Backpack Sundays

I’m pretty happy this hellacious weekend is finally coming to an end.  That rainstorm we had yesterday and the one two days before that, was enough to make just about anyone want to got out and spit three times.  I noticed today more big branches down as well as several trees our City planted snapped off.  The force of that wind and rain must’ve been too much for them.  I’m sure there’ve been people getting water in their basements who’ve never had it before.  After last week, I won’t be surprised if there’ll be more people purchasing high-end sump pumps with battery back-ups.  Being without power when water tables are high are not good combinations.

Most of the time gutters and downspout extensions keep water from seeping in, but when the water tables continue to rise with so much rain, that’s when the underground H2O finds the weakest areas of resistance in basements.  Underground water pressure is something not to be underestimated.  Have you ever noticed in some homes how their basement floors have heaved a little wherever there are cracks.  That’s from underground water pressure.

Speaking of water pressure. As I was driving under the S. Monroe overpass this afternoon, I noticed water running into a storm sewer at its base.  I looked to see where it was coming from, and wouldn’t you know it?  That west hillside was weeping water.  Out in Eastern Iowa, weeping hillsides are more commonplace with their steep hills, but not so much around these parts.

My real estate appointment today took me over to Clear Lake again for a showing.  Oh Mercy!  I still can’t get over the prices they’re asking for their homes.  The one I showed today would easily sell for $50K less here in Mason City, and the buyer would be in an even better neighborhood.  I remember too well the number of foreclosures that took place over there after out market crashed in 2008.  I’m sure the per-capita numbers were higher there than they were here.

Please don’t think me to be bashing Clear Lake, because it is our sister city, but to have prices so much higher than here is baffling.  I would consider Clear Lake more of a suburb of Mason City than anything else.  I’d say over half of their working residents have jobs here.  Someone would have to be twisting my arm nearly off to get me to pay their prices and then have to drive 10+ miles to work and back every day.  Some have said their school system is better, but my take on our public schools in Iowa, is that they all have their issues whether they want to talk about them or not.

Looks like this work week is going to be a busy one for me which is just fine by me.  I’d rather be busy with something productive and worthwhile in our community than to be sitting around in gossip circles while waiting for God.  Pot-stirrers are in all our families and yours truly’s is no exception.  I sometimes wonder what my dear Grandmother would think of it all if she we still alive.  I’m sure she’d have some sharp words for a few.  Like I said before, she’d never scream or yell, but when she was stirred, she possessed a razor tongue that could cut to the bone.  I’ll not forget the time someone told her something about one of her grandsons that was not true. It didn’t take her long to permanently brand that storyteller a persona non gratis for the remainder of her years.  I didn’t consider her actions to be too harsh when permanently setting that person aside, because telling vicious lies about another simply to make oneself look all the better, is downright repugnant.

Since summer’s arrived, I can always tell it’s Sunday when seeing all the more backpackers on their bikes as they zig-zag their way across our City.  Late this afternoon, there were a noticeable number of them.  They must’ve been making their deliveries to “clients” so to have their supplies filled for their work weeks ahead.  I sincerely hope there’s something we can do about these backpack Sundays, and for that matter, all the other days of our week.

When thinking about the word “stanchion” in tonight’s one-liner, my thoughts carried me back to my farm days.  I always felt a bit sorry for those cows being held for milking in them.  Yes, they had something to eat in their bunks, but they were there to get “milked” whether they liked it or not.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  Thoughtless wishes are prone to create unwanted stanchions.

Joe Chodur

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