Inner Sanctum

first-snow-of-2015-1In taking the above photo, I’m giving North Iowa notice we’re being dumped on with our first measurable snow of the season on this 20th day of November in the year of our Lord 2015. And mind you, this snow followed the previous night in which we had our first hard frost. Now if anyone would say we’re not having abnormal weather, then they need to open their memory files and start reeling back time. At least we’re in spitting distance of being close to a month away from Christmas and the New Year and with that said, it’ll be all downhill with the days growing longer. It’s quite interesting how the first snow makes such a difference with the daily habits of people. When encountering people outside, one notices how different their appearances are with a near blank backdrop of white. This definitely was the day in which I noticed some really strange people wandering about with their hooded sweatshirts and backpacks. There were several of them that stopped by the office early this afternoon looking for cheap rentals and without being cruel, the front office was permeated with a smell of dirty clothes, dirty bodies, and old cigarette smoke. From the looks of them, they appeared to have drifted in from directions unknown. They were quick to take as many free handouts I had lying on my front table. I can’t imagine what they’d be wanting with home flyers, mortgage lending fliers, and other City publications. They weren’t there but less than five minutes but the odor they left lingered for hours. I’d rather have been out in a barn and ankle deep in cow kaka than be forced to smell what I got more than a good whiff of today. I’ll likely never be able to understand how humans can tolerate being so dirty. As I’ve said for years, soap and water is cheap. It’s even crossed my mind that some of the smelliest get some sort of sick kick out of seeing people backing away from their stench. It’s almost as though their thinking, “Gotcha! I made you have to smell me!”

Having found myself twice at the same gas station/convenience store today, on both occasions I ran into someone I knew and found myself both times having a good chat. The first one brought me up to speed on some of the happenings Downtown on his side of the fence which always helps me to get a better perspective of it all when coming from an opposite corner. We talked about things that have been accomplished as well as plans for the future. I’ve never had that long of a chat with this person and while driving away I decided we’ll likely be having more in the future. It’s refreshing to have a conversation with someone who certainly has few or no hidden agendas and speaks opinions freely as well as being without arrogance or self-centeredness.

The other encounter was with a woman whom I’ve slowly grown acquainted with since she purchased a home I was familiar with in the past. We happened to find ourselves on the subject of how she really loves her home to where she’s almost completely washed from all the day’s ups and downs when simply walking in the back door. She agreed with me when I spoke about how some homes become sacred spaces for their owners to where they don’t even like entertaining much due to their feeling as though they’re being intruded upon. I mentioned a great aunt of mine who had a den in her farmhouse which was off limits to everyone except herself. Some of my dark-thinking relatives thought she was hiding something but I always believed at my young age she simply wanted one sacred room or “space” in her home where she could rest her mind, body, and spirit. The first time I met her I sensed a great and deep goodness in her. I went on to tell that more people should create spaces where they can re-generate while enjoying themselves in their singular company. She was glad I gave her a little insight regarding the sacredness of home since she mentioned how at times she thought she was being a bit foolish with such thoughts. Before I left I said, “As I see it, a real home is one to where the owner feels he or she is living in their own inner sanctum.” In our turbulent times, I believe we all need to create our own private places of sanctuary.

Joe Chodur

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