Harboring some Pretty Dark Thoughts

It’s becoming more apparent that we’re on a down-hill slide into the cold months of North Iowa, and in spite most who work indoors all day remain indifferent over the changing of seasons, I personally dislike them because I know I’ll be out in it just about as much as I am during the pleasant ones. Of course it’s nice to watch from an office window the snow falling and our bitter north wind creating drifts, but if they had to be out in it for any extended period of time, they’d be whistling a different tune. Oh well, there’s nothing we can do about it other than simply endure.

It was an awkwardly busy day with my running from one office and home to another to gather and then distribute documents on sales that are moving towards their closings. I almost felt like an intruder when I had to pick something up from a seller who just lost his brother several days ago. All I could do was pick up what I needed and then offer my sincerest condolences.

Another appointment I had was to go out and give an estimate of value on a home that’ll be coming on the market very soon, and luckily it’s a floor plan I’ve been very familiar with over the years which made it much easier to come up with a value. Luckily the seller agreed with me, so all I’ll have to do is wait for her to tell me when it’s ready to list. It’s a very “vanilla” three bedroom ranch, but with it being priced under $100K, it should sell relatively quickly.

While visiting with one of our City’s “powers that be” I was quick to express my anger and disgust with certain city employees who’ve become very lax in returning calls, along with the way in which they inappropriately conduct themselves when dealing with the public. Every time I encounter a government employee who acts like they’re doing me a huge favor whenever asking them a question or having a short face-to-face conversation, I so often would like to firmly and deliberately say, “Have you forgotten I’m one of the many who’s paying your bloated salary?” The comment I got today was, “There are several departments that’ve been in great need of a good house cleaning for a very long time.” I couldn’t help adding, “Let me know the date and time so I can be a part of a large cheering section that’ll be standing there while it happens.”

As much as I was attempting to dodge the intermittent showers, it was almost laughable when just after stepping outside, it would start up again. Thank goodness I dressed appropriately today, or I would’ve been chilled to the bone.

While at one of the offices I frequent, I couldn’t help teasing several of their workers when saying we all have a little bit of bad in us which helps us to become all the better. I shared a long ago and far away story about the time I was seated in my grandmother’s living room and watching her television, and for some reason, I could her my mother speaking softly to my grandmother about me out in her kitchen. I’m not sure what naughty thing a boy of ten must’ve done, but my grandmother’s response to her was, “Oh my dear, don’t you know you have to be a little bit bad to be pretty good?” After all these years, I still remember those wise words coming out of my grandmother’s mouth, and when you think about it, none of us are angels, and if we happen upon someone appearing as such, then you’d better look out because they’re likely harboring some pretty dark thoughts..

With some free time this morning, I sat down and sent another return email to a long-term friend of mine who lives out East. The one I received several days ago was filled with a few tales of unfortunate happenings which saddened me, but as we all know, everyone picks their own life paths, and no matter how much we encourage them to change their ways, there’s always that kicking back, and most of them will give weak excuses like, “You ain’t telling me what to do.” Such language is nothing more than a negative knee-jerk response to encouragement.

Several years ago I was chastised for doing just that, and the language used in a return letter left me stunned when the author of it insisted that I’ve done nothing but continually put that person down. Wow! How does an encouragement to lift oneself up, get turned into a body-slam? Have I gone to that “well” since? Absolutely not because anytime we crawl back into a dog and pony show, the shame is all on us because we’ve lowered our personal standards. What I really hate about text messages and emails, is that such mindsets consider them their buffer against debate.

The highlight of my day, was a heartfelt conversation with a dear one regarding how she absolutely enjoys her work with corporate, but relishes her time alone, and especially if she’s out of doors. The more she shared, the more I truly considered her a kindred spirit, and didn’t hesitate a moment to tell her. Before leaving, I insisted she stay in touch, and you can be sure I’ll have something prepared for her and family before the holidays arrive. To this day, I still remember the first time I met her over 30 years ago.

When reading BBC News this morning, I was not surprised to find Russia putting the squeeze on Moldova’s gas supplies, and only because their new government is leaning more towards the values and policies of the European Union. I’m really going to hate it when being right again if Russia starts placing higher prices on the gas coming from their new pipeline to Germany. From what I’ve read so far, they’re already raising their gas prices. Now you see what one-party systems controlled by power-hungry leaders can do to manipulate the masses? How in such a short time did our world become so troubled? It’s no wonder more people want to live far and away from the metros.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Hold puppies, kittens and babies any time you get the chance.

Joe Chodur

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