October treats

Jen Kirchhoefer's scary October treats, including a tray of severed fingers.

Every year it happens at least once. Some years it occurs up to three times. For many, it can result in symptoms that include rapid heart rate, tingling or numbness in the extremities, or even difficulty in breathing.

I’m not talking about the winter air inversions; those happen far more frequently. I’m talking about friggatriskaidekaphobia. That’s right — the very real fear, for some people, of Friday the 13th.

Frigg is the name of the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named, and triskaidekaphobia means the fear of 13. We just experienced one of these.

Personally, I’m not superstitious. In fact, the amazing coincidence that this celebratory occasion would land in the month of October, the very month we also celebrate all things spooky, was nothing but pure, unadulterated, luck.

The preparations for this auspicious occurrence began the last week of September. I retrieved all of my plastic, orange storage containers from the garage and began taking stock. Which frightful fixtures would I reuse, and which would need replacing? It was a very serious and time-consuming undertaking.

After properly adorning the exterior of my home with a myriad of petrifying props, I begin my holiday cooking preparations. Being the domestic goddess than I am, the term “cooking” would really be a gross overstatement. As I stood in the kitchen, hour after hour, painstakingly molding and shaping the peanut butter and powdered sugar dough around pretzels to form an exact likeness to a bloody finger, complete with bone, joints, fingernails, and blood, I began to ponder what compels me to engage in such an arduous task. I would never attempt to spend even half the time standing in the same space over the counter attempting to create something edible for any other holiday. That’s what I invite my sisters over to do. In fact, I’ve never really been assigned anything other than the salad, the prewashed and bagged kind, to bring to any family holiday event. Yet I will slave in the kitchen for hours creating creepy Halloween confections.

The difference lies in the motivation. Trust me, it is not skill, nor familiarity with domestic culinary challenges, that drives me to late October nights in this alien space called the kitchen. It is motivation, coupled with expectation. That’s all.

“You’re making those creepy bloody fingers again this year, aren’t you?”

“When are you bringing us some of those gross finger things you make?”

There is something about motivation, united with expectation, that gets things done.

Last week I showed a home that had been on the market since May. It showed well. My client was interested. The price was just a tiny bit high. Oh, and it smelled like mothballs. I asked the selling agent if they had received any other offers or feedback. In fact, they had. They had even been under contract at one point. The appraisal, however, came in just a little short. The seller wouldn’t budge on price, even though it didn’t appraise. She wouldn’t even reduce price to appraised amount. And she wouldn’t remove the mothballs.

A seller has to have some level of motivation to sell. They have to want to sell badly enough that there is some willingness to work through various levels of discomfort — whether that is minimizing clutter, removing offensive odors, or a slight reduction in price to meet the appraisal.

Anyone can put me in a kitchen with some ingredients and a recipe, but unless I’m motivated, I’m probably not going to remain standing for hours on end sculpting my culinary masterpieces that includes an ingredient from a smashed-up nut, that in my opinion, should never have been made into a “butter.” I can barely stand the smell of it.

The motivation, however, keeps me creating.

Jen Kirchhoefer is an associate broker and Realtor in Davis and Weber counties. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or jenkirchh@gmail.com.

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