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24 Sep

If Company Is Coming, There Are Lots More Jobs To Get Done

Ed, my neighbor next door, was focused on his harvesting last week and out of sight at his farm. All he could see was his need to get his harvesting done. My neighbor was, ‘combine,’ deep in his work. Isn’t it interesting, that jobs can appear like magic at certain times? Strange but if company is coming things appear that need picking up or tidying up all of a sudden. Some folks are so organized and tidy that their houses are like show homes twenty-four hours a day. Then there are folks who live on two levels. Level one is normal and relaxed and comfortable. Level two is high alert because guests are coming, and things have to look better than normal. “We have to get ready – company is coming,” is a war cry to which many of us have rallied.

Even those who love to have people visit them do not want company to come any day and time that suits their fancy. Guests are welcome most when the host is prepared and ready for them. When we put our house up for sale, we knew we were going from level one to level two. My wife left last week to travel with our daughter for three weeks, and I have to keep things looking better than normal by myself. It seems that I can be messy enough for several people. I’m beginning to understand why people hire a cleaning lady or a janitorial service. There is a level three that I’m facing, and that is called panic level. If the real estate agent calls and says that he wants to bring people through our house, can I be ready in time to move our house from relaxed to company presentable? It keeps me sweating just thinking about it. With just me at home just now, I have no one I can blame if the house looks worse than normal. It is a humbling situation when there is no one to blame but yourself.


24 Sep

Good News May Not Be Nearly As Good As It First Seemed

Ed, my neighbor next door, was so preoccupied with his harvest last week that he missed, a real estate for sale sign that went up in our front yard. When he saw it after several days, he grew a smile from ear to ear. He rushed over to ask me when we were moving. His smile began to fade when I said that, it depends on when our house sells. His smile dried up altogether when I said that sometimes it takes months, even a year or two to sell a house. He did get a slight grin when I assured him we would move for sure when the house sells. He lost his grin when I said we could be here a year or two if our house sells slowly.

“Don’t ask too much for it, and it will sell fast,” my neighbor told me. I told him I had to get what we consider enough for it or we won’t sell it. Ed felt that was only going to complicate things, and it would not lead to a quick sale. “The price has to be right just as it is on the television show,” I informed Ed. I explained that when you want to sell your house you cannot get as much for it as you would like. When you want to buy a house, it will be more than you want to pay. My neighbor said that the price is seldom right for grain and that it would be better for me to take less for my house so I could move.     

Yard Sale

17 Sep

September Is Too Late For Any Yard Sale Success

Ed, my neighbor next door, has been getting cranked up for harvesting and bubbling over with impatience about anything and everything. “You should know better than to hold a yard sale in September,” he told me last week. According to my neighbor, September yard sales are a bust, and not only will no one come out but people won’t even take stuff away if it is free. All I could say was that Ed could be right, and he, of course, assured me that he was, and I would learn the hard way. Weather dictates the willingness of yard sale shoppers to come out. I told Ed that those holding September yard sales need to pray and hope.

“Prayer and hope are just as valuable as spit against a tornado,” my neighbor informed me. “Common sense needs to replace prayer, and good planning is better than hope. People cannot expect prayer and hope to make up for poor planning and dumb decisions,” Ed said.


9 Sep

The Smallest Detail Can Derail the Greatest Home Project

Ed, my neighbor next door, saw that both my wife and I were stressed last week. We were white and grim with resolve to complete three, long-overdue, basement projects. Measure twice cut once should guarantee success but is never foolproof for me. We had a small wall to frame and cover with drywall. There was also an opened-mouth, large closet that needed filling with doors, and a considerable amount of quarter-round trim that needed to be added to finish the floors in a couple of rooms. Ed knows I love to garden, cut lawn and trim hedges, but that I approach home renovations with all the enthusiasm of a prisoner on death row. Hand eye co-ordination has always been pretty poor for me and cutting things straightly, a failing grade.

A regular handyman would have had all our three jobs done in a day or two. I had a feeling it could takes us a couple of years, but I didn’t say so, as my wife was already taking Tylenol after the first hour. My neighbor believes some of us folks are pretty useless at carpentry, and I think he is right in my case. It is hard for Ed to have patience towards those who lack building skills when he finds it easy to construct things. What is a labor of love for one person is a labor of distress for another person. Some folks seem to be good at everything while, others are relieved to be average at anything. Ed could tell when we finished our projects last week because we went from white in stress to normal again. I happily dug a row of potatoes with no stress at all. Overdue projects humble a person because a small detail like measuring exactly correct can derail hopes of ever getting the work done.


3 Sep

Some Folks Have More Wisdom to Share Than Solomon


Ed, my neighbor next door, was telling me that some of his relatives have always called him ‘Cousin Solomon,’ even though, his name has always been Ed. His uncle Harry in Edmonton once said that Ed had more wisdom to share than Solomon. Ever after that event, more than a few of his relatives have called him, Cousin Solomon. Ed is still sharing his wisdom on everything to this present day.        I met Ed last week at city hall, along with lots of other folks, present there to pay our property taxes. Ed shared with me that he believed the real reason for Robin William’s death was due to taxes. When I asked Ed, if Robin Williams had to pay a lot of personal and property taxes, his answer was probably! He explained that since taxes are so high here in Melville SK, they must be exorbitant in California. He ended by saying that since Melville’s taxes keep going up like a never ending addiction, we will all soon be suffering severe depression like Robin Williams suffered.

I mentioned to Ed when I was talking to him that I had an abundance of plums and apples this year, and he was welcome to some. He had been watching the apples on my tree getting ripening from his yard, and it seemed that I had enough apples for all of Melville. I said that I was thrilled with the abundance of apples and plums we have this summer. Cousin Solomon said that he has seen me picking up apples from the ground, and he does not want any apples that have fallen off the tree. I was quick to say that I was inviting him to pick his apples and plums from our trees. I wasn’t surprised when Ed said that picking fruit was women’s work, and he would ask Ruby if she wanted to pick any fruit. My neighbor then added it was men’s work to eat an apple pie, or apple sauce, or plum jam when the fruit was perfected. Like Ed, we all have our thoughts and opinions on what is wise and what is foolish.   


20 Aug

Buying and Selling Take Tool Long On The Internet

                 Ed, my neighbor next door, is always looking for a bargain. He is an auction addict and sometimes even has some appetite for yard sales if he is not busy at the farm. Once again, my neighbor shared with me how disappointed he was with the way we recently had our van up for sale. “Do you really think you’ll ever sell your van with that sign in the window of it?” was his first question. Second he asked, “How much do you want for it?” Third question he quizzed, “How much are willing to take for it?” Before Ed could ask me ten more questions, I asked him, “Do you want to buy my van?” I was ready for his answer which was that he would never buy a van because he only drives trucks. While I had him on a two second pause, I told him that he should buy our van for his wife Ruby. “She wouldn’t be interested in it,” Ed insisted. I told Ed that it was fine because it was advertised on four internet websites. “When they don’t work take it to the Yorkton Auction Center,” Ed instructed as left me alone with my van.

                After a week and no sale of the van, Ed said that in the summer, the weather is too nice and no one is on the internet. He was truly skeptical that we were receiving calls and emails concerning the van. By the end of the second week, my neighbor said, “I haven’t seen anyone test driving your van so I guess those calls and emails are worthless when it comes to selling your van!” When our van had not sold in two weeks, my neighbor said the internet ads were useless but he was impressed to hear they were free. According to Ed, eighteen days to sell our van was way too long. We were really pleased with how the selling our van went even if our neighbor was not impressed.