Iron Fist

It was a bit surprising when awakening and finding I wasn’t filled with all the many aches and pains from yesterday’s shoveling. I hurriedly readied myself for the day, and then headed off to an early church Service, but before pulling out of my drive, I placed a phone call to one of my dear clients who is always awake before the crack of dawn.

He immediately answered, but I did apologize for my intentionally early call because I know him to be one who’s not only up early, but out early as well. My call was to inform him that I heard late yesterday that the property he wanted to see tomorrow, went under contract. I know he was disappointed in not being able to look at it, but I assured him I would find the right “fit” for him. I’m not worrying a bit about his home selling because it’s one that would likely sell right out of the gates.

What he happens to be looking for, is an acreage with a grove, a not so fancy house, and a building or two. He’s very much the pioneer type who could live off the land many months longer than most. To look at him, you wouldn’t think him of the stripe because he doesn’t have that rugged “mountain man” look, as well as being exceptionally soft-spoken. So much for the profiling of others in our society.

You can bet I’ll be on the look-out for one of those cheap acreages that most wouldn’t bother buying because of its age and size, but for him, it would be a perfect fit because he’s very handy when it comes to making improvements. The real problem, is going to be finding one that’s no more than 20 minutes driving distance from his workplace here in Mason City.

He asked me why I was out so early, and I told him I was heading to an early church Service. Since I’ve done enough work for him over the years, I know he’s not a regular church-goer, but instead has a very deep sense of spirituality to where he believes in all the basics of doing good and avoiding evil.

I couldn’t help sharing with him how much more critical I’ve become of those who set themselves out as being so righteously religious, but when following their worldly actions, they use their religious beliefs in an a la carte fashion whenever it suits their own selfish gains. There’s one particular individual whom I’ve been around long enough to know very well that those visible outward signs of faith are for show only. The black streak of swearing I’ve heard coming out of that person’s mouth would make a sailor blush. By the time I reached the parking lot of that church, we’d pretty much come to a meeting of the minds regarding faith.

I walked in the back door of today’s church Service, and seated myself in my new-found favorite spot where I could focus more on quiet prayer, rather than all those visuals that oft times cause one’s mind to wander. Since it was exceptionally cold out, I wasn’t the most comfortable where I was seated, because the cold was radiating towards me from the exterior wall I was near. Oh well, that gave me all the more reason to stay bundled and tucked away in my own little corner. Judging by how few people were there, I’d say all the many church-goers were going to be staying home today.

I did get the letters I was working on proofed, printed, and then sent out. I then scratched around my office for about an hour or so, and then placed a call to one of my out-of-State clients whom I’d not spoken with in some weeks. When hearing how cold it was here today, I think she’s all the happier she’s not living here any longer. As I’ve said a number of times, “The other three so-called seasons in North Iowa are rosy for the most part, but our winters are the piercing thorns of that rose.

While going thru some of my archived materials, I happened upon an advertisement of Mercy Hospital which I decided to take a photo of, and then post this evening. When seeing that photo, all the many of my childhood memories came rushing back. I’m not sure of the years, but my grandmother happened to be the head cook in that hospital until she retired. Her daughter graduated at the top of her class with the highest of honors in Mercy’s nursing school, and then went on to join a branch of the military. She was quite the clever one who could come up with the funniest of witticisms. I still miss our little tit-for-tat verbal vollies of humor.

What also came to mind, was a conversation I recently had with a retired nurse who lives in our City, and hearing her tell how much has changed in our hospital since the nuns pulled out, along with the change in mentalities where nursing, like teaching, is rarely anymore considered a calling, and now all the more salary driven. Yes, I do vaguely remember them, and considering them all the more formidable with their iron fist in velvet glove countenances, but when it came to giving the absolute best hospital care, they were always there to supervise and assist. Yes, times have greatly changed.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Cease to inquire what the future has in store, and take as a gift whatever the day brings forth.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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