Personal Tests

Our weather sure took a turn for the worst when the wind changed directions and began picking up speed. With it blowing so hard, it’s feeling all the more like an Alberta Clipper on its way thru North Iowa. Without a doubt, a lion is being ushered in on our first days of winter. Oh well, it’s what we’ve learned to endure over these years by just making the best of it all before Spring arrives.

My early morning began by delivering a Christmas gift to one who’s done many pro-bono things for me this past year, and since she wouldn’t take payment, I had a totally original Christmas gift created for her. When I handed it to her this morning, I made sure to tell her that it was an original piece which she could use and enjoy for years to come, or throw it in the box of thoughtless gifts she’d received from others. Judging by her comments and the look in her eyes while handling it, I’d say she’s going to put it to good use. I received copious thanks for it, but actually while driving away, I thanked myself for being inspired to have it created.

I had another interesting happening take place this morning which was meant to be, and it all centered around my visit to Dollar General to pick up more sympathy cards since I found I’d run out after sending to Post a noticeable number these past months to the families of clients or customers who’d passed. I’m convinced this China-virus is definitely taking out noticeably more of our elderly here in North Iowa. I’ve stopped debating people over the real numbers because most don’t realize that these many months of isolation have likely exacerbated existing health issues with them, so if they didn’t die from complications the virus created, then their change of lifestyles did. I don’t mean to sound critical, but I’m certainly seeing people I personally know becoming noticeably overweight. This past weekend I ran into a couple I’d not seen in perhaps a year, and not just one, but both of them had to have each gained at least 20 pounds. As we all know, stress induces weight-gain in most, while with smaller numbers, it’s a weight-loss. For sure, more confinement adds to their problems, as all the many being without manual hobbies to busy themselves with, there’s nothing left to do other than sit around, eat, and add more fat.

Getting back to Dollar General. When I picked up the cards I needed, I headed to their checkout, and there in front of me stood a small 60ish lady pushing a cart that was half full of Christmas items which appeared to be things one would use as containers for gift items. When she noticed I only had cards in my hand she said, “You can go in front of me if you want.” I smiled and replied, “No, I’m Ok but thanks for the offer.” When she got up to the register and started placing things from her cart onto the counter, I heard her say something to the clerk and then looked back at me which I thought a bit odd.

As soon as she was getting ready to pay, she turned to me and said, “I want to pay for your cards.” I paused not a moment and replied, “Please no. If anyone’s paying, it should be me for you.”, which I truly meant. While the gal was ringing my cards up I couldn’t help saying to her, “That was quite the kind offer of her.”, but I didn’t seem to even get the slightest of an acknowledgment from her.

As I was walking out, I noticed that woman parked several cars ahead of mine as she was struggling to place her packages in the rear seat of her vehicle, so I immediately pulled a twenty dollar bill out of my wallet and walked over to her and said, “Please take this, and for the only reason, is that I’d rather pay forward than pay back. Merry Christmas.” She was more than appreciative for my small gift of a $20, and when I got in my car, I suddenly realized I’d not given her that $20 for her sake, but all the more mine, as situations like those are my own personal tests of being freely generous. Oh, if all the more would work at being selflessly generous with their time, treasures and talents, we then wouldn’t be living in so very much of a self-centered world.

From around noontime until the end of my day, I became focused on getting a closing readied for tomorrow due to my finally having received title work I’d been waiting on for days. Being the “mother hen” I am, I began making necessary calls to the people involved, just so there’d be a soft landing for my buyers on Christmas Eve. I’ve been sweating bullets over that closing because I’d almost promised those buyers we’d be able to get it closed before Christmas. Thank Heaven it’s looking like it’s gonna happen.

One of my dear ones stopped by my office for a visit along with a package of homemade cookies. We had a very nice chat, and while there, I gave her a container filled with three different types of pine cones which she fully appreciated. As I’ve said before, any of you are welcome to take some from my excess inventory. The Evergreen aroma they give off is delightful, and they can certainly be used for just about any type of decorating schemes you can imagine. I’ve always preferred looking at things which nature’s created other than any of that nasty plastique shite coming out of China’s sub-quality factories.

My last little duty was to drive out and check on several of my vacant listings, just to be sure their furnaces were running properly, and thank goodness all was well. With about an hour to kill before calling it quits, I sat down at my office piano and began playing Christmas songs. I’d play two or three versus of each, and then turned a page and started another. When noticing is was beginning to grow dark outdoors, I looked at the clock and noticed I’d been at it much longer than I thought, so I closed my song/hymn book, grabbed my coat and headed out. I was glad to be home earlier because the wind was growing stronger, along with all the more “horizontal” snowfalls accumulating. I hope we don’t have so much to where there’ll be deep drifts in the morning. Tomorrow may not be a good day for our Christmas travelers. Stay safe, healthy, and above all, strong.

Tonight’s One-liner is: A good commander is benevolent and unconcerned with fame.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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