Old Farmsteads Dotting North Iowa

It was a wonderful drive to office this morning with the temps hovering around 32 degrees, and glad they were because I needed to stop and get a fill-up of gas. Oh how I hate getting gas when it’s so terribly cold outside, because for whatever reason, the wind always seems to blow colder when standing at a gas pump.

Upon arrival at office, I busied myself with my first of the month bookkeeping, along with getting my recent sales file organized for the information I later sent to the title attorneys and closing company. I had to laugh to myself when thinking today was going to be a slow day for me because I didn’t have but two appointments scheduled. My how that changed after the first couple of hours. I actually thought I’d have time to change my clothes and get over to my little/big clean-up project and work at the last of what needed to be done before I post it for rent, but the calls and emails had my time consumed.

I did receive an offer on one of my listings which has been under the radar, and in spite of it being lower than I was expecting, I went ahead and placed a call to the owner. I figured his response would be an emphatic “No”, but at least I managed to get him to counter within reason, so I then relayed his counter-offer to the selling agent. I’m hoping we can get it put together because it’s one of those homes that’s yet to have been lipsticked, which seems to be the big draw from our younger buyers. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

Just as soon as the wind changed back to blowing from the northwest again, you could immediately feel our temperatures drop. Yes, we’ve got another yo-yoing going on which is either the fifth or sixth time it’s happened this season. I’m now wondering if we’re going to be experiencing such fluctuations during our summer months. Like I said before, we’re going to blighted with potholes in our streets like we’ve never seen before once Spring arrives.

The strangest of things happened today which still has me wondering, and that being my having found another wallet on the ground in our Downtown. This time around, I happened to be driving down N. Delaware near the Post Office, and noticed something almost in the middle of the street which looked like a wallet at first glance, and since I wasn’t slowed down enough to get a good look at it, I went around the block and parked in one of the public parking lots near it, and then walked over for a better look. Sure enough, it was a wallet, so I waited for a break in the traffic and then went out and grabbed it.

I didn’t even look inside of it until I arrived back at office. This time it was a female’s wallet which appeared to be an expensive one. The only identification inside, was an identity card which gave the name of the owner and her address. Since she was from another County about an hour away, I did some quick research and found she was still living with her parents. When calculating her age, I figured she had to still be in school, so I called that town’s school secretary and had her pass onto that girl’s parents my having found her billfold. I was a bit surprised I’d not received a call today, so likely tomorrow I’ll be getting one. There wasn’t that much money in it, but still you’d think she’d be wanting it back more sooner than later.

Getting back to my considering the finding of another billfold strange, is the fact that I’d found two in less than a week, and then knowing to my recollection, I’ve never found someone’s billfold on a street or sidewalk. I’m beginning to wonder if our younger crowd is so wound up all the time, they’re not paying attention to important things like their billfolds. Oh how our times are changing.

With a little time to kill, I stopped over to a groceteria to pick up a few things I was needing, and one of them was the purchase of two gallons of white vinegar which I’m going to use in that toilet that got all limed-up from not being cleaned in many months. I’m going to stop over there in the morning and shut the valve off and get as much water to drain out before I give it a good dose of vinegar. I’ve learned that using vinegar does just as good a job as those other “bowl” products, only as long as it’s left long enough to do its job. I dare not even mention how disgusting that water closet was before I started tackling it. Quite remarkable if I dare say.

While at the check-out, one of the department managers was standing there, so we had another good chat about life on the farm way back when, and how much it’s changed in comparison to today’s farming. He mentioned something about a farmer he knows who farms over four thousand acres in our area, and also feeding-out a number of beef cattle. I shook my head when hearing how fully automated just about everything having to do with farming has become. Many who’re less the wiser, have no idea how computerized those tractor cabs and combines are to where they nearly drive themselves. There’s no need to worry about how strenuous their jobs are, because they’re likely just killing time in their cozy cabs while their machines do all the work.

At least thirty years ago I read a very forward-thinking article about what the future of farming was going to be like, and because I was so taken by the author’s words, I remember much of it, and now when seeing how close his predictions have become a reality, I’d say he was a true visionary. Knowing how expensive that farming equipment has become, and the ever-rising sale prices of land, I’m left to wonder how the the smaller farmers can make ends meet. I still miss seeing those many old farmsteads dotting the landscapes of North Iowa.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Every idea has its time.

Joe Chodur

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