A Landscaper’s Eye-Candy

Another blistering day came and went, and as each one passes without rain, we’ll be finding our green spaces turning to amber. After reading a forwarded email from a client today which came from one of our State’s agencies, the entire bulletin was centered around the degree of drought our Counties in Iowa are experiencing. All areas are affected at one level or another with the exception of Southeast Iowa. They were claiming that we’re nearing the mark of being two inches of rain below average, but what concerns me the most, is the fact we’re not even half-way thru our growing season. In past years when hit with droughts, it was usually towards the end of our crops’ growing cycles, which is now creating all the more troubling thoughts about it all.

My morning was filled with getting appointments arranged for other Realtors, along with setting up my own for tomorrow and the weekend. I did take a little time to go over to St. Paul Lutheran and pick up a copy of a hymn I’ll be playing next weekend which is in need of some serious practicing since I’ve not played it before, and of course it’s in a quirky key.

Not long after returning to office, I received a call from a woman I’ve known for many years who seemed in a panic over not being able to find anyone to play a funeral this coming Saturday morning over at her church which is our historic First Baptist Church located at the corner of E. State Street and Pennsylvania Ave. After she’d settled down a little, I listened to her problem, and agreed to meet her over at First Baptist so I could have a go at playing their vintage pipe organ.

After walking in their doors and down into the nave, I was absolutely numbed by the beauty of its interior. Believe it or not, I’ve never had cause to step foot in their church all the years I’ve lived in North Iowa which I now consider quite remarkable.

Of course the first “bristle” I had, was seeing their massive instrument situated down at the front which I’ve never completely grown used to having people watching me as I play. I could tell it had not been put to use in some time, and when I turned it on and started adjusting its stops, I gave it my best shot, which wasn’t good enough. As I’ve mentioned before, all instruments are different, so I then worked at getting the “voices” in line so the music wouldn’t sound muddied.

Their Pastor handed me the requested piece they wanted played, so I ran thru it several times while they were standing there. I then picked up one of their hymnals and found several hymns I knew, and ran thru them as well.

After having grown enough familiar with their “old girl”, I agreed to play the funeral they’d scheduled this coming Saturday morning. If I should have time, I’ll be stopping over there tomorrow to run thru a few more pieces, as they want me to play soft music, and begin at least a half hour before it starts. The Pastor did ask if I would play for them on a call basis, which I agreed, while also informing him that it I’m already committed to play for St. Paul Lutheran every other Sunday, along with offering to help with their music as much as I could. I was a bit anxious about the whole funeral thing, but after about a half hour of getting acclimated to their organ, I was glad I’d agreed to assist. Yes, the number of organists who’re still playing for churches, are now at an all-time low. I have to admit, that organ has some fine sounding tones which so happened to create some major goosebumps while I was playing.

My entire afternoon was spent on my computer with another four hour Zoom class, and today’s was thankfully being presented by an older gentleman who didn’t have a high-pitched screechy voice while speaking a hundred miles an hour. I wasn’t a bit surprised when discovering there were over 120 students in his online class. Having never listened to him before, I now know why he has all the many followers.

I had to laugh to myself when seeing so many of them eating right in front of their computer cameras, so I guess gobbling down food in front of a 120 strangers is acceptable in these times. I’m definitely not “going there” regarding the way in which they were dressed, as I fully understand casual, but not evocative. Oh Mercy me!

After my class, my last appointment of the day was to meet some buyers over at a home for their final walk-thru before closing tomorrow morning. Well, by the looks of it, we’re going to be doing another run-thru early tomorrow morning because they weren’t even close to being out, let alone having it clean. While walking out, all I could say to the buyers was, “Let’s stay positive they’ve got all the many helpers on their way.”

One of my long-term clients mentioned having several more rocks for me to pick up, so I stopped and grabbed them before heading home. Since they were of no use to him, and knowing how much I’ve liked them, he freely offered. I think I have enough now to create another area where they can be displayed as a landscaper’s eye-candy.

For whatever reason, from the time I was young, I’ve always loved rocks of all shapes and sizes, and the more curious looking they’d be, was my reason to like them all the more. I guess I should be lucky when knowing I live in the last glacial belt of America where many field stones were naturally smoothed by the pressure and movement of that glacier. Believe it or not, smooth field stones, continue to be in demand by landscapers.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Humans are creatures of habit, and if you want to quit when things get tough, it then gets that much easier to quit the next time, but on the other hand, if you force yourself to push thru it, the grit begins to grow within you.

Joe Chodur

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