Parroting other People

Parroting other PeopleLuckily we were spared by about two degrees from having our first frost last night. Hopefully we’ll have a handful more days before we get hit. The first frost always saddens me in knowing all the delicate frost sensitive plants will be dead which will include peppers and tomatoes. Even though it was in the thirties early this morning, it actually turned out to be another delightful day.

My public open house at 15 N. Ohio was more of a success than I was expecting to where there was someone there nearly the entire time. Since I consider myself jaded when it comes to home designs due to the number of homes along with the plethora of styles we have here in North Iowa, several months ago I took the time to sketch this home’s floor plan because of its unique design which certainly was created to optimize the natural light coming into the home. Anyone who suffers the curse of being overly sensitive to limited natural lighting would fall in love with it. Even on the grayest of days, there is more than enough natural light to keep one’s spirits up. I grew up in a home with a large number of windows so I can say it really makes a difference with outlook and attitude when there’s always an abundance available, irregardless where one is positioned in the home. Frank Lloyd Wright was keen on creating as much natural lighting into his famous designs as possible. Every time I see people making window openings smaller in their homes I think, “Are you regressing back to your caveman beginnings?” Gobs of light is good for mind, body, and spirit. Take a closer look at 15 N. Ohio—it’s my “sunshine” house.

I happened to be driving down a street today and noticed a beautiful sugar maple showing off its colors. I stopped, grabbed my camera and took a photo. I thought the tree would be talked about tonight, but instead, I’m going to speak about the house behind it. Now remember I’m jaded when saying the home you see in the photo above is likely the only one still standing in the Historic Downtown that was built before the inserted photo was taken back in 1874 from the roof of a long since demolish school. Many may say, “How can you say this is the same house?” Well for a number of reasons, the home is on the corner, its roofline is the same, and above all, the chimney is in the same location. I can see there was an addition added later which would’ve created a room for a bathroom as well as additional living area. The home is built from native limestone with a stucco coating. If you would tear off the addition, and remove the stucco, you would have a near perfect fit to the grainy and distant photo above.  I think it would be fantastic if someone would acquire it and create a museum typifying “early life” in Mason City. What’s so good about its location, its in spitting distance from all our other Historic District attractions. We must continue to think forward with what can be done with our City after looking back.

This afternoon I laughed to near tears with a client when we got on the subject of how people copycat other’s words and phrases. I mentioned again how much I dislike the use of “reaching out” and “Hunh?” along with a few other quirky words and interjections. If you listen close enough, you’ll find our society filled with those who’re parroting other people. Parrots are pretty, but sometimes their words grow annoying.

Joe Chodur

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