Too Desolate for my Taste

I was happy to find the temps in the teens when I left home this morning, and even though it was only about seven degrees warmer than yesterday, it was all the more enduring, and likely because the wind wasn’t blowing.

My first order of the day was to tardily head off to a church Service, but luckily found an early one at one of our area’s bigger churches. I’d not been there in some time, but was fortunate to find a fully vacant pew in one of its transepts. I’d nearly forgotten how wonderful it is to be seated in such an area where I could see and hear much, but the bulk of the worshipers were out in the main body which was around a corner.

There’s no question, that near full hour of quietly sitting there, brought back some heart-felt memories of by-gone years. Even though there was a great amount of singing being done by the pastor and song leader, I’d say few if any of the congregants were singing along. Because their leader of song was noticeably off-key, I was all the more thankful I wasn’t in the nave where I would’ve been hearing the full blast of it. It’s too bad so many of our area churches don’t screen their song leaders a little more, and if they don’t make the cut, they’re to be lovingly excused from such positions. Yes, I understand the concept of being “all inclusive”, but not to the point where it’s undermining others. I would freely say, “You can’t lead song, but by all means, sing your heart out along with everyone else downstairs.”

On the bright side, the pastor himself was unknowingly showing me his musical ability, and so much so, I was surprised he’s not doing solo work as a sideline. The more I listened to him, the more I appreciated his rich deep voice which was clear, along with being about as close to being on perfect pitch, as are most great singers. If I were familiar with him, I would’ve waited afterwards and congratulated him for his musical abilities, but since we live in a bloated tribal village, I didn’t think it the proper time to be that forward. Irregardless, my “hiding” in the transept at today’s church Service, was a much-need lift.

I was asked several weeks ago, why I’m not singing or playing at church Services, because she remembered my voice, as well as my accompaniments. After taking a deep breath, I answered, “I’ve offered twice at your church, and still not one response, so from here on out, I’ll never sing nor play unless I’m asked, but you can be sure that in your congregation, I’ll be distancing myself all the farther from those who’ve intentionally painted me a color that doesn’t belong to me.”

She was stunned, but after having clarified myself after sharing recent incidents, she understood. I can say without a doubt, after enduring too many decades of musical abuse, other than our politicians, the quirky demands and weak excuses of those being loosely given their titles as “Directors of Music”, I’ll be going to my grave believing there’s no other group of humans in the world who’re as spiteful, jealous, hateful, and un-forgiving, as those associated with the singing or playing of music, and if you don’t believe me, I’ve been keeping records.

After I returned to my office, I changed my clothes and then drove off to work for a couple hours on another project. In spite of being there for only two hours, I managed to get a great deal more accomplished than I’d expected. If there’s any incentive to continue working at something, it’s when you can actually see progress. If I get as much done the next time I’m there, you can be sure it’s going to take far less time to complete than I’d expected.

When I got back to my office, I had several phone calls to return that had come in, and by the time they were taken care of, I had to get back on the road to my appointment in Clear Lake. Today was yet another example of how long it takes to get over there from our Downtown, and nearly always due to those stoplights. Thank goodness I left early, because it took me exactly 22 minutes to get from my office to my destination.

The showing went well to the point where I believe the buyers will be making an offer on it, once I get additionally requested information about the property from the listing agent. On my way back, I decided to take a detour and drive down North Shore Drive.
I personally can’t imagine living on that lakeshore during weather like this. All I could see were gray skies and frozen water. I believe if I lived on that stretch, I would be having some serious attitude issues, because those views are too desolate for my taste.

With it still a bit early in the afternoon, I plopped myself down at my office piano and ran thru a number of pieces. The one classical piece I’ve been working “on and off” at for months, is pretty much ready to be played for the public. I think if I run thru it a few more times just for comfort, it should be at the point of being past making any noticeable mistakes. When thinking back at the time when a dear client of mine who was a fabulous organist in our City, and having given me the copy I’ve been playing, I would’ve never thought at the time I’d be able to play it as written. The reason I forced myself to learn it, was because he believed I’d be able to crack it if I’d keep working at it. It now seems I’ve made a believer out of him. His name was Theron Strike.

From the time I left home, to when I returned, I noticed at the road/curbside, three dead deer, and likely all of them due to running out in front of a vehicle. I’m just glad I wasn’t one of those drivers because of the size of those beasts. Believe it or not, I spied a herd of eight wandering in broad daylight around noon today, who were down around where those flood buy-out houses were. Yes, they’re getting thicker than flies on a carcass, and continuing to breed like rats. Good luck this year to all of you flower and vegetable gardeners!

Tonight’s one-liner is: Take advantage of all lifting-up occasions, for they pass swiftly.

Joe Chodur

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