It was good for a change to arrive at the office on a Saturday morning in nearing mid-December and not having the cold and snow with which to concern myself. I’m beginning to be convinced that the warmer than normal temperatures are what’s driving the continued activity in real estate home sales. There’ve been steady inquiries as well as showings this past week along with another one of my recently listed homes having sold. As I’ve mentioned before, the ranch homes seem to be holding the first place of preference for today’s buyers. I think some of it’s our aging population wanting fewer steps, while other reasons may possibly be the fact that exterior maintenance is more costly due to the height of the exterior walls and tall roofs. In years past, younger people didn’t have much of a problem with costs because they learned from their parents how to do home repairs. Unfortunately in this age of specialization, very few people know how to do many things. I’ve personally enjoyed learning how to make repairs and improvements over these long years. Many who hire things to be done really don’t get the best of the best because the workers don’t take a personal interest in what they’re doing. They simply consider it a job in which when finished, they’ll get their paycheck and move on to the next future paycheck. People who are working on something they personally own and care a great deal about, take exceptional care in performing the repairs and improvements on their homes. I’ll not forget a home I had listed some years ago where the owner had to be moved to an assisted living center because it was found she couldn’t live alone any longer. I found out her husband was some sort of engineer for one of the big factories here who in his retirement, decided to start creating things from wood. He must have learned a few tricks from his immigrant parents who came from Germany because some of things I saw that he made which were still in the home when I listed it, were as far as I’m concerned, works of art. After the home sold, one of the relatives came and removed all the contents and when the selling agent and buyer did their final walk-thru the day before closing, I received a call from the agent saying the buyer wanted all the junk removed from the garage. I said to her, “Those are hand made wooden storage boxes the relative wanted left for the buyer.” She replied, “My buyer wants the garage cleared of everything.” I called the attorney who was managing the dear old lady’s affairs and told him of the situation. He said, “Get someone to get rid of the stuff and get it closed.” I called someone with a pickup truck and met him there to get what was left in the garage. Well, the wooden boxes were given away and the takers were delighted, but in the midst of those boxes was a handmade wooden one-step stool built in the most precise way of the like I’ve never seen. I absolutely refused to have that go to the dump and instead, I took it and kept it as a conversation piece. I even use it once in a while when I’m in need of another seven or so inches below me so I can reach something on a tall shelf. Each time I look at that stool, I am amazed by the way in which it was built. It must have taken as much time in planning its design as likely the numerous hours to construct. The stool is perhaps 60 years old and you can be sure it’s as solid as the day it was built. I’m ever so glad I kept it as a reminder of quality.