Like Biting into Little Rocks

As much as I would’ve liked to sleep in today, and mostly because I was finally able to have a good night’s sleep after two previous nights of restlessness and early rising, my schedule to play over at St. Paul had me up, out and off to office before the sun was on the horizon.

Prior to seating myself at the piano, I had some scanning and emailing needing to be sent to several agents which was the finalization of the sale I had yesterday. All I have left to do, is drop the earnest money off at the listing agent’s office tomorrow morning. Not realizing how much time I’d spent with those scans and emails, I barely had time to run thru several of today’s music selections before I had to drive over to St. Paul and get myself situated in their gallery.

Expecting I was going to have time to practice, that didn’t happen because one of their members needed some help with getting their microphones to stop making crackling sounds. With the main unit being upstairs, I’d adjust while he’d be speaking in several of the microphones. We did get them to where they needed to be, and for some reason, there must’ve been someone messing with those controls some weeks ago because today was the third Sunday it was happening. Yeah! I learned something new today.

We had another visiting pastor, and as chance would have it, he happens to be the Chaplain over at Good Shepherd. Everything went relatively well with the exception of my quirky playing, and likely due to my having not practiced enough, as well as not having had enough catching up on my sleep. The mistakes I made were noticeable enough to be worthy of an apology to several of their members as we were walking out. One of them continues to tell me how thankful I’m up there playing every Sunday. Yes, we all make mistakes, but today’s could’ve been avoided.

Before leaving, I ran downstairs to grab a half cup of coffee, and then headed to an appointment I had with some sellers to get a purchase agreement signed. I didn’t stay long because they were in a hurry to get on the road to a family gathering which was a two hour drive from here. If they drove the normal speed with no stops, they might have been no more than 15 minutes late. After returning to office, there was more paperwork to get emailed, and when I had that done, I changed into my work clothes and headed out to toil on my holdover project from yesterday.

Those three-plus hours spent were a welcome relief from this past week’s carousel of joys and disappointments. I found myself taking more breaks from what I was doing, and only because I wanted to just sit and absorb my natural surroundings. As if I don’t have enough to keep me busy, I found several walnut trees belonging to an owner who said I could take all I wanted, and believe you me, there were hundreds of them. I managed to pick up about ten gallons, and luckily I still have the old hand-crank corn sheller we used to put to work in getting the hulls off walnuts. Oh how some memories of many years gone by will come racing back when I begin cracking those nuts. What’s nice about cracking walnuts, you can do a handful or work on them for hours. I learned something new from a video I watched where a gentleman would use a sharp chisel to split them in half along their seams which allowed him to get larger nut meats.

The only thing a person has to be very careful of, is making sure no shell fragments get in with the meats because biting into a sharp walnut shell is not the least bit pleasant. If I manage to get enough of them, I’ll have to look for some interesting recipes calling for black walnuts. Another caution I give to people who’re not totally familiar with black walnuts, is to be ever-careful not to use too many of them in a recipe because they have a much stronger flavor than English Walnuts. My grandmother used to make the most delicious fudge and divinity containing black walnuts, but unfortunately, I’d run into a hull or two when eating them. Yes those shells are like biting into little rocks.

This time around I’m going to make sure they get thoroughly washed because I don’t like getting my hands stained from the residue they have left on them from their hulls. Way back when I was young, it only took one experience getting my hands stained black from the stain in those hulls, and then the hours it took getting it off my hands. I can’t even think how many years it’s been since I’ve cracked black walnuts.

I had to cut my time with Mother Nature short this afternoon because I had a second viewing on a property I showed on Friday. Thank goodness I arrived early enough because the buyers were just walking up to the front door when I arrived.

The second showing went faster than the first, and since they’d seen it once before, we spent more time talking about the procedures in making an offer, as well as answering some questions they had written down. Unless there’s an intervening circumstance that takes place between now and tomorrow morning, I’d wager I’m going to be getting a call from them saying they want to make an offer.

Believe it or not, I was able to enjoy this warm and wind-free early evening outdoors which would’ve been unheard of years ago, because we all have to remember, it’s the 17th of October. It sounds like we’re going to get frost in the lowlands on Thursday.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to conceive.

Joe Chodur

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