In the Grips of This Life-Threatening Cold

For sure the topic of most conversation today was this bitter cold which has been made all the worse by that biting northwest wind. I didn’t even want hear what the wind-chill factor was, and only because it would’ve made me all the more fearful of all the “what ifs” that could happen if someone gets stalled on the road or a furnace goes out. Let’s just hope everyones’ cars get them home safely and all heating systems continue to function properly.

While on the phone this morning with a dear one, we talked about what could possibly be in store for us every winter from here on out, and since we’re in uncharted territory due to this continued climate change, that’s about all we can do is hope for the best. As much as I really didn’t want to find the wind blowing this morning, it didn’t happen, so it looks like we’re stuck with it for most of our evening hours.

Pretty much the bulk of my day was preparing for additional showings tomorrow afternoon, along with pecking away at my end of the month office accounting. By the sounds of it, we shouldn’t be having a repeat of today’s weather. Just before lunch, I met with the seller of a property that closed late this afternoon, just so I could get signatures on the transfer documents.

After discovering she’s very much into vegetable gardening, we talked about what we normally grow and what we do with our produce. I was delighted to hear she’s also into growing hot peppers which she uses to make various salsas which she gives as gifts. I had to smile when hearing how she refuses to buy potatoes because she plants enough to hold her over until April or May. She also went on to say she rarely ever buys them because they don’t taste even close to what she grows. Since I’m not a fan of lefse, she did say she makes a “killer” lefse out of them which everyone likes. Having a preference for lefse must be an acquired taste which I have yet to get my taste buds wrapped around.

I did give her some hot pepper seeds from those that I’ve been drying because after telling her they’re likely my very own cultivar due to my continuing to plant the same every year and hold back the most promising ones for the following year’s seed stock. We agreed to stay in touch just so we can share our gardening stories. I was very much shocked when she told me her garden has not be bothered by deer in the 20 plus years she’s lived on her acreage. There’s got to be some underlying reason they’re not raiding her garden, and especially after mentioning she doesn’t even have an outdoor dog. Yes, having that long conversation with her was the highlight of my day.

The few times I was out and about, I noticed how even the drive-thru restaurants were lacking customers, and since I was really feeling the chill, I stopped at Wendy’s and picked up a cup of hot chili for my Noon meal. When it’s so cold out, my office furnace has to work all the harder to keep my workspace warmed, and mostly because my building faces west which allows for more cold air to radiate thru its front windows.  Can you believe that in six months, we’ll already be over the 4th of July? Talk about these six month weather extremes we have to endure here in North Iowa.

I’ve been getting more comments and complaints about the spiking utility bills which has me very concerned because there are far too many elderly people living in our City who’re on fixed incomes. I don’t even want to consider what worries they’re now having about what they’re able to cut out of their budgets and what they can’t. It’s very saddening when knowing many of them have worked hard all their lives, and now have to continue working on ways to plug those gaps between income and expenses. Worrying about money should be the last thing our elderly should be doing.

Just today I received my list of the Sundays I’ll be playing over at St. Paul Lutheran, along with the hymns they’re wanting me to play. I did page thru their list, and of course it looks like I’ll have a few more to learn before those Sundays arrive. Having not played over there since the Sunday before Christmas, I’ll have to run over sometime next week and get myself comfortable with their organ again. Too many weeks separated from any instrument, requires a good refresher before going “live”.

My closing on that long-overdue sale file finally happened and glad for it because the seller will now be able to rest much easier and start moving forward with her life. I was almost late getting there because of all the cars parked on the street where the closing office is located, and mostly because of the many people who’re now going to that boxing club they recently opened. For sure, that would be the last thing I would want to be doing during my off hours. If it’s not the cage fighting, it’s some other extreme physical “sport” that’s drawing our younger crowd to participate in. It makes me wonder if they’re getting into it to help relieve all the extra stress that’s been placed on them in these times. I’m just hoping it’s not part of this growing alt-right movement.

I made it safely home and that’s where I’ll be staying because it’s not fit for man nor beast outdoors. When in the grips of this life-threatening cold, it’s best to just stay close to home, have something hearty to eat, and grab a book or put on a good movie while it’s moving thru our area. In more ways than one, let’s hope tomorrow will be a better day for all.

When looking at a little of the news today, I’m still in shock it’s already been exactly one year since the Capitol riots. Let’s pray such an incident never happens again in our lifetimes because that was something most of us would’ve never believed possible.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Constructive criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary whenever finding ourselves being led down the dark paths of others.

Joe Chodur

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