A Working Chat

Wasn’t it the most pleasant of days once our cloud cover dissipated which allowed our sun to shine brightly? According to our weather, this coming week is supposed to be a pleasant one to where many of us will be able to get our yard work done without freezing to death. I just happened to see a senior out raking leaves today in her yard which contained numerous trees and it appeared she’ll be out there for days. I had to laugh to myself when seeing her attempting to rake under a large clump of European Buckthorns which she should’ve never allowed to grow. I’ve discovered just recently how many in our general public have no clue what they are, and you can be sure I bring them up to speed on their being extremely invasive in North Iowa. It seems every time I go to cut a small one down, I end up getting pricked by one of its thorny branches.  To me they’re just as bad as Russian Olives with their pricking ability.

My first appointment was to go back over to a house with that vent fan with hopes it was going to work, and wouldn’t you know, it did. The tenant was exceptionally happy about it because they do far more cooking at home than most, and it was confirmed when I walked into their kitchen and noticed its windows steamed up. The suction of that fan was far greater than I’ve ever seen, and while driving away, I was wondering if I could find a used one similar to it because that baby was about as strong as a whole-house fan. When it was new, it was likely the Cadillac of vent fans and built to last.

Since this week happened to be one where I was calling the dear ones in my life, I placed a call to another whom I’d not heard from in several weeks. Unfortunately she wasn’t having the best of weeks due to our early cold weather and overly-gray days. I fully empathize with people who are more affected by our weather patterns because my mother was just one of them who would turn sadly inward whenever dark winter days would arrive. More than once I offered to purchase one of those daylight boxes which have been proven to help seasonal depression, but unfortunately she preferred to just endure them like everyone else. Luckily, I don’t have it as bad as she did, but I do not like being in rooms or buildings which don’t afford enough windows to fill rooms with natural light. There’s one particular ranch home on S. Carolina between State Street and the highway which has the smallest of windows, and every time I happen to notice it while driving down S. Carolina, I shiver at the thought of living in a house with such portholes. It recently sold, and likely to a young couple who’re used to being in “caves” while engaged with their social medias. They can certainly have it.

I know I’ve mentioned before how much I work at keeping my windows clean because of how much more light filters in, and you can bet there are all the fewer who’re leaving their windows unwashed for years on end. As I said, if you think of it, just take a drive up and down the residential blocks of our City, and you’ll be amazed at how many people have their windows heavily covered. I’m beginning to wonder if that could also be the cause of the increased cases of depression because back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, homes were built with tall windows and many of them, and certainly due to them not wanting to waste every free beam of light which kept them from having to light their lamps our turn on those few light bulbs they had way back then. Wouldn’t it be curious if we could snap our fingers and go back in time to pay their households a visit and conduct level of happiness surveys. As physically hard their lives must’ve been, I wouldn’t be surprised if their answers would be markedly different that what we would’ve been expecting.

Back when I was young and working for the dear old lady called Nettie, she was always quick to tell stories about her younger years when single-handedly running a small farm operation. Unfortunately she lost her husband in WWI and left alone to raise her two young sons. Her stories were very vivid and usually had some sort of life lesson attached, but I can honestly say she never spoke of those years as though they were her bad ones. Since we’d grown close after my having worked for her several years, I once asked her why she didn’t re-marry, and her only answer was, “I had one man I loved who gave me two children and that was enough for me.” She must’ve been in her late 70’s or early 80’s when I started working for her, and to this day I’ve not seen another one of her age who could do so much physical hard work. I still have the glass bowl she gave me to remember her by. Yes, she was a dear one who managed to live in her own home well into her 90’s.

Since I had some free hours to kill, I changed my clothes and went over to a home and did some paying forward by freely and willingly replacing burned out lightbulbs, washing some windows, wiping down its kitchen, and giving the floors a good scrubbing. Since its owner has so very much on her plate, I figured it best I offer a few helping hands. She was a little resistant at first because of her pride, but once I got started, she settled down enough to where we had a “working chat” which lasted for hours.

Because we both lost track of time, I was in near shock when looking to see the time. Yes, hours do fly even faster when we’ve got someone to visit with while doing chores. She couldn’t have thanked me enough for those hours I spent, but when driving away, I realized I should’ve thanked her for offering me a much-needed diversion.

While on the phone today and speaking about something that triggered my wanting to say a word I couldn’t remember, and for the life of me, I couldn’t recall it until I was at that home cleaning. The next time I talk to my friend, I’ll have to share with her the word I couldn’t remember which is “Rapture”. In spite of my rarely ever thinking about or using that word in conversation, I still couldn’t believe I’d forgotten it.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Today’s business world is a combination of war and sport.

Joe Chodur

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