Quiet and Blessed Night

Quiet and Blessed NightEarly this morning I delivered the last of my Christmas gifts and hope those to whom I’ve given are happy with my tokens of appreciation for simply being the people they are.  Not to worry for you all who’ve not received something from me in this time because I’ve been known to freely gift throughout the year.  I’m already on the hunt for an appropriate piece of glass or ceramic for one of my dear friends.

Since I still have that big bag of cracked corn at my office, I took another bucket of it over to East Park so to fatten the ducks and now the geese. The geese must have realized what they’d missed out on yesterday by keeping a safe distance from me. Today they were right in the thick of it all.  I was sure to take my camera with me this time so to get a few good shots that I’ll share with you all another day.

Most don’t realize how many of our foul, like chickens have a pecking order within their groups.  Today there were were ducks driving away the weaker just as the geese were.  Wild ducks and geese must be more aggressive towards each other than our common domesticated varieties.  When we raised ducks and geese on our farm, there was a hierarchal order in their flocks, but they rarely exhibited it aggressively.  The weaker ones always knew their place by not challenging the more dominant of their flock.  Yes, there was always that “oops” when one of them didn’t realize there was a king, queen, prince, or princess walking up behind them.  They’d get their little pinch and that was all it took for them to quickly bow and move away in submission.

A gentleman whom I hadn’t spoken with for many months caught me on the street and proceeded to relay quite a bit of gossip he’d likely been holding for me.  My biggest surprise was hearing about a man who died well over a year ago leaving his home to one of his neighbors.  I guess I’ll not wonder any longer why his house wasn’t listed for sale.  I suppose leaving his thoughtful neighbors his house was a drop in the bucket compared to the size of his estate.  I had a pretty good idea what his assets were after having listening to him brag about his holdings whenever he had an itch to go looking for newer and better living quarters. Like I’ve said before, there are those with far more coin in their pockets weaving in and out of our public’s eye without giving any of us even the slightest idea of their monetary wealth.  I shouldn’t have said to the gentleman today, “I was sorry to hear of his death, but I always found him to be overly bitter whenever I was around him.”  Oh well, he was who he was and I hope he’s found his happiness.

On a whim, I took a long drive to a North Iowa church so to attend their Christmas Eve Services.  Unfortunately I was about seven minutes late due to not realizing how far it was from Mason City.  As with many of our area communities, there’s a real shortage of organist who are able to play those historic organs remaining silent in our area.  When I turned and looked up to the choir, I could see a massive pipe organ that wasn’t being played today of all days, but rather someone typing on a digitalized keyboard with all of its orchestral sounds.  Unfortunately there’s a new generation growing up within our churches who have no idea what a true religious experience it is to hear a real pipe organ being played as an accompaniment to the hymns being sung by their general congregations. Hearing real organs, violins, or clarinets in churches create a far deeper and memorable musical/religious setting than those canned or digital musical instruments that are being installed in churches today.  Earlier this year, I had quite the musical experience while attending a historic church and listening to, as well as feeling the vibrations of its organ that was being played by their new twenty-something organist.

I wish you all a quiet and blessed night while celebrating Christmas Eve of 2016.

Joe Chodur

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