Stranded For Weeks

It was a much more pleasant morning with the temps higher and there being a slight breeze from the south. The most unfortunate thing that happened this morning, was while I was driving to work and having to take a detour on a dark side street due to road construction, I just happened to see something dead lying on the pavement, and before I could swerve to keep from running over it, I was too late, and then an almost immediate toxic scent of skunk entered my vehicle. Ugh! It’s been many-a-year since I’ve had to endure the smell of skunk, and believe me, I’m not liking it in the least bit. That spray must’ve got on my tires, and if it doesn’t subside real soon, I’ll have to run it thru the car wash in hopes it’ll get rid of most of it.

Of course this is the time of year when all those creepy varmints of the night seem to be migrating out of the fields and now looking for winter shelter. If you ever happen to be driving out on the highways and blacktops between towns, you’ll notice all the more roadkills, and nearly all of them are either raccoons, opossums or skunks. Once in a while you’ll see road-killed squirrels, but that’s usually in town. About a month from now when the breeding season of white-tailed deer begins, we’ll be seeing all the more dead deer on the roads. You can be sure I’m happy when having to commute to work from a smaller town because they’re the most dangerous for drivers around daybreak and nightfall. A great number of years ago, I hit a deer on my way back from an appointment in Sheffield, and it happened in late October just after nightfall. That was one scary event I’ll never forget.

The only real estate related task I had on my plate for the day, was to visit with the sellers regarding the offer they received yesterday on the duplex they own at 1006 – 1008 N. Delaware. Unfortunately it took far longer to get a counter-offer prepared for me to send back to the selling agent. Once I had everything completed, I changed my clothes and headed out to get some time-sensitive outdoor work done.

Once again, it was a repeat of last weekend to where I was knee-deep working on another one of the filthiest jobs I’ve taken on in many months. While laboring away, I couldn’t help thinking there’d likely be no worker living in North Iowa who’d gladly take on such a job. Yes, it was that bad, but at least the worst of it is over, so if I have time tomorrow, I’ll get the easier and cleaner part of it completed. I’m sure some day I’ll look back on that project and think, “How in the world did you have the determination to take on such a job?” That little voice within will probably answer, “Because you had to have it done, and couldn’t find anyone else to do it.”

By the time I arrived back at office, there was another counter-offer in my email, so I called the sellers and relayed what the buyer had come back with. I think they wanted me to give them some direction, but I didn’t dare because just this morning I reminded them that they were the ones in the driver’s seat. In these crazy times of real estate sales, I’m finding it best that I don’t offer any more advice on pricing than I did during the time I took the listing. There’ve been too many times since the pandemic arrived where I’ve found the offering of my professional opinion ends up falling on deaf ears and subsequently being a futile exercise, which is why I ask myself, “Why even bother?”

When visiting with someone more in the know about that woman found last week in the Shell Rock River, he did say that she was found naked, and all I could say was, “Well, I believe there’s far more to that death because there’ve been no news about it since they said her body was being shipped to Des Moines for an autopsy.” I also went on to say that there’s likely only two possibilities, and that being a suicide jump off that bridge, or a murder. Of course that would be a hit and miss suicide because that bridge isn’t that tall, and if she landed just right in that shallow water, she could’ve survived. I guess we’ll all have to wait for the rest of the story.

Several weeks ago I managed to find online some pages out of an 1875 Atlas of Iowa which were being sold page by page. It was unfortunate, but I guess that was what the seller believed would give him the highest return on his initial investment.

I’ve been looking them over very carefully and now all the more convinced I’m going to have them matted and framed for the walls of my office which will hopefully become interesting conversation pieces. Once they’re framed, and ready to hang, I’ll make sure to take photos of them and share with all of you.

When seeing how few County roads there were in our North Iowa Counties back in 1875, it’s no wonder farmers were stranded for weeks after heavy snowfalls. Some of those trails/roads weren’t even straight to where they were either following a river or the creation of the shortest distance to a small town.

After seeing those few roadways, I began imagining how absolutely isolated some of those homesites must’ve been to where they may have had a dirt path of a driveway a good mile long before they were able to lead their horses on more stable surfaces. Even though there were railroads at the time, I’m sure they still had to use stage coaches to get from the rail heads to another small town miles away which wasn’t serviced by rail. The more I allow my mind to wander, the more I’m beginning to get a full mental picture of what life must’ve been like back in the 1870’s where there was no gas or electricity, no plumbing, and no telephones. Do you now think we’ve got it so bad? Not even close.

After today’s workout, there’s no question I’ll be sleeping like a log tonight.

Tonight’s One-liner is: A winner rebukes and forgives; a loser is too timid to rebuke and too petty to forgive.

Related Property:
1006 – 1008 N Delaware Ave. Mason City
Joe Chodur

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