The Last Outpost

One of my favorite past customers stopped by the office today to give me a little advice on a small project I’ve been working on.  Since I knew he likes spicy foods, I asked if he would like a small jar of my all natural home-grown and ground chili peppers.  Of course he gladly accepted.  I did warn him about how the heat from it creeps up on you, but and after taking a “pinky finger” taste, about a minute later he was definitely feeling the heat.  I was compelled to offer him something for his well received advice.

The good feeling I get from giving those small bottles away, confirms the thought that it really is more fulfilling to give rather than receive.  What makes giving those bottles of ground chili away, is that I personally know they were home-grown without the use of any chemicals, and naturally dried.  I learned long ago that a number of ground spices being sold in our grocery stores have straw or other natural fibers ground with them so to “cut” the usage of the real thing, just so to make more money–especially if it’s something that was imported from another third world country.

While I was at the bank today, one of the clerks was wearing a smart looking sweater that appeared to be something that was hand-made.  I couldn’t help but ask if someone had made it for her.  I was surprised to hear that it was something she’d purchased.  I simply had to ask, “Was it made in China?”  She gave me a questioning look and said, “You know, I didn’t even look.”  I had to get my last words in by saying, “I always look for the country of origin on everything I buy, and if I find it was made in China, I put it back and walk away.”

I’m going to give you all a surprise by telling you something you likely never knew.  Did you know that Smithfield Foods which used to be our old Armour meat packing plant is now owned by a Chinese company?  I was shocked to discover that when doing a little digging online.  I’m surprised our Federal Government allowed such a large meat processing company to be purchased by a foreign entity.  Their slow and surreptitious acquisition of big American companies should be our cause for alarm.  I can see the days coming when we’ll find the branding of products clearly showing they’ve been made here in the USA, but in reality, those companies being owned by Chinese firms, and all profits being funneled back to their fatherland.  Don’t you think it’s time we all work the harder at keeping our local, State, and Country’s businesses alive and thriving?

The highlight of my day was my hour’s drive up and back to an acreage which I had an appointment to show this afternoon.  What a wonderful drive!  The showing went well enough to where I’ll likely be getting a call from them for a second look.  On my way back, I took the less-traveled blacktops which gave me more of an opportunity to see the countryside. For all it’s faults, I do enjoy living in North Iowa, and to this day, cannot see myself calling any other City or State my real home.  Don’t you think we gotta give ourselves more credit for having such good lives in spite of being the last outpost before entering the People’s Republic of Minnesota.

Joe Chodur

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