Virginia Creeper

Thank goodness it didn’t start misting until after I got some outside work done this morning.  Since the weekend is about the only time I can get some of my own chores done, if the rain impedes my planned work time, I have to find something else to do until the weather permits.

Today was the first time I’ve played for St. Paul Lutheran in several months due to the added scheduling of another keyboardist who wanted to get more playing done before he went on to college.  Of course it didn’t bother me not playing those two months, but I did discover today that I’d been away from their organ too long and forgotten their order of Service.

It was a bit embarrassing for me when finding the pastor and congregation waiting for me to start playing a piece.  Ouch!  I learned my lesson on that one, and of course I wasn’t playing up to par after that happened because it stirred me up too much.

For the first time since I’ve been playing there, they wanted the Psalm part played and sung instead of read.  There were a number of lines, but I have to say the pastor did a very good job of leading it, and I actually surprised myself after playing all 15 verses without a hiccup.  Playing that Psalm today was what had me concerned, but all the more surprised it went that well.

Before the Service started, I mentioned to one of their regulars my fear of not getting thru all of them without missing a line, stopping too soon, or playing too long.  As I was walking down their sidewalk when leaving, he hollered after me to stop, and when he caught up with me he said, “Now see, I told you it would be just fine, and it was.”  I smiled and said, “Thank you, but I’m still angry with myself for not paying attention to your order of Service and having you all waiting so long for me.”

I knew they’d all be understanding of my little failures, simply because they are the nicest group of people you’d ever want to meet.  As far as I’m concerned, that congregation of faith is rare find in these times.  Nearly every time I’m over there, I can’t keep myself from saying something positive about either the church itself, or the members themselves.

After I returned to my office from St. Paul Lutheran, I changed my clothes and headed out for an extended afternoon of manual labor.  Those six hours went by pretty fast since I was definitely on a mission to get everything accomplished before I’d have to call it quits.

When I returned to my office after getting my planned project done, I was soaked in sweat from head to toe.  Thank goodness I was able to get myself cleaned up before putting my church clothes back on before heading home.  I wouldn’t have wanted anyone seeing me as I was beforehand.  Once again, I find no reason to be heading to a gym on a daily basis, because I get more than enough exercise during the week, and even more on the weekends.

While out today, I noticed more shoots of that evil Virginia Creeper coming up, and you can be sure I was hard-after those despicable vines.  In spite of their being considered a “native” of our area, I think they’d take over the world if you’d let them because they have absolutely no boundaries.  What makes them all the more evil, is their spreading root system that likely extends all the way down to hell and back.

I don’t even want to remember how many times I’ve encouraged people to get rid of “Virgie” whenever seeing it growing along their fences, up trees, on the exterior walls of homes and buildings, and just about anywhere else their runners can grab ahold, and travel all the farther.  I’ve heard they can climb as tall as 50′ up a tree or building, but all truly knowledgable structural experts will tell you they will over time, compromise a home or building’s integrity.

Many people mistake them for grape vines because they look very much alike, but beware, their sap and berries are poisonous.  Of course the birds have no problem eating their fruit and then spreading their seeds as far as their nesting range.  Now multiply that by the number of birds that eat them, and you will understand why they’re such a problem.

If the average person actually knew how hard they are to get rid of, they’d never dream of planting those vile vines.  For an example, I tore out a nasty “mother” vine two years ago, and I’m still fighting to get rid of the rhizomes that are continuing to sprout up from the roots of that vine I cut completely out, and even dug up part of that large underground root system over two years ago.  I hate the idea of using brush killer on it, but I think that’ll be my last resort.  Believe me, they have no friends and take no prisoners.

The above photo is one I took today of but one of those sneaky shoots that had come up from a rhizome.  It must’ve thought I’d not see it growing amongst some tall ferns.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted, or take them with gratitude.

Joe Chodur

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