In Some Town, Illinois, a Realtor is walking into his office. He’s done this every day for years, parking in his spot, walking down the sidewalk, up the steps and into the office. He takes his coat off and hangs it on his hook, he only wore the coat today because it was raining, not because he was cold. He walks past the offices, first the large ones with windows where the executives work. Their work is telling him to sell more, to sell bigger homes and more of them, to make more money and higher commissions. He hates the people who work in those glass offices. Past those, past the break room where long ago he learned not to put something that he intended to eat into that communal refrigerator. The cubicles are many, and he remembers the times during boom markets where every desk was filled, and he remembers the lean years where half were empty. Today, they’re filled again, and he’d rather they not be. He’s tired, and the day hasn’t yet begun.
His desk has looked the same for all of these years, only the computer has made improvements. There are some photos of his wife and kids, three salesman of the year awards, two clippings where he was quoted in the local paper, and a parking ticket that he was supposed to pay by last Friday. His computer screen glows with some life, and he takes pride in knowing his screen was the first screen to be turned on that day. Earlier than secretary’s screen, earlier than hot-shot-Josh with his stupid new Mercedes, earlier than the executives who will be in shortly to tell him to sell more. There are new listings this morning, two on Tulip Drive in the $180s, one on Marigold for $219k, and another on Daisy Lane for $149k. He thinks that these streets should be called the FLOWER STREETS, much like those television show millionaire agents call a clutch of their streets the BIRD STREETS. He doesn’t think that for long, because he thinks he has someone to buy the one on Tulip, so he emails them:
HI RICK AND TINA;
NEW LISTING ON TULIP. WANT TO SEE IT?
They do want to see it, but the listing came on the market last night and he only saw it this morning, so when Rick’s car is parked at the house later, alongside Josh’s new C-Class, Bill just keeps driving. Home to his wife and home to his kids, home where he doesn’t have to think about his cubicle and his computer and the fact that his sales have been steadily declining for the past four years, quarter over quarter, with a pattern that looks like he was doing it on purpose. Tomorrow will be better, he thinks.
Today, I drove to my office, too. I walked inside and turned on this computer. I delighted in the fact that I don’t have to check on mundane real estate listings, in some mundane town, working some mundane market. I am bursting with optimism this morning, not because I sold anything over the weekend (I didn’t), not because my sales figures are better than last year (not even close), and not because I’m not worried about the Chicago Bully Agents opening up shop in town. No, I’m happy this morning because it’s raining, and it’s warm and the earth smells alive. There are flowers at the end of my driveway and the seeds that I sowed last night in the drizzly rain are undoubtedly awakening even as I type. The grass is greening, and later today I’m going to try to start my lawn mower for the first time this year. Just thinking about pulling the long cord on that old Gravely makes me at once discouraged and giddy. Spring has come to Lake Geneva, and there’s little left to do but bask in its moderate temperatures and intermittent showers.
Spring means more than green grass and daffodils. It means more than seeds taking root and freshly tilled garden plots. It means wild onions are sending their greened tops skyward, and it means I’ll be grabbing them by the handful and delighting in the way their pungent aroma overtakes my car on the drive home. It means morel season is nearly here, and if you’re new to this blog you’ll know I take two things very seriously. Lake Geneva real state and morels. But that’s not fair, because it’s also trout season, and after enduring the misery of throwing wet flies for lethargic trout during the first few weeks of the early season, April and May mean hatches and bugs and dry flies being gently thrown on thin line to enthusiastic wild trout.
Spring means piers and boats, and more of each are hitting the water every day. Saturday meant lunch at Gordy’s for the fist time this year, and I deployed my periwinkle pants for the occasion. Summer pants don’t get worn in winter, nor do they find their way to my legs in the fall. They are summer pants for a reason, and Saturday was summery enough to warrant their debut. The market was active this weekend, too, with showings all around but mostly on lakefronts. There seems to be increasing activity over the last week, and why would I question the catalyst for that activity? It’s spring, and the fever has spread. That fever has me feeling optimistic this morning, and it should have you feeling the same way.
Above, one of many bluegills I caught and released on a fly last night.