Shame and Pain

The first order of my day, was to get my rear parking lot cleared of all the snow that was so rudely pushed onto it by inconsiderate others. Oh well, it’s now back to where it’s useable. Even when I was young and scooping snow for a number of the elderly people I worked for, I can’t remember even once, shoveling snow onto someone else’s property because it just wasn’t something one would consider. My, how times have changed.

There’s much to be said about what is lacking within family units, and sometimes even in our school systems to where children are not being taught that the world doesn’t revolve around them, and if they do something wrong, there should never have to be this big tug of war with getting them to take ownership of their failures.

You all may think me of a medieval mindset when saying that when physically disciplining a child for something they’d done wrong in a major way became illegal, was just the beginning of our society’s role in creating adult monsters. I would be the first to say that when my mother spanked me, I fully deserved it, and you can bet I more carefully toed the line when knowing there were boundaries that were never to be crossed, and if they were, there’d be shame and pain to follow.

I’ll never forget some years ago, when hearing a boy who was likely eight or ten years old, having called the police because one of his parents slapped him for doing something very wrong. The first question in my mind at the time was, how that boy knew he had a way to kick back at his parents. It was likely something he’d seen on television or heard about at school. You can imagine how mortified those parents were when seeing a police car pulling into their driveway. To this day, you can bet the parent who slapped him, has never fully forgiven him for what he did. Having crossed paths with that family several times, I’d say they spoiled their children far more than they were punished. Wasn’t it Benjamin Franklin who said, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”?

While at an office today, I couldn’t help being reminded how one of the secretaries reminded me of one of my deceased sisters. Today I announced to her, “In the future, when I’m in conversation with you, and starting to get a little teary-eyed, don’t think I’m going sappy on you because it’s not only your looks, but also your voice, as well as your mannerisms that brings my dearly beloved sister to mind.” Perhaps the “Powers that Be” put her at the periphery of my life as a loving reminder.

I took some time to go out and place directional open house signs at busy corners for my public open houses this weekend. You can bet I placed them as high as I could in the snowbanks, just in case the snowplows would hit them with their blades. I do hope these coming days aren’t going to be like today with the light snow and greasy roads because there’ll likely be few if any in attendance.

When coming back into the City on Hwy 65 from an appointment I had in Plymouth, and as I was just coming around that bend just after going under the railroad overpass, I noticed a car in the ditch which was very close to the frontage road that leads up to the Nature Center. My goodness! That big crossover went all the way across the median between those lanes, and then came to a stand-still just before the Nature Center’s frontage road. Whomever was driving that car, must’ve been thanking their lucky stars they didn’t get broadsided by someone driving north, and it was in snow so deep that it was halfway up its passenger doors.

We must always remind ourselves that when the temps are hovering around 32 degrees, is when the roads become very greasy, and especially if they have enough melting snow on them. I was also reminded of another fact while driving home tonight, that being when it drops below freezing after days like today, the roads are like sheets of glass.

While visiting with an associate today about the horrible arctic vortex that dropped down last winter which sent our temps into the -40 below range, I mentioned that I forevermore have burned into my memory, being mortified when seeing my home thermometer bouncing between -48 and -50 below zero around 11:00 pm that particular night. Never in my long years of living in North Iowa have I ever experienced a temp that cold, and hopefully never again.

I was delighted when hearing the week it happened, was the last of January, and when looking at our 10 day forecast, it looks like there won’t be a “same time” repeat of it. I’m of the belief that once we get out of January, and at least a week into February, the likelihood of having deeply below zero temps, grow all the less likely.

So far, I don’t believe we’ve had such a terrible winter other than it having arrived much earlier than normal, but we did have some very pleasant days around Christmas which were quite memorable.

The above photo is one I took while out in a wooded area yesterday, and when I was looking all the closer at it, I happened to notice a doe deer almost entirely blended in with those many trees. I was looking over those trees very closely before taking the shot, and certainly missed seeing that deer. I now challenge you to find the doe?

Tonight’s one-liner is: A man who has not passed thru the inferno of his passions, has never overcome them.

Joe Chodur

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