Buy Back One’s Past

While driving to work early this morning and looking at how heavy and dark the clouds were, I suspected we were going to be in for a pounding, and sure enough we got a good one. After it was all over, I was later hearing various reports that the Mason City area received between four and six inches of rain depending on who was telling it and what area of our City in which they lived. I personally believe the southwest quadrant received the most because of how high the Cheslea Creek had climbed. I’m sure everyone’s sump pumps were running constantly in attempts to keep up with the saturation. I think the meteorologists were wrong when saying Worth County was where they’d get the most, but I’m pretty sure we got the brunt of it instead. Quite the twelve hour change in weather and temperatures wouldn’t you say? I didn’t think it was ever going to cool down last evening.

I spent most of my morning confined to the office because of the rain, so to keep myself busied, I went digging again in my storage area for something I was certain was there but for the life of me, I couldn’t find it until I went back thru for a second look, and there it was staring me in the face the entire time. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? Oh well, I found it and that’s all that matters because I knew if I didn’t, I would have to buy a new one.

The bulk of my morning was spent working on closing files which will be taking place the end of the month. It was a good thing I didn’t have that many interruptions which meant I could remain fully-focused on what I was doing. I also had to get in touch with an out of town bank which had the loan that was paid off early last month, but they’d not yet filed a release on it. Of course the person who normally handles those transactions was out until next week, so I had to chase down another who was left in charge. I had to hold my tongue because I wanted to chastise them for not getting it released which created some un-necessary phone calls from the selling agent. I just hope they’re not starting up that dirty habit again because it was taking place often back in and around the time of our 2008 Financial Crisis. Shame on them.

I received a call just after lunch from a person who wants me to give an opinion of value on a home, so I scheduled it for this coming Friday. After I got off the phone, I proceeded to look for recent comparable sales. The only problem I know I’m going to have, is convincing the seller that if our interest rates continue to climb, along with our gas prices, there’ll have to be a discount given due to the fact that back when interest rates were at six and a half percent, the average selling prices in our Country were half the price they are now. Kinda scary isn’t it? Of course North Iowa’s real estate values haven’t spiked any where near what they have in the metro areas, and especially in the Sunbelt.

When seeing all that precious rainwater running down the storm sewers today, I couldn’t help thinking about all the drought-stricken areas in our Country and the world. I still think people should be going back to the days when they had cisterns which stored rainwater from their roofs. With all the technology we have today, those cisterns could be used to water gardens and lawns instead of pumping it from our aquifers. More than once over these many years, I’ve personally seen cisterns in basements which were nearly completely full of water which had been there for likely years after the previous owners had unhooked the main downspouts feeding into them.

Because most of our younger generation haven’t a clue what a cistern looks like, those door and windowless rooms go un-noticed because nearly all of them had wooden lids on them. I would say about half of our city’s cisterns are still intact and hopefully all that old water has been drained out of them. The ones that’ve had their lids removed and doorways cut into either their concrete or stone walls, have been converted into storerooms, workshops, and even laundry areas. Back when those homes were built, anyone who could afford the extra expense to have one created, were considered a bit more uppity than those who didn’t, and only because the lime and mineral-free rainwater provided soft water for bathing, hair-washing, and laundry. Remember some of those old commercials that would talk about “rainwater fresh”? Well, as most know, rainwater is the softest. Cisterns went out of favor when some inventor came up with a way to soften well water by creating a mechanical filtering system which required rock salt and rosin. I still remember that annoying commercial where a woman’s voice was yelling, “Hey Culligan man!” Isn’t it crazy how we still remember such unimportant lines from advertisers? I’ll have to start remembering all those jingles we were subjected to over the years, and the one that always come to the forefront is the Menard’s one with the, “Save big money at Menard’s!”

Speaking of jingles, I once knew a woman who had such a knack at creating jingles, she’d more times than not, win the grand prizes for creating them for various companies. She must’ve had a full understanding of sound branding which to me, is a form of brainwashing. Ok, I just remembered another one. I’m sure you remember the jingle, “Shop Hy-Vee, shop Hy-Vee where there’s a helpful smile in every aisle.” Now that I’ve got you thinking about them, I’m sure you’ll think of all the more.

After reading a few of the news articles online regarding Ukraine, I swear Putin and his cronies are growing even more genocidal by saying likely in two years, the country of Ukraine won’t even exist. Let’s hope they’re saying such craziness as a scare tactic because the Ukrainians are now re-gaining land lost. We must continue to help them any way we can.

Tonight’s One-liner Is: Since time immemorial, there’s never been enough wealth accumulated to buy back one’s past.

Joe Chodur

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