Pockets of Life

Pockets of Life-1I met up with several clients early this morning to show them a home.  We weren’t there very long because of no interest, but as I was preparing to leave, one asked if I’d had breakfast.  I was forced to think for a moment if I did simply because I had so many things going on earlier that I didn’t grab something, so I answered, “No, not yet.”  “Why don’t you join us for breakfast.”  Without a second thought I agreed, so off we went.

We ended up at the “Family Restaurant” which is located out on South Taft.  I’ve eaten there before and considered their food to be nothing more than OK.  Yes, I’m always  a judgmental eater whenever eating out.  The place was filling up quickly, but we did manage to get the last open booth.  While waiting for our order, I couldn’t help but notice how overweight so many of those seated around tables and booths were, to where I began looking for a “Slim Jim” or Jane.

One can’t help but believe there are far too many people in our City who consider the highlight of their day to be eating.  Looking at their sizes, I walked out believing most don’t eat out of necessity, but rather boredom.  Have you noticed how many businesses have free candy, coffee, or cookies conspicuously placed out daily for their customers?  Every time I walk into First Citizen’s Bank downtown, I can’t help but notice the candy dish, the cookie plate, and coffee that’s always there for customers to help themselves.  I used to take a small piece of candy once in a while, but soon realized I didn’t need any more free sweets.

It’s becoming commonplace for big business to subtly encourage people to eat all the more so to gain additional pounds.  I would feel terrible if I were somehow responsible for another’s gaining of unnecessary weight.  I understand fully how some who’re in that category have not so pleasant dispositions with others, and likely that way because of the excess pounds they’re carrying around.  I just now remembered an older couple whom I lived with for a short time while I was going to college.  It didn’t stay there long, and mostly because the wife who was also exceptionally overweight, wouldn’t smile or have a kind word to say whenever I was around.  Our parting of ways was on good terms, but I never looked back while walking away from that mind-branding experience.

Getting back to yesterday afternoon’s travels, I thought I’d mention a few of my observations while driving there and back.  I’ve always known the “hinterland” is growing more laking of trees, acreages, and fences, but yesterday was my real eye-opener.  Miles were traveled at times where there was nothing in sight but fields of corn and soybeans.  Once in a while I’d happen upon a hog confinement or a building site lacking a home.

Every small hill I’d drive over, I was again shocked by seeing the number of windmills in the distance. There were so many near and far, I would’ve had to stop my car to count them.  Of course there were endless miles of giant utility poles holding up those power lines carrying freshly wind-generated electricity to heaven knows where.

Filled with curiosity, I turned off at several villages on my way back. Their Main Streets appeared to have more vacant and dilapidated buildings than active storefronts.  Everywhere I looked, there appeared to be a passive resignation of a dying village. It was almost as if those few dwellers left were waiting to see who’d be that very last person to turn off their town’s life-lights and drive away.

Thirty years ago I read a scholarly article which foretold just what I experienced yesterday and it made me sad.  I really don’t see there to be a possible turnaround unless there’ll be that last wildcard played which I believe to be that small group of visionary young people who’re looking for an off the beaten path place so to return to the basics in one of America’s northlands and start going to the basics and naturals.  I do hope someday we’ll start seeing a re-population of the “hinterlands” that are circling us and re-energizing those dying pockets of life once again.

The above photo is one I took inside that church yesterday which I believe was dedicated to the Apostle John.  I’m still wondering what that crow or raven is supposed to represent.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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