Struggling Times

Feeling a little sentimental this morning, I decided to drive to a religious service at a church I attended on a regular basis and very involved with a number of years ago.  After getting myself seated near its nave’s center, I had myself a good look-round at the changes that have taken place in recent years.

It made me a little sad when seeing how much has been altered which included the general congregation.  The familiar faces have markedly aged, the pews have been replaced, the music books are now new and very heavy, and above all, the essence of the interior being noticeably different.  The big exception was seeing the sun shining thru its historic stained glass windows which lit-up the interior just as they did all those many years ago.

With the ways of our world changing, I noticed the pipe organ wasn’t being played, but rather an electronic piano being pounded out for all their hymns.  There happened to be a song-leader in the choir who was leading those songs which were also different from what I remember.

The recessional hymn was one I knew, so I figured I might as well join in the singing.  Since I hadn’t sung in public for a number of years, I figured I’d give my vocal chords a long-overdue exercise since that hymn was fast moving with a broad range.

I sort of surprised myself with being able to jump right back into it and had pretty much no issues with its pace or range.  What surprised me, was the minister not turning around and walking back down the aisle until halfway thru the 4th verse which was its last.  In that particular church, two verses on the entrance and recessional has always been the norm.

When I was getting ready to leave, one of the residents at Prairie Place came up to me and said, “You have a beautiful voice.”  I blushed a little and said, “You can thank my mother’s side of my family because they were the musically gifted ones, so I guess I came by it naturally.”  We had good little chat and then I left.

As I was driving away, I was beginning to wonder if my singing was giving those around me the incentive to sing all the more, and likely the reason why the pastor waited so long because he was noticing how so many more people were singing.  What I read yesterday about group singing was likely another sub-conscious incentive for me to start singing.  If hearing my voice did incite more voices to join in, then I’m glad I managed to be of assistance.

When I arrived back at my office, I busied myself with some correspondence that needed to get mailed, and then changed my clothes and went back to the yard work out behind my office which has turned into a real mess due to all the digging that’s being done back there.  It now takes twice as long to get that small area mowed and cleaned up just because of all the humps, bumps, and nasty weeds.

With most of my afternoon free, I went back to work at my little/big project, and worked there for about three hours which was plenty long because of how hot and sweaty I was getting.  At least I put a good dent in it, which will give me all the more reason to get back there again when I have a block of free hours.  As I’ve said many times, “The hardest part of getting something done, is getting started.”  I’m of the belief that when one sees results, it creates an incentive to return and do more.

A number of years ago a man who’s been long retired from one of our government positions, would from time to time stop by my office and question me about what I’ve been working on which I thought a bit odd at the time until he opened up and spoke about his life on the farm.

We would talk about long hours, hard work, and what it was like in general while growing up on what I now refer to as, “An old working farm.”  For the strangest of reasons, the more we talked, the more he seemed to distance himself from me, which at the time, I just dismissed him as being yet another with “nose” issues.

After much thought and consideration over those conversations, I later realized that he felt diminish of sorts because for some reason, he must’ve believed his hard life on a working farm to be special, and me being the one who burst his of bubble thinking he was an exception.

The reason I now speak of this, is just this past week someone who has known my immediate family since the bulk of us came down our chutes, mentioned something about how amazed she was at how nearly all of my siblings have done so well for ourselves after living in such times of struggle.

Oh Mercy!  You can imagine my response.  What I do remember saying is, “I don’t know about the rest of my siblings, but I personally never considered my family being poor because we had a beautiful roof over our heads, there was always more than enough food to eat, and we were cleaned and clothed by my mother with a vengeance.”

Isn’t it funny to think that in these times, if you’ve had to physically work hard when young, you must be from a family that managed to swim the Rio Grande.  Oh how I hate the rubber stamps that are placed on families simply because they’ve chose to work hard for what they have from a very early age.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  The unnatural, that too is natural.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

First of all....Joe Chodur really doesn't like talking about himself but this is what we have found out about him.

Joe Chodur began his real estate career in 1981 during the...read more about: Joe Chodur

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