A Wild Nest

Happy 4th of July! I hope all of you are enjoying the company of your family and/or friends on our this holiday commemorating the signing of our Declaration of Independence by our forefathers. Yes, our Nation has had some darks days in its history, but for the most part, I’d say we’ve fared quite well considering the struggles other countries have had to endure, and especially the two world wars being fought on their lands. Our Civil War was bad enough, but can you imagine what a Civil War would be like in these times? Considering all the sophisticated weaponry we now have at our disposal, such a war on our soil would be near catastrophic. With that said, let’s all continue to pull our Country back together instead of fomenting division. Just yesterday I said to an older gent, “Just remember, it has been said many times that if our Country should fall, it will be from within.” Those words have come to mind all the more often these past ten years.

Today was my Sunday to play over at St. Paul Lutheran Church, so I busied myself with gathering the songs I was assigned to play before heading over. When I got there, the church was already unlocked, so I headed up to the gallery, but before doing so, I had take a reverent moment in front of their beautifully carved crucifix that’s hanging from the Sanctuary ceiling. As I’ve mentioned before, that symbol of faith is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in our City. Whomever donated that work of art, must’ve paid a small fortune due to its size, and having been designed and then carved in Italy. I’m sure it was purchased around the time St. Paul was built, which was I think in the 1950’s. I’ve mentioned to several, that in a small way, it reminds me of Holy Family Catholic Church which was also built somewhere around 1950. It must’ve been the “new-build” mid-century style for churches back then.

After getting myself perched in their gallery, I played thru all the music I was given, and then just to keep a musical air going, I played a handful more of religious pieces. In spite of being instructed not to play their organ until it had some attention given to several pipes which were off-pitch, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to play several “organ appropriate” pieces beforehand which sounded acceptable to me.

I felt the entire Service went well, considering I didn’t forget to play something this time, along with coming in with my music at the appropriate time. The one piece I alway struggle with, is one that’s in smaller print, and being seven pages long. I dare not tell them that the reading light they have sitting on their piano is far too bright because it creates too much of a glare, so I don’t turn it on. Unfortunately, some days I have to squint a little to see those lines of notes, and today was one of them. I did manage to get thru it which was all that mattered. Considering what day it is, I decided to play as their postlude, “God Bless America”.

While walking out, one of their members mentioned how nice the music was today, so I guess it must’ve been acceptable to everyone else. It seems every time I’m there, there’s at least one person thanking me for playing for them which always gives me a warm feeling. Of course after those thanks are given, I’m reminded how very few times I was shown gratitude when freely playing for another church in our City. After much thought about that situation, I don’t think they did it on purpose, but rather just took it all for granted, which I’m sure has happened with most all of us whenever having freely done things for others on a regular basis. My long-term friend who also happened to be my mother, was always thanking me for even the smallest of things I did for her, and whenever she did for me, my thanks were also given. Isn’t that the way it should always be whenever freely giving and receiving?

After my workout at St. Paul, I decided to take a trip thru a drive-up and grab a small breakfast snack. I usually stay in my car, but today there were lines of cars being two rows deep, so I parked and walked in. I can tell our general public, still isn’t keen on eating in those establishments because there were only three people seated at tables, and if it were a Sunday morning prior to this China-virus hitting our shores, their dining area would’ve been full. We’ve all unknowingly made permanent adjustments to our social routines whether we realize it or not.

When back at office, I put my music away, ate my snack, and then changed into my working clothes for another four hour workout. For some reason, it took me longer to get myself into higher gear, but in the end, I did get an acceptable amount of work done. I’m always of the belief that if I can see a definite improvement, then it was a good day.

While taking a little break from it all, I headed over to inspect a wild nest of black raspberries, and wouldn’t you know, they were freely offering up their fruit, so greedy me, found myself eating, eating and eating the more. When realizing I was being a little piggish, I looked at my hands and sure enough, there were stained a dark purple. The way in which they were presenting their fruit, compelled me to take the above photo. Aren’t they the prettiest? But beware if you’re out on the hunt, those branches are filled with nasty thorns, and of course I did get a good pricking while I was picking and eating. I was thankful the wind was blowing hard enough to keep the mosquitos away, as the last time I picked wild black raspberries for a pie, I was covered with bite marks.

Once it a great while, I’ll buy a small jar of all-natural black raspberry jam, and in spite of how costly it is, the price is worth it. The taste and texture of fresh warm toast with a good smearing of butter and black raspberry jam, is a taste to be remembered. If I have time these next days, I’ll have to go pick enough to make a small batch of jam. Yummy.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.

Joe Chodur

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