Our Far-Southerly Sunset

Well, it was another repeat with shoveling snow today, but this time around, I had my gloves doubled-up, three layers of clothing, and two pairs of socks, along with a very warm stocking cap that went over my ear-muffs, but unfortunately my fingers still got exceptionally cold to where I had to go back inside to warm them up again. Dealing with the cold is bad enough, but when the wind is blowing from the north, that’s when it becomes unbearable. All the snow’s been cleaned off and now ready for another workout after the coming days of snow and wind have passed once more. We’re definitely going to have a white Christmas, but accompanied by some very low temps. I just about lost it after opening my gas and electric bill, but after looking at what the average temps for the same time period last year was, it came as no surprise when reading that our average temps were six degrees colder than last year’s.

On my way to office, I made sure to stop and get my vehicle filled to the brim with gas, just so I’ll not have to be stopping for any during these coming days of wickedly cold temperatures. Whenever I’m out in those sub-zero temps, I’m reminded of ‘Dante’s Inferno” where he referred to the lowest level of Hell as being freezing cold, which makes sense to me because when it’s that cold, you actually feel a definite burning sensation. Been there too many times to ever forget while out taking care of livestock back when I was young and semi-good looking.

After I got settled-in for the day, I drove out to my sold listing to check on the progress on getting that home cleared-out of all personal property. Thank goodness all the relatives arrived who were there to take whatever they wanted, along with placing the unwanted items in garbage bags and then carried out to a big dumpster. I did remind the seller that it’ll be in everyone’s best interest, if that dumpster gets removed as quickly as possible because I’ve seen the absolute chaos those dumpster-divers leave after digging thru them, and believe me, nearly always, it’s an absolute mess in and around them. I’ll have to drive by it early tomorrow morning, just to make sure they weren’t already there. It’s on a shorter and less-traveled street, so let’s hope they miss seeing it before it’s hauled off. I didn’t stay but a few minutes, but did mention that I’d be back later this afternoon for signatures, should their attorney’s office have them prepared today.

While out on the west-side, I stopped and picked up a Whopper Jr. at Burger King, and then stopped at several vacant homes, just to make sure their furnaces were running. It seems every year, I become even more leery about furnaces going out, and likely because all these cheaply-built high-efficiency furnaces have ignitors that fail far sooner than they should, which makes for more worry. While talking about them today with a customer, he said his four year old furnace had to have its ignitor replaced. How crazy is that?

Since I had to wait for an attorney’s office to call, I got a few more bills paid, and then looked to see what music I needed to pull for St. Paul’s Services on New Year’s Day. I managed to find all of them but one, along with discovering a possible mistake on a piece that was requested which I believe someone didn’t pay attention to the melody because it wasn’t anything I’d played before, and likely the reason it was wrongly chosen, was because it had the same title. Yes, there are a few hymns out there that have the same titles and lyrics, but completely different melodies. The one I couldn’t find, is something out of another one of their song books, and if I can’t find the accompaniment, they’ll have to change it. I’m actually glad I looked at what was given me early enough, just so they’ll have time to make those changes.

I did receive an illuminating phone call today from an old client of mine who was in the know about a certain piece of real estate that was part of a trust, and as I suspected, the trust officer was the one who was making all the calls as to which real estate agents were going to be involved in the sale. In spite of the end beneficiaries being told they’d be the ones making the final decisions, it ended up being the trust officer’s call on just about everything. Today’s conversation wasn’t the first or last time I’ve heard similar stories, which is why I would personally never have a trust. I’ve also seen far too many of them broken by beneficiaries after the trustor kicks the bucket. Yes, I’ve seen and heard some questionable things happen which should’ve never been. There’s one particular trustor who thinks she’s got all her bases covered, but I’d be willing to place big bets on her rolling over in her grave after she discovers what the trustee does with her assets after she’s gone. Yes, there are some fine trustees with rock-solid characters out there, but unfortunately in these times, they’re becoming exceptions to the rule, which is why some estate attorneys, continue to encourage regular probate proceedings without trusts being involved. Of course, it all goes back to how trustworthy an executor is, and especially when there’s a great deal of coin involved.

The call finally came in from the attorney’s office, so I ran over and picked up the transfer documents, and then headed out to get the seller’s signatures on them, just so he wouldn’t have to wait until morning to sign them. As chance would have it, just as I was walking up, one of the relatives had just thrown an old black and white portrait in the dumpster, so I asked if I could have it, and wouldn’t you know, they gave me two more of them to boot. After everything was signed, I assured the seller I’d keep him posted as to the day and time of closing, and before I left, I thanked him again for the three portraits he’d gifted me. One of them teasingly said something about dumpster-diving. Well, at least I wasn’t a diver, but rather a dumpster ‘reacher”. After I get them cleaned and polished, I’m gonna find a blank wall in my office to hang them. You may think me bat-shite crazy when admitting I absolutely love those old black and white photos, and for me, the older the better. I think I now have enough to create my own extended family.

I hope you like tonight’s photo which I snapped late this afternoon of our far-southerly sunset which is the eve of our winter solstice. It’s highly unlikely we’ll have a similar sunset tomorrow, due to the expected cloud-cover moving in before the storm arrives.

Tonight’s One-liner is: We were given two ears and one tongue, so that we would listen more, and talk less.

Joe Chodur

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