Another Thursday arrived, and today was one where I worked all the more diligently on getting the docs I needed for a closing that’s coming up at the end of this month. Fortunately, I was able to get in contact with those I’d been waiting on, and luckily they sent them to me within the hour. If there’s one thing I loathe, is getting the run-around by mortgage bankers who seem to think the request of a payoff statement, is similar to asking for guarded State secrets. I think one of the gentleman I was on the phone with, realized in short order that I wasn’t going to give up after hearing that first “no” out of his pie hole. I did call the seller and thanked her for making a call to them yesterday, just so to alert them that I’d be calling for her mortgage payoff statement.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings with our stock market, because when I looked at the financial news late this afternoon, most of the stocks were at their 52 week lows which is making me think the worst is yet to come, and wouldn’t you know it, tomorrow is Friday the 13th, which may possibly go down in history as “Black Friday the 13th”.

When visiting with the general public these past weeks, the opinions have been in two camps to where one thinks this is just a passing thing that’ll quickly go away, while others are becoming near paranoid over what devastating effects it’s going to have in the long term. Let’s hope those opinions merge into something more realistic.

My big concern, is how well equipped North Iowa will be if there should be a “ground zero” carrier arriving in our area who’ll turn our County into a quarantine zone, and if that happens, you can be sure there’s going to be some serious injury inflicted on our local economies. I don’t even want to think about what it’s going to do to our real estate industry, and especially since we’re already over-due for our Spring market to kick in.

I have two possible listings to look at tomorrow, and hopefully both of them will decide to list with my office. I’ll be spending my early morning in review of comparable sales of similar properties, so at least I’ll have some back-up evidence should they bristle over what I believe to be fair market values on them.

Knowing I have two open houses scheduled this weekend, I’ll be interesting to see if this corona virus scare is going to have an effect on the number of people who’ll be showing up, and if that’s the case, then I’ll have to re-think my marketing strategy during this pandemic. I’ll continue to hope our general public doesn’t get overly-paranoid about looking at homes.

I’m normally not a Walmart shopper unless I need paper towels, because they sell them in those larger packages, and since I was down to my last roll at the office, I made a quick trip out there earlier today. To my dis-belief, their parking lot was nearly full, and when I went over to the paper towel and toilet tissue sections, I was shocked to find all those shelves where their toilet paper has always been neatly placed on deep and tall shelves. Today, they were completely empty. My dis-belief was so great, that I took the above photo of them with my cellphone.

I’ve heard stories of people getting crazy about buying toilet paper, but I just thought that was something those crazy big city people have been doing, but to find it happening here, was my shocker. To make matters worse, I went around the corner to get one of those big bags of paper towels, and wouldn’t you know it, there was only one package of them remaining, so I grabbed it and walked off before someone else considered themselves “paper-less”, and ready to fight me to the finish for it.

While on the phone today with a long-term client of mine, I had to laugh about this business of hoarding toilet paper and paper towels, while sharing my recent consideration that I’m a dinosaur of sorts when it comes to knowing how to make substitutions for things we’ve taken for granted. I said to her, “If there’d be no toilet paper left in the world, all we’d have to do is have a diaper pail with a lid on it positioned near a toilet, filled with cold water and a tablespoon of bleach, and when our personal “bottom wipes” were necessary, we’d take a cotton washcloth, rinse it in the bleach water, wipe really good, flush the toilet, rinse the washcloth in the clean toilet water, and then place it back in the diaper pail, and then to be used again as often as needed, and about twice a week, you just change the water, launder the cloth, and then start all over again” My client thought it to be the most ingenious thing to do. Wow! Evidently most have never taken care of babies that were diapered with real cotton. My how times have changed.

I went on to tell her, “When it comes to being without paper towels, we just go back to using kitchen and bath hand towels, and I do hope there are still in our midst those who wipe their dishes with kitchen towels which are made for drying dishes and silverware, and let’s just hope there are a few of us left who can freely share the alternatives for those “luxuries” we’ve taken for granted a generation or two.” Once again, she was marveled, which sent me on the path of talking about how much more our general public is in need of re-assessing what’s life-sustaining, and what’s corporate consumerism brain washed.

Tonight’s one-liner is: We’ve been unknowingly programmed from the time we were very little, about what we can’t do, and what’s impossible.

Joe Chodur

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