Watchful Eye

Watchful EyeIt was pretty darned chilly outside this morning, but after the sun started climbing it was actually quite pleasant to where it almost seemed like a near perfect day. I happened to be driving down a street yesterday and noticed some nuts that had fallen from a tree that was planted in the parking. There was a squirrel running away with one of them so I was able to get a good look at the outer shell. I thought, “Hmm, I’ve never seen a nut like that before.” About halfway down the block I turned around, parked, and went to gather a handful of them. During my lunch hour I opened the hulls and discovered what looked like a horse chestnut, but the outer casing wasn’t like those belonging to the ones I’ve seen. This sent me on a mission of finding out what type of chestnut tree it was. Well, after about a half hour of searching on the net, I discovered those nuts belonged to a Japanese Horse Chestnut. I was all the more curious how that tree ended up being planted in the City parking. I did read that when the tree is in bloom, there are beautiful spikes of flowers on it. Somebody must have given one of the previous owners of the home a nut or two to plant after possibly having seen the flowers it produces in the Spring. Yes, I was a bit possessed by finding out what it was because I’d never seen chestnuts in casings like those. After looking at all the different types of Chestnut trees that are available along with their hardiness range, I’m hoping the City will add their type to the list of trees that can be planted in the public parking areas. Earlier this year I planted a nearly dead Chinese Chestnut in a bare spot of a home I manage. It actually snapped out of its death throes and it now doing very well. They’re another slow growing and well formed tree to consider. Their nuts are considered quite tasty.

I had to meet up with a colleague today to discuss an on-going project of hers as well as play catch up on what’s been happening in our lives of late. I shared with her my super highs and very lows over the past six months. I went on to say how very thankful I am for the loyal and faithful customers and clients who’ve given me good business since the first of the year. It sounded like she had a similar year thus far to where I couldn’t help but say, “Have you been following my life on a parallel path?” She laughed and said, “When you were telling me what’s been happening with you, I almost interrupted you to say the same thing!” Yes, we all think everything that happens in our lives is so intrinsically special, but in reality, very much the same things happen to many–only the names and places change. I’m glad we had our little chat today.

I was shocked to read about Southbridge mall selling for 1.5 million dollars. I would say that was about as bargain basement as you could get for that mall. In spite of it needing some freshening up and a change in attractions, there really wasn’t any reason for it to sell that cheap. This is what happens when out-of-State sellers and buyers get involved in such transactions. It reminds me of many of the home foreclosures that come on the market pennies on the dollar leaving the Federal Government or big banks walking away happy they’re off their books without much of a price consideration.  Seeing the new owner of the mall is from New York, I hope he’s not one of those who’ll do the absolute minimum in repairs and improvements. Absentee landlords are sometimes the absolute worst to get repairs made and agreement fulfilled. There’s no real tie to communities—it’s only an asset in a portfolio that’s being tweaked to get the highest return on investment. I’ve seen these scenarios numerous times over the years.  Let’s all hope it’s for the best along with keeping a watchful eye on the new owner’s management style.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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