Deadly Nightshade

It was another early up and at it this morning, and the reason being, my having a 7:00 a.m. appointment with a seller at the office for which I absolutely did not want to be late. My client arrived on time, so we spent a good half hour going over the purchase agreement and accompanying document to where she fully understood what she was about to sign. I added several clarifications to the offer, just so all parties were in full understanding which I thought best because too often people “forget” things that weren’t reduced to ink.

Somehow we got on the subject of the many more of our young ones who’re on their cell phones with the social medias, and especially that infamous TicTok which seems to have taken our Country by storm. I couldn’t help getting my two cents worth in regarding what the social medias are doing to our youth. In the old days, we’d refer to people who were always skating around on the internet, just plain lazy, but in these times, it’s become a serious social media addiction, and I can personally vouch for its severity because I know someone very well who’s an addict in denial and will not hear one word about such over-use and abuse of her preciously productive time.

I thank heaven I’ve never been that “taken” by the internet because to me, it’s nothing more than a virtual library, and if I should happen to watch a video, it’s normally regarding some new product or technique someone discovered. The very few silly personal videos I’ve seen, have been well below and beyond what I consider tasteful.

As my client was walking out today, I couldn’t help saying, “I’m glad to find another person who feels the same way I do regrading all those social media platforms.” With a grim look on her face she said, “I’m deeply concerned over what type of life my grandchildren are going to have if this continues.” All I could say was, “We still have time to turn it around if we all work together.”

I called a dear friend late this morning to see if she happened to be home and she was. My reason for the call was that she had some old garden tools in her garage which she thought I could use, and since she knew I broke my favorite spade last weekend, she was hoping she had one to replace it. I poked thru all of them, but nothing even came close to the one I broke, which wasn’t a loss at all because my visit was long over-due. We were walking around her yard as I was pointing out some of the trees and flowers, when she pointed to a small tree which she had to have the lower branches cut off because of its thorns. I walked over and took a good look at it, and sure enough, it had some wicked looking thorns on its branches, but for the strangest reason, I didn’t recognize what type of tree it was so I made a mental note of its leaves, bark, and small fruit.

When I returned to my office, I went on the internet looking for such species, and wouldn’t you know, I found it, and its common name being “Hawthorn” which I’ll certainly not forget because there’s a street in the Asbury Subdivision named the same. Irregardless, that small tree had some heavy-duty thorns on it which were smaller versions of what you’d find on those nasty Locust trees, but at least the Hawthorns don’t have them growing out of their trunks like the Locusts. I guess if someone wanted to create a privacy hedge that would deter most animals and humans, I’d say one created with Hawthorns would do the trick. I also read that their fruit is edible and also used to make wine, so you’d get two bonuses by having a glass of its wine while watching your least favorite trying to get thru its trained hedge. We could be onto something.

My friend also gave me a small gift which was an English primer of sorts which was last copyrighted in 1917. I paged thru it a little while there and thought it interesting enough to read, and especially so because I do enjoy reading materials that were written over 100 years ago as I find it troubling to see how our language has evolved. I soulfully thanked her for it, and then headed back to my office to get ready for my public open house at 114 – 11th St. NE.

I was greatly disappointed there being only one couple in attendance, but as we all know, having open houses during this pandemic is a crap shoot. Thank goodness I had that gifted primer with me and managing to get halfway thru it while there. I’m actually finding it all the more interesting than expected, and will likely have it finished before the day is out tomorrow. Many of the suggestions given by its author should be used by today’s English teachers who oft times set themselves too high above their students. Most often they do nothing more than teach the mechanics of our language instead of encouraging each given student’s personal style of speech and writing. What I found the most interesting thus far, is the author insisting that for a student to raise the bar on his or her English speaking skills, is giving their personal writing skills all the more nurturing. That was the first time I’ve ever heard of such which only makes sense after giving it some thought and then realizing the connection.

I didn’t have much to do after my open house, so I putzed around the office, paid some more bills, and then went out and watered the plants at my office. Afterward I went over to my little garden and gave my tomatoes and peppers a good soaking. I’m now very much concerned over how dry our soil has become and if it continues, I’m afraid our giant trees are going to be permanently affected. I’d heard we were to get scattered showers tonight and tomorrow, but personally, it just doesn’t “feel” like there’ll be rain.

Before closing, I do want to mention how much more of the Deadly Nightshade I’ve seen growing in our community this year, and everywhere I happen to find it, I pull it.
Unfortunately, most people don’t know what it is, so I suggest you get familiarized.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Find out the wants and wills of others, and meet them there.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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