Living in Estonia

With it being a holiday and nothing particular planned as far as events or gatherings, I set about getting some personal chores of my own done, and the first thing on my list was to spray weeds.

Just this week I picked up a gallon of Spectracide weed and grass killer and tried it out on an annoying small patch, and when I looked the next day, they were definitely on their way to a dirt nap.  In the past, I sparingly used Roundup, but after recently reading some of the studies on it, I thought it best to not to take any chances.  As with all chemicals, one has to be exceptionally careful with over-spray, and certainly watchful of the wind.  Spraying is best done on a calm day just to be on the safe side.

One of my pet peeves is seeing grass and weeds growing out of the cracks of sidewalks, and if you pay close enough attention, you’ll find many sidewalk cracks with healthy crops growing.  I haven’t seen that old gentleman this year who walks in a certain district carrying a stick, and with it he tries to scrape the weeds while walking.  He seems quite the happy chap who also likes to wave at passersby.

An eccentric elderly gent who at one time lived above our old office, just happened to pop in my mind today which I thought odd because I’d not thought of him for quite some time.  I’m sure many of you crossed paths with him because you’d see him walking around the Downtown on a daily basis.

I looked him up, and to my surprise he just passed away this past February and I happened to miss his obituary. His name was Hans Paarmann, and if you look up his obituary you’ll have an opportunity to read his flowery obit.  It was likely the Ziska’s who wrote that because they were keen on staying in touch with him because at one time he lived in a tiny apartment at the rear of their home when they lived here.

As with everyone, there was a dark side to him, and from the first time I met him, he seemed guarded and aloof.  When he lived above our old building, he would come up with the most far-fetched ideas about people searching for him, and of course more than once he insisted someone had been in his apartment while he was gone.

There were times when I’d be working late at the office, and suddenly have a “feeling” I was being watched, so I’d look towards the front of our office, and there he was, peeking around the corner watching me.  I think he must’ve lived up there for about five years, which were five too many, but you can be sure I was delighted to hear that he’d finally given Roger Holtz notice that he was moving.

I could be kind and say he was frugal, but in actuality he was a miser.  He was eccentric to the point where he’d only pay his rent to Roger Holtz and insist on getting a receipt every month for the check he’d written.  One particular time, Roger showed me his check and it was drawn on a Chicago bank which struck him as being odd, but having worked at a bank a number of years before, it didn’t surprise me in the least bit.

Since he was never married and had no family living in the United States and if my memory serves me, he worked for years at our local packing plant, which left little question in my mind he was loaded to the gills, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it all went to his so-called “friends”.  To my knowledge he never owned a home and always lived in the cheapest of flats.  I sold a home belonging to an Estonian woman, and when I asked her if she knew him, she said she did but had little or nothing to do with him because of his quirks.

When writing about that woman, I just remembered that the reason she sold her home was because her son who was still living in Estonia, managed to get their family’s estate returned to them after the fall of communism, and since her husband had recently died, she decided to return home and live out her remaining years on her family’s estate.  She was a delightful woman.

I always had to laugh whenever people would mention something about him and usually always believing he was some poor old guy who you’d see picking up pennies, bottles, and cans from the streets, sidewalks, and public waste bins.

His obit said he was 92, and for some reason I thought he was older than that.  Oh well, I’m sure he lived the life he wanted, and now someone else is enjoying his legacy which is usually the way things go with the eccentrics.

The remainder of my day was spent back at my project which had me far more focused than I thought because I was there longer than planned.  At least I made noticeable progress and that’s what counted.

I’m hoping you’re all have a good 4th, but I’m now wondering if there’ll be fireworks at Clear Lake tonight because I see storm clouds and hear thunder.

Tonight’s One-liner is:  Let everyone sweep in front of their own doors, and the whole world will be clean.

Joe Chodur

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