Books are Like Imprisoned Souls

You can bet I wasn’t liking this morning’s minus seven below zero, but at least the strong wind of last night did lower itself down to not much more than a whisper. We’re fast approaching the middle of February which should finally bring to an end these days of biting cold.

Come Spring, it’ll be interesting to see how well our trees and shrubs have weathered the winter. I’ll not be a bit surprised if we should find some winter-kills, and likely due to this zig-zagging of our temps from one day to the next. I’ve already been noticing potholes appearing in our streets, so get ready for a bumpy ride after the ground thaws.

After getting myself settled at office, I went back to work on my taxes until the hour of eight arrived which was my queue to get some banking readied and place a quick call to one of my clients before heading out. The only reason for my call, was to bring him up to speed with the the closing of his home. I didn’t want to hang on the phone very long because I knew he had people coming to pick up some furniture he’s not planning on moving to his new digs.

My next stop after the bank, was to head out to Kramer Hardware to get a replacement key made for the one I broke off in a locking cabinet yesterday afternoon. While standing there waiting, there were people coming and going, and several of them I knew, so we exchanged a few words before they headed down their aisles.

Believe it or not, it took over a half hour for them to find the right key and get a copy made for me. While walking into their store, I noticed another “help wanted” sign in their window which seems to be what we’re finding in the windows of just about every business. What the heck is going on with the labor shortage in our City? The most troubling, is finding many long-retired senior citizens returning to the workforce. Please remember, I hold no prejudices, and especially with the seniors, but what gets me, is not seeing the younger generation as much as I used to. For the strangest of reasons, this pandemic created an employment “hole” that’s yet to be filled.

I’m sure you remember me mentioning the reason some of our restaurants closed, and only because they couldn’t find help. I personally know that most waitstaff if they’re good, make a pretty good extra wage in tips. I’ve known many people over the years who were seasoned in that profession to where they made a career out of it. It doesn’t take me long to recognize one who’s got their method down pat and generously rewarded for it in tips.

I had a very nice compliment paid me several days ago when a buyer just out of the blue announced to me that when selling and buying of the many homes they’ve owned over the years, I was the best they’d found. I was almost speechless after being told that, and about all I could say was, “I try my hardest at making my buyers and sellers happy.” Since she’s lived in various areas of our Country, I took that as a very good compliment. Yes, there are some in my profession whom I’d run from before even thinking of using them because of the way they treat buyers and sellers.

As soon as I returned to office, I was back at getting my taxes sorted out and entered in a customized journal I created some years ago which makes for a less cumbersome task at getting everything separated, journaled and then filed away. I was stopping and comparing costs from the year before to those of 2021, and not to my surprise, there were price increases nearly across the board. The one that stood out the most, was the increase in my yearly gas expense which was over $400 higher than the year before. A Realtor can do without many things, but gas is definitely not one of them.

During one of my breaks today, I happened upon a troubling article which talked about all those private equity funds which are purchasing apartment complexes across our Country, and from the sounds of it, they’re milking those tenants for every nickel they can, and from what I’ve been hearing about the prices of “The River” complex here in our City, I was shocked when discovering how high their prices are, and especially if a tenant wants underground parking. I won’t be a bit surprised if they start having a high year-over-year turnover because those tenants might just as well buy instead of forking over that kind of dough every month. But, if our inventories continue to drop, there’ll be nothing much to pick from come Spring. If such will be what’ll happen with our housing market, those poor tenants will be caught in a vicious housing circle. Aren’t all of you current homeowners glad you purchased when you did?

By the time the hour of four arrived, I found that my evil yearly task is nearing its end, so I called it quits for the day. I’ll be back at it again tomorrow, but only to do some double-checking of numbers, along with making sure I’d entered everything my tax person will be needing when I arrive at their office.

Over all these years, I’ve heard from the mouths of a very many people who continue to ask for extensions on their taxes instead of just getting them done when they’re supposed to be. When on the phone with a client of mine last year, I was shocked to hear that the IRS allows for prolonged extensions. He didn’t like it when I said, “I know you’re busy, but not that busy where you can’t get them filed when they’re supposed to be.” Oh well, to each his own.

Before heading home, I placed a call to a friend of mine and had a nice chat about recent happenings in our lives. Our conversations always end on a positive note which is nice.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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