The Mennonites Wouldn’t be Growing

Once the northerly breezes kicked in, it was actually a pleasant day to where I worked all the harder at being out of doors than in,  which gave me a good opportunity to check on some of my vacant listings just to make sure all was well and good with them.

I’m now wondering if our market truly is beginning to slow because there was only one listing posted over the weekend, and that being a near half-million dollar home which is definitely not in financial reach of most of our home buyers.  I thought it a bit odd seeing it coming on now because for the most part, Clear Lake’s market begins drying up soon after Labor Day.  They’ve certainly had a good run of it this year, and let’s hope if nothing else, it stabilizes because there’s no way an average citizen of North Iowa can service a debt that comes with owning upwards of a quarter million dollar home on the weak wages and rising costs that come with keeping homes safe, sound and secure.

I scratched around in my office a little bit along with watering my plants which I re-arranged since I was able to re-home that 15+ year old avocado tree that’s been gracing my office for over a decade.  I’m sure it’ll be all the more happy in its new “digs” and likely start bearing fruit next year.  The new owner promised to send me one or two off of it when it does start bearing.  I insisted it not being necessary.

The two Plumerias a dear one sent me about three weeks ago are really loving the front window of my office, and if they’re as much in love with that window as my Jade plants, it won’t surprise me if they start blooming next Spring if only they’re able to make it thru the coming winter.  I’ve never heard of anyone growing them indoors in our area, so it’ll be a new experience for me.  I’m convinced the front window of my office offers the near-exact amount of light for sun-loving plants.

I’ll likely not hold over as many geraniums this winter as I did last because there were too many pots filling the few windows I have at my office to where it seemed over-crowded, and now that I’m on a burn to de-clutter my office space, there’ll be a whole lot more freed-up space.  I’m still working on getting that stained glass window framed so it will grace the transom above the front door of my office.  Now that’s going to be a welcome addition.

I had a short visit this morning with the owner/administrator of the Raven Ave. acreage I have listed, and the thrust of it was my encouragement for him to get the rest of that junk out of the grove and personal items removed from the house.  I had to tread a bit lightly because his family has owned that property for over 45 years.  There’s no question it’ll show and sell better if all that junk is cleared out because most buyers can’t see past such clutter and dysfunction.

Earlier today a client stopped by to visit about listing a home he owns which should sell if it’s presentable and priced right.  Since it’s in a lower price range, it would be more suited for first-time buyers who usually don’t have stellar credit and normally weak with their downpayment which would mean they would have to go the FHA or VA route for financing.  Those types of loans are OK but government loans scrutinize properties far more, and most of all, peeling paint.  I mentioned those stipulations to my client, just so he’ll be up to speed with the process.

We somehow got on the subject of how our area churches are dealing with their stay-at-home brethren during this pandemic.  I was glad to hear that his church has developed a fine-tuned outreach program for all their members, but also sorry to say I’d not heard a peep out of the particular church I’m a member, which internally angers me because they want the money but don’t want to do their jobs of being spiritual shepherds, and even more so in these times.  After he left, I spent a few minutes looking at this past week’s bulletin, and wouldn’t you know it, the paster had printed a copious letter about how hard their staff have been working at doing a noticeably good job of ministering.  I shook my head and quietly said to myself, “You’ve got to be kidding.”  It seems even those “of the cloth” are burying their heads in the sand while waiting for the virus to be over.  If he’d only not posted that letter, I’d be giving him the benefit of my doubts.

Since I was out on the East-side, I stopped at Hy-Vee East just to get a good look at what vegetables and fruits they have in their organic section.  I was in shock to see a small head of locally grown lettuce being over $3.50, and the Jalapeno peppers which were sold-out priced at $2.99 a pound.  The apples were well over $3.00 per lb. along with other fruits and veggies being heftily priced.

After getting “pop-eyed” by those prices, I’ve come to the conclusion there being absolutely no reason some of our young and energetic residents can’t create organic seasonal produce and start selling it at a real farmers market which absolutely must get started in our City.  With middle-class wages contracting and expenses building, that would be a good physical and financial way for them to better their lives.

From many years ago, I’ve been fully familiar with what it takes to have a bountiful garden.  If a diligent one stays at it from planting up until this time in August, pretty much all there’d have to be done, is pull a few weeks and start harvesting the fruits and vegetables as they ripen.  Even if a person with a small garden would clear above expenses  an amount exceeding $1,000 per season, that would be far better than worrying where their next nickels are coming from.  You can be sure the Amish and Mennonites wouldn’t be growing and selling produce in our area if there wasn’t money to be made.  I may sound a bit proud when saying, what my family grew and sold was even better than theirs.  Give yourselves a challenge next year and get busy.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  Thrift is of great revenue.

Joe Chodur

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