Valentine’s Day!

It appears we’re going to be enduring these nighttime well-below zero temps for the next four days. It sound like we’ll be seeing the worst of it tonight and tomorrow night. Of course with the unexpected snow, I had quite a lot of shoveling to do, and since I took my time at it, I didn’t get it finished until around noontime. In spite of there not being that much wind, along with our brightly shining sun, the extreme cold still had me running indoors to warm my digits.

I called one of my friends this morning to share some of my scary/funny happenings of this past week, which seemed to brighten his spirits. He doesn’t get out in the world much, so I usually try to offer a window to what’s been happening in North Iowa. I also shared one of my grandmother’s euphemisms which I suddenly remembered yesterday. Of course I had to preface it by giving examples of when she’d say it. My granny was an exceptionally intelligent woman, as well as being witty to the point she’d rarely let you have the last word. She was also a patient listener, as well a stellar conversationalist.

There’d be times when one of her children or grandchildren would be talking about a person where they’d say something like, “Now if I had his money, I wouldn’t have to be working so hard.” Should that conversation continue on with enough “ifs”, she’d exclaim, “If, if, it stands in the corner stiff.” Of course you can imagine how quickly such a conversation would end because she was more cleverly saying, “Why don’t you just make something for yourself instead of jealously looking at what someone else has?” You can bet I’ll be using that little euphemism of hers going forward in time.

On and off today, I kept wondering how I suddenly remembered that one-liner of hers, but then I came to the belief it was due to my having had a meta-physical throwing back visual of my carrying pails of feed and water to our animals during these bitterly cold days. If that’s what happened, I’ll likely begin recalling a few other long-forgotten conversations and happenings. I can’t wait to share what I find behind that opened door.

I took a little lunch break at my office, read a little more about trees and shrubs, and then changed my clothes and headed over to my little/big project. I truly wasn’t in the mood for working there, and expected to stay not even an hour, but once I got started, I found myself having worked for three, which was my queue to stop for the day. I’m getting even more excited over it now when realizing I’m now at least half-finished. I have to thank myself once in a while for remaining diligent with that daunting task.

Before heading home, I made sure to check on the vacancies, and today I opened the cabinet doors under their sinks, just so their pipes would be getting enough heat, as it won’t surprise me if I should find it minus 20 below zero in our lowlands come the morn. Oh how much I can’t wait until this is all over.

When visiting with my friend today, I shared with him my deep disgust with that young college educated couple I spoke about last night, and of course he agreed that we’re living in times where parents don’t discipline their children, but rather continue trying to be their best friends, which in turn, un-knowingly enable them to the point where they have no clue regarding accountability because they’re always there to financially, physically, and mentally, clean up after them. Don’t you feel so sorry for them? Really?

We both talked about how back in our day, if we got in trouble at school, the biggest fear was what we had in store at home upon arrival. In the House of Chodur, you were always guilty until proven innocent. It may sound like it was a harsh environment, but in reality, it caused us to work all the harder at being accountable. He laughed when I said, “My mother was judge and jury to the point where if we were pleading our case about just being on the fringe of something unacceptable, she’d come right back at us by asking, “But, why were you even there?”, which usually caused a quick end to the trial.” Yes, even being an innocent by-stander was cause for a good chastising. Yes, I think parents with young families, need to start re-thinking their methods of child-rearing.

Since tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day, I hope you all have something fun planned with friends and family. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s another commemorative day that’s falling by the wayside because I’m not seeing as many advertisements regarding it these recent years. I’ll always remember my grandfather’s birthday because it just so happened to be on the 14th of February. What a double-header Valentine’s Day!

He was another who could tell many stories about happenings in his youth, and without a doubt, from the time he came down his chute, he was a voyager who’d taken chances most would’ve never considered. One of his negative sides, was his pouting for days over something very trivial, until he’d finally say what was on his mind, and most times it was either a mis-interpretation of something someone said, or not having heard the other side of a happening. I guess we all have a little “pout” in us, but thank goodness my mental “DNA” flipped to my mother’s side, where she’d hash it out, and move on.

I will say, there was a time in my life when a hurt someone intentionally caused me, would linger and fester for months, and sometimes even years, but I finally realized that by my reactions, it empowered those naughty monkeys all the more, so I finally learned to send all that “shite” out into the universe and let karma to deal with, and then move forward with my plain and simple indifference towards them all. Unfortunately, it took a great many years of pains and sorrows thrown my way until I finally got it. Yes, some life lessons take many years to learn, but how well appreciated thereafter.

Tonight’s One-liner is: There are things known, and there are things unknown, and in between, are doors of perception.

Joe Chodur

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