If the wind were not out the north today, it would have been considered a most delightful first day of Spring. I was showing a property and noticed some Peonies just starting to push out of the ground. They made me smile. Of course I also noticed some of those first to grow early Spring weeds starting as well. It always seems to be an “us against them” battle between the weeds and flowers and for some, their vegetables. I’ve always considered that if you keep the weeds under control long enough, the plants you are growing will grow big enough to shade the weeds, and the job is almost done since most weeds need ample sun to continue to their seasonal race against the flowers and vegetables. The struggle is not just about the sun, but also the moisture in the soil. Some of the root systems of weeds can be very large and moisture robbing. It’s simply a given to have weeds, but after several years of keeping the weeds from going to seed, the number of seedlings to deal with the following years seem to become less daunting.
Having a few encounters with prospective tenants today has given me all the more hope that Mason City is becoming more a place to plant roots. I believe it takes people who’ve lived in other cities around the Midwest to really appreciate the lower cost of living as well as the ease in commuting from home to work. Can you imagine what millions of people do on a daily basis during their work weeks in most metropolitan areas. It is not uncommon for workers to spend one hour driving to work and another hour driving home. That’s two hours of lost time per day and consider the number of hours lost per year and for that matter in a lifetime. For some, driving is sort of their gear up and gear down time in the car, but for me it’s nothing more than lost time in traveling from point A to point B. I had a chat with an over the road truck driver today and so much wanted to ask him how he passes the time during those long hours on the road. I think if I get to know an over-the-roader well enough, I’ll ask.
I’ve been noticing more and more businesses in the Downtown getting fiber optic installed. That in itself should help to encourage more new business to locate to our Historic District. I know too well it takes time for change, especially since our Downtown was a “fly over” for too many decades and fell into a sort of “twilight zone” where nothing of any great significance came to be. There were many business owners doing only the bare minimum when it came to making the exteriors and interiors of their buildings pleasing to the eye. It was always the mindset of “Whatever” it takes to get by. Some considered me to be a bit too demanding in presentation of my office, but I refused to go with the “Whatever”. It’s a commitment to make one’s workplace not only efficient, but comfortable for the workers as well as the clients and customers. The last big project on my building is the exterior. Some think it rickety, but really it’s not. Many of the key components are in place; I just have to get the work completed.
Some have said, “Just throw some paint on the outside and call it good to go.” I’m sorry, I just can’t just be of that “whatever” mindset. With the hundreds of hours spent on the interior causes me to be all the more determined that the exterior reflect the interior. Whenever I encounter those who simply want to patch, I’m ever more convinced to never have the “whatever” attitude towards building a better Downtown business.