur

View page.