A Very Merry 2020

If it wasn’t fit for man nor beast outside this morning, I’d say only if we had penguins living in North Iowa. What an un-welcome mat for Christmas Eve. I sure hope all our travelers are being all the more careful with this extreme cold and wind.

When I arrived at office this morning, I made sure my closing file was completely readied for the closing I’ve been on a race to get done before this long weekend began.  I couldn’t have thanked all those involved more by helping me make it happen today.

The buyers wanted to do their final walk-thru, and when I pulled up, they were already sitting in the driveway waiting for me. When I unlocked the door, I turned and noticed how lightly they were dressed for this weather. I couldn’t help saying, “Just looking at the both of you is making me all the colder.” Since they’re transplants to our area, I assured them that all our winter days are not as bitterly cold.

They got their walk-thru done, and before leaving, they asked if I’d take several photos of them standing on the porch of their new home, which I more than willingly obliged. When we walked back inside, I assured them that they got one of this year’s better buys, and for the only reason it remiss of being lipsticked like those that’ve sold many thousands of dollars more. That’s all that home needed was to get its carpets removed so its oak floors could be refinished, a good cleaning from top to bottom, and a fresh coat of paint on its walls and woodwork. All its other more expensive updates had already been done. They’ve already got plans for a having a more period kitchen installed, along with having its basement turned into a more functional area by getting rid of some closet-sized rooms which’ve served no purpose. With the right cosmetics, that home will be a real showplace.

After the closing had its soft landing, I went back out and pulled my sold sign which luckily hadn’t frozen solid, and since I was already out near a groceteria, I drove over and did a little shopping. I almost didn’t go in because of how many people were in the store, but I figured I’d make a quick dash in and out because I already knew what items I needed and exactly where I’d find them. Oh Mercy! The way some people dress while out shopping is for me, a bit of a jaw-drop. Oh well, if that’s they way they want to appear in public, then so be it.

When I got back to my shop, I finished up my work on that closing, and then filed it away, and before closing its drawer, I looked at it as being my last closing for the year. Without a doubt, this has been a roller-coaster year for my office, but after realizing I had to acclimate to the continued demands of today’s buyers, the remainder of my year became my daunting project in trying to catch up. I didn’t hit my normal mark, but thankful I managed to get within spitting distance. It appears this coming year is going to be another one where there’ll be shortages which’ll in turn create higher sale prices. But, if we have any sort of noticeable bumps in our economy, the flood-gates of sellers wanting out, will quickly increase our inventories. I’m hoping our new Administration takes it slow and easy during our new President’s first 100 days, because if we start seeing too many radical changes, it may create a ripple-effect in our already virulently-damaged economy.

My last appointment of the day was to meet with a seller to get some docs signed, and while visiting with him, I shared some ideas I have regarding a new and brighter direction our City could be moving if only we had key players who realistically understood what it’s going to take to bring more bodies and businesses to our City.
We both agreed that this business of expecting a continuous pipeline of revenues from tourism and our new arena, is nothing more than a clouded dream of the delusional few “in power”. I’m so thankful there still are some realistic people living in our midst.

Having not called a friend of mine in months, I figured it best to give him a Holiday ring. Since he and I have traveled similar socio-economic and familial paths, we’ve been able to speak freely about happenings in our lives. Like me, he’s more of a giver than a taker which often times creates back-slaps when finding no matter how much you freely and willingly do for others, as well as no hidden agendas attached, there’ll be those who’ll turn on you for whatever reason, and then make you look like the bad person. I teasingly said, “Just keep reminding yourself that most good deeds rarely ever go unpunished.”, which holds more truth than not. Since he comes from a relatively large family, I also shared my belief that too many times there are family members who deep-down, really don’t want the best for each other. We decided it’s a combination of un-acknowledged life failures, jealousies, greed, and above all, control. It almost sounds like characters in our political arenas, or indeed a player or two out of a Dickens novel.

A dear one sent a letter several days ago which talked about how we all must learn to accept differences and learn to compromise. Unfortunately we live in a society where it’s either all or none; my way or the highway, which is regrettable. Whenever such mindsets land on me with all fours and vehemently insist they’re right on all points of a given subject, and my being wrong, I let them finish and then walk way, as such people have no room for real debate and subsequent compromise because they’ve created “fake” illusions which they’ll end up taking to their graves. I’m convinced we have to focus on educating our young to the fact that tribal mentalities are self-destructive within our diverse society. Far too long ago, our older mindsets have convinced themselves that their beliefs are real and everyone else’s are of the devil. Yes, religion has been getting pulled into the mix all the more as well. Let’s truly wish each other a very Merry 2020 Christmas and a happy new year, by beginning with mindsets of omni-understanding.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.

Joe Chodur

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