Bittersweet Memories

It was another crisp day with our temps still hovering around the single digits, and while in conversation about winter with one of the bankers today, she mentioned no matter how much her relatives would like to see her living in the Sunbelt, there’s no place she’d rather be, than living in the upper Midwest because of how much she enjoys our change of seasons. Of course she did have to add, “But there are some bitterly cold weeks during the winter that I could easily live without.” I couldn’t help fully agreeing with her love of seasonal changes, but also added my deep loathing of below zero temperatures.

One of my dear friends arrived at my office this morning with a gift bag of Christmas munchies. We had a good long chat about the times in which we live, as well as sharing stories about past happenings within our families. The more we shared, the more I believed our multi-generational families have been traveling on parallel paths. We also spoke about bloodlines and the near unsurmountable paths of hardships our forefathers and mothers had to endure after their long and dangerous journeys across the big pond.
Can you imagine the leaps of faith our immigrant ancestors had to make?

I showed her that trunk at the front of my office which I placed there as a conversation piece. It seems everyone who looks at it has something to add regarding its design. My friend mentioned having seen something similar which her grandfather used as storage compartment on the back of his buggy. She also agreed that whomever was the original owner of that trunk, must’ve made it all the more safe and secure from theft by the way in which it was thickly built and heavily secured by those long hand-forged hinges that were securing the underside of its lid. She also believed it was of Germanic origin. My favorite feature of that trunk, is the heart-shaped keyhole cover which was also forged by hand.

Being such an avid reader, she mentioned something about her new subject of interest, and little did she know, I had several books in possession at my office which fit right in with her new avenue of inquiry, so I dug them out and gave them to her. There’s no question there’ll be some sections she’ll find more than illuminating which will come as no surprise to me because of my belief she’s definitely an “old soul”. I’m always glad to find all the many more searching for an understanding of it all.

We had to cut our visit short because one of my dear elderly clients walked in to have a chat. He’s a 90+ year old gentleman whom I always look up to, and certainly would like to be “just like” when I arrive at his respectful age. He made me laugh when saying, “I just heard that you’re playing the organ at that Baptist Church downtown.” I laughed a little and then replied, “No, not that church, but the one that’s about 2 blocks to the east of it.” He thought a moment and then exclaimed, “The last time I was in St. Paul Lutheran Church, they still had kneelers!” I lovingly patted him on the back while saying, “Yes, and they still do, and remember, in the old days, people used to consider that church belonging to the “German Lutherans.” What a truly gentle man he is.

One of my recent annoyances was finally rectified when discovering that the basement of an apartment house has a hard-wired smoke detector with a battery backup. The tenant had been complaining for days about hearing a beeping noise in the night, and for the life of me, I couldn’t find it until suddenly last night, I thought about there possibly being one in the basement. Sure enough, when I went there this morning, and just as I hit the bottom step of that basement’s stairwell, I heard a beep. I changed the battery and went on my merry way. While driving away I couldn’t help thinking about how sharp that tenant’s hearing must be when able to hear it beeping so far away from his apartment.

The remainder of my day was spent working on file for a closing scheduled for next week, along with emailing a listing package to the owners of a home here in Mason City who live out of State. I did take a little time off and walked over to Market 124 to see what they were offering for sale during this Christmas Season. It appears they’re getting all the more into the ceramics to where they’re even holding sessions where people can paint whatever they want on available designs. I’m glad to see all the more getting back to creating something original with their own minds and hands. Good for them!

We still haven’t come together on price on the offer I wrote yesterday, so it looks like it’s going to be one of those that’ll take a few days to get put together. As long as everyone stays level-headed, I believe it’ll happen.

Having about a half hour to kill before heading home, I went digging for some Christmas hymns to play before closing up shop. I finally found my folio, so I sat down and started running thru them one by one. While playing, it suddenly came to mind that I’d not publicly played Christmas hymns for five years. My goodness how time flies! Oh how the bittersweet memories of years past came rushing forward as I was playing them. When I finally called it quits at the keyboard, I walked out of my office thinking that if there’d be a church in the area in need of someone to play for their Christmas Services, I’d at least be practiced enough to accept their offer.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Keep doing some kind of work so that the devil may always find you employed.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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