Grand Scale

I hope everyone celebrating last night made it safely home without any unfortunate turn of events, and above all, after waking this morning, there were no lingering guilts suddenly coming to mind from something that was said or done to another.

There’ve been a number of times I’ve been around people who’ve consumed too much giggle water and then saying some of the most cutting things to me. In spite of my attempts at getting them to stop, they seemed to all the more enjoy spewing their toxic verbal poisons. I came to the conclusion long ago that when such types of liquor-talk starts, that person’s filters were lifted, and what was being said, was usually what had been held deeply within, so whenever alcohol levels reach a certain point in their bloodstreams, all of their deeply guarded thoughts come to the surface and out their pie holes.

A number of years ago, I befriended an elderly couple who lived up in Worth County. They were somewhat introverted to where they had very few friends, so whenever the holidays rolled around, yours truly would get invited. As many times as I’d try to get out of their invites, the pressure from them usually always caused me to cave. It wasn’t that I didn’t like their company, because I did, but knowing I had to double-up on big dinners over a 24 hour period, would at times seem too much to bear.

The husband was a retired railroad engineer, and also a long-term recovering alcoholic, but because he was such a heavy drinker for so very many years, he ended up being what some would consider a “dry alcoholic”, and for some of the sensitive ones, was about as bad as being around someone who’s drunk. For me his filterless teasing didn’t cut to the quick because in time, he knew that if he went to far, I’d give it back to him equally, so he learned to stay under that invisible barbed-wire fence of conversation.

And so our long-term friendship continued for many years, but one unfortunate day, his wife called to say he’d dropped dead of a heart attack while doing his morning chores. I felt terrible about his death, and even more so for his wife who’d stuck it out with him in good times and bad, and as much as I encouraged her to remain in her home, she too soon made the decision to move to Louisiana to live with her recently divorced daughter who still had children at home.

After she moved, I spoke to her perhaps a half dozen times, and each time, she seemed all the more depressed and wishing she’d not moved there because of having felt she’d lost too much of her independence. I never brought up the conversation I had with her before she decided to move there, but I’m sure she remembered my cautioning her about making such a huge transition after her husband died. She’d not realized that she was giving up all her familiar haunts, her garden, her handful of family and friends living in the area, and above all, the freedom to do whatever she wanted without making herself accountable in another person’s home. It makes me exceptionally sad when now writing about the life she was forced to live out in her last years.

I dare not start remembering how many elderly men and women clients I’ve had over the years who’ve made the very same mistakes, and lived to regret them. For a number of years since, I’ve had my “soulful” chat with sellers who were “thinking” about making such moves, and the only reason I’d speak to them about their possible life transitions, was not so much to think about the benefits of where they’d going, but rather the things they’d be giving up, because if the losses exceed gains, it not something I’d be wanting to do. Some have made good choices, while others the most terrible.

My day was a hodgepodge of meeting with several customers, tidying up my office, and then scrubbing floors. Thanks to the City spreading sand and salt on the streets, I had far too many “cat tracks” in my office to where I couldn’t stand looking at them any longer. But, I’m still happy I have wooden floors that can be cleaned more thoroughly than any form of commercial carpet, because no matter how much you vacuum, they’re still dirty on a grand scale. While showing a home today that had nearly all hardwood floors within, I said to the buyers, “If you purchase this home, I wouldn’t be surprised if you find yourselves getting fewer colds or flu, because you’ll be able to actually see how dirty your floors are.

I still don’t understand why hospitals now have carpet instead of hard surface floors because of how much more difficult it must be to keep their carpeting germ-free. Hospitals don’t smell the way they used to back when all their flooring was hard surface, and likely because of carpet. Their reasoning for the change is beyond my understanding, but I do hope it has absolutely nothing to do with “cost-saving measures”.

Tonight’s one-liner is: The sharpest of thorns, oft times produce the most delicate of roses.

Joe Chodur

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