This Weekend of All Hallows’ Eve

It was an even earlier up and out of the house this morning due to my having awakened a wee bit earlier, so I figured it best to get to office and get busy with my contemplative prayer session before I had to skedaddle over to St. Paul Lutheran to play for this morning’s Service.

Having arrived earlier, I was able to spend more time in my quiet little corner where I once again managed to get all of the nasties that had built up in my spirit this past week, completely expunged. Afterwards, I walked out entirely refreshed and ready to take on another day. As I’ve mentioned before, the one positive thing that has come out of this pandemic, is my having returned to a spiritual practice which I’d somehow walked away from a number of years ago, which is just another reminder that from bad things come good, as long as we reach for them.

Since I had some extra time, I called a dear friend of mine who I know gets up about as early as I do, just to play catch-up from out last visit which was months ago. We had a very good chat about this and that, and one of the subjects we landed on, was how polarized our society has become, which I believe is being encouraged by our social medias. The both of us are very much against this proliferation of fake news which the masses seem to gobble up. I couldn’t help saying, “I never thought I was the brightest bulb in the auditorium, but in these times, I’m beginning to wonder.” We both thought it was a shame that Adam Kinzinger decided not to run for re-election next year, because he’s one of the few who calls a spade a spade.

Before calling it a good chat, I couldn’t help bringing up a flag I’ve spied on Hwy 65 just a few miles north of Manly. Since I travel to Northwood on occasion, the first flag I noticed that old gent fly was one that said, “Biden Sucks!”, which I thought disgraceful, but yesterday while I was driving to an appointment, I noticed he’d changed it to one that has a caricature of what looks like Trump which read, “Miss Me Yet?” In spite of my belief everyone has a right to their own opinions, taking it to the extent of flying a flag, is a bit too far. I’m ever-thankful to still be in possession of a discerning mind which isn’t easily swayed by flag-flying and yelling while banner carrying. It reminds me to too much of the psychological tools used by the Nazis which helped in their rise to power. Let’s not forget what happened in those years because dark histories do repeat themselves if they’re not recognized and stopped before it’s too late.

The music I supplied St. Paul Lutheran today was likely the best I’ve provided since I started playing for their congregation. I mentioned to one of them today that I believe I’ve finally accustomed myself to their order of Service. Oh how I still remember the times I made some glaring mistakes when either coming in too early, or far too late. I did notice all the more people singing this morning which meant they were just about as comfortable as I was while playing. After their Services were concluded, they were asked to remain and vote on sharing the expense of employing a new pastor who would cover both St. Paul and Our Savior’s Lutheran, and if the majority did agree between both churches, they’ll be switching off every other Sunday which means I’ll only be playing when it’s St. Paul Lutheran’s turn. I’ll not be bothered by it since I’m now fully up to speed with it all.

I also mentioned to one of their members how important it will be to find a new pastor who’s likable, out-going, elder-friendly, and a bit on the charismatic side. Having listened to many hundreds of sermons coming from the mouths of countless Pastors, I can’t begin to describe how exceptionally important it is to have such an ability because that’s was keeps their members coming back, along with adding new ones. As much as their last Pastor tried his best at the pulpit, for me he always seemed to be off the mark. But again, that’s just one person’s opinion.

The remainder of my day was spent doing yard work, pulling volunteer trees, and then spending a good three hours working on the many black walnuts I collected. After getting their husks removed, I then busied myself with separating the husks from the nuts and then giving them a good washing. Oh my how I’d forgotten the amount of time it takes to get them prepared for drying. Before I had to call it quits, a good one third of them were washed and then set out to dry. If I have time tomorrow evening, I’ll work on another third of them. After giving them a loose count, I was a bit shocked after realizing I gathered and cleaned over 900 of them. I must’ve been possessed the day I decided to pick up that many. Oh well, if I follow thru with cracking them all this winter, they’ll make nice gifts for those who enjoy baking with them. After their meats are extracted, they can be packaged and sent to a freezer for future use.

I did have a little playtime for about an hour today where I headed out into the countryside to snap a few more photos. Tonight’s shot is of a babbling brook which I didn’t even realize was in that location, and the reason I found it, was because I could hear water running. Isn’t it amazing how we can find such delightful gems in North Iowa? The water that was splashing about looked about as clear as tap water, and after giving the area of it a closer look, I found all the many deer tracks which told me it was their watering hole.

Let’s hope everyone has been having some fun on this weekend of All Hallow’s Eve. It still makes me a bit sad that people don’t give caramel apples to the little goblins like they did in years gone by. I can still see my mother in her kitchen preparing them and then a good wrapping in wax paper. I’d take a caramel apple any day over today’s junk.

Tonight’s One-liner is: A true friend encourages us, comforts us, supports us like a big easy chair, offering us safe refuge from the world.

Joe Chodur

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