Psychological Slivers

I arrived at the office earlier in order to call one of my clients about a phone message I received late last night. The phone call came from a caller with an “out West” area code, and the message was a request to see that particular clients home very soon because the caller’s husband would be leaving the area sometime today. Since it was far too late to call my client, I waited until early this morning to place the call. Fortunately it was OK to show the home on such a short notice.

After I hung up, I immediately called the “out West” caller, and of course I got that person’s answering machine. About a half hour or so later, that person called back saying something like, “Oh sorry, we’ve decided we’re not going to buy something here.” Ugh! That particular situation is one that happens far too often, and I’ll never understand how a near “emergency” to see something, turns overnight into the complete opposite. Talk about swinging on one’s pendulum! Oh well, I did phone my client and called it all off. Situations like that are very embarrassing for me, and I’m sure just as annoying for the sellers.

I headed over to St. Paul Lutheran about 9:45 and busied myself with playing thru the hymns that were assigned, visiting with Pastor Matt, and chatting with a few of the early birds. Whenever I’m in the nave and looking at their beautiful Italian carved cross of the risen Christ, I’m always struck with a sense of reverence. Believe me, I’ve seen many Crosses and Crucifixes in my day, but I’d say that one is on my top “five most beautiful” list. Whomever made the choice or being the one having it commissioned, had exceptionally good taste in religious art. I’m sure in these times, that work of art would be in a prohibitive price range. The above photo is one I took of it several years ago. Isn’t it beautiful?

As far as I’m concerned, I believe the music went very well because I could hear both the Pastor and some of the congregants singing. Thank goodness I’ve finally learned which stops to use so that the old girl doesn’t sound so brassy which for most, is just a bit too much. I think it’s Ok to make a pipe organ sound more “full”, but unfortunately it tends to drown out human voices which is not a good thing when attempting to keep the voices and organ together.

When I got back to the office, I decided to take a long drive in the country just so I could have a little break before poking myself into some menial task for the rest of the day. Thinking I’d be gone for just an hour, it ended up being more like one and a half, and likely because I felt compelled to drive over a few more unknown hills.

I’d say once the soil gets a little more dry, the farmers will be busy in their fields with the harvesting of their unpicked soybeans and corn. The fields that’ve already been picked, are once again starting to make our North Iowa landscapes appear barren. I think I’ve mention before how much I don’t like the month of November, which for me always seems exceptionally long with its usual cold gray skies.

There was a customer who stopped by my office several days ago and in conversation, asked me what the best thing to use to get a sliver out. Having grown up on a farm and had numerous evil slivers, I said, “Epsom Salts is the best thing to use if the sliver is in a hand or foot.” I went on to tell her that if she’d mix the salts with some warm water and soak the hand or foot for about a half hour, two or three times a day, even the deepest of slivers do come out. Before she left, I told her to look online for the amount of salts to use in the water. I’m glad I could be of even the smallest of service to that dear one.

Several days later the idea of slivers popped into my head, and of course I had to expand on the meaning when thinking about humans in general. Now don’t think me wicked or overly noticing, but there are times when being around a person or persons long enough, I start noticing psychological slivers.

Ok for example, doesn’t it bother you immensely whenever you’re around someone who’s chewing gum like a goat when it’s eating something delightful, or even worse when they start cracking it? That’s a psychological sliver. Another one is when you see a man, or even a boy standing in a crowd with his hands always in his pockets. And then there are those females who are always playing with their hair, and sometimes putting it in their mouths and sucking on it. Of course we can’t forget those who don’t turn away or hold their hands up to their mouths when coughing. I think you’re now getting the drift of my new branding of annoyances which I’ll forevermore consider psychological slivers. They’re slivers because they belong to others, but are sticking in us, just as slivers belonging to a piece of wood but having found their way under our skin. After reading this, I’m sure you’ll start thinking about the many “slivers” belonging to others that managed to get under your skins.

Tonight’s one-liner is: My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but deep down, I think she enjoyed it.

Joe Chodur

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