15 Bites

15 BitesIt was certainly a beautiful morning Downtown, and from the looks of it, there were a number of others besides myself walking down Federal Avenue.  Likely most of them were guests at the Historic Park Inn Hotel since I didn’t recognize a one, and they all seemed to be interested in snapping photos of the old buildings lining our streets.

I’m normally not out walking the Downtown on Sunday morning, but I figured I’d go on foot over to St. Paul Lutheran Church instead of driving.  I made sure to take a route that offered more visuals.  I was St. Paul’s guest organist today and glad I didn’t make any noticeable mistakes.  I’ve played there before, and after today, I’m finding myself growing all the more comfortable with their vintage organ.  I’m even getting used to its exceptionally narrow pedal board.  The last hurdle I now have to get over is being able to judge the difference of volume from where I’m seated in front of the pipes compared to what the brethren below are listening.  Acoustics in every church are different and it’s simply just something that must be learned.

While I was practicing, one of the pedal keys stuck more than once.  I looked down at the pedal board and said, “Please don’t stick while I’m playing for your congregation.”  It must’ve granted my wish because it didn’t stick once.  Pipe organs are beautiful instruments, but they’re also finicky when it comes to temperatures and humidity levels.

One of the songs which has always been a favorite of mine was scheduled to be played, and I had absolutely no problem playing “Gather Us In” in a robust tempo. Judging their joining in song, I’m sure they appreciated it.  Nearly everyone hates listening to music being played so slow that it feels like the notes are being dragged all way round the church and back.  I’m glad I accepted their invite and hope they enjoyed hearing their old girl’s voices.

The rest of the day was spent getting myself settled down and back to a few menial chores.  One of those tasks included getting a yard mowed and some trimming done on a property.  I arrived with my mower, branch cutter, and lawn sacks.  First I clipped, then pulled a good number of weeds, and mowed.  It didn’t take me much over an hour to finish up, and while driving off, I looked back and internally thanked myself for doing such a good job.

One of my clients called and asked if I would like to see the progress he’s making on an addition to his new home.  When I pulled into the driveway I was in near shock seeing how much he’d already accomplished.  I couldn’t have praised him enough for his design as well as diligence these past months in getting it much farther along than I’d imagined.  He’s definitely another one that should be cloned and spread around North Iowa.

When I returned to my office to change out of my work clothes, I noticed a number of bite marks on my legs.  Urgh!  I’m almost positive they’re flea bites of which I’m extremely allergic.  Luckily I have a tube of cortisone cream which I rubbed on all 15 bites to keep them from itching so much and hopefully to stop the swelling.  After thinking where I was today, I decided I must’ve picked them up when mowing that yard which on both sides has owners with multiple dogs they leave out most of the time.  I’ll never be able to understand why people have animals if they can’t or won’t take care of them.  I don’t blame the dogs for my 15 bites, but rather their owners for not keeping their fleas under control. Laziness will be our Country’s next pandemic.

The above photo is of a wild turkey I noticed wandering about at the edge of a weed patch.  I’ve been seeing all the more of them in and around our City these recent years.  Now let’s start focusing on getting our deer population under control.  Someone laughed at me several days ago when referring to them as giant rabbits.

Joe Chodur

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