Vibrato is Like a Salt or Pepper

I’m sure everyone except the snow removal people weren’t happy to see another 2″ – 3″ of snow when peeking out their windows this morning. Thinking I was going to have a light day, turned into a time-consuming job I wasn’t expecting. In spite of being warmly layered while out shoving, I had to quit several times because my fingers were painfully numbed by the cold. One positive note, was it being a light snow instead of the wet and heavy stuff.

When I arrived at office, the first thing I had to to do, was head back to my quiet corner to get my Sunday morning contemplative session done before sunrise. I was there longer than normally, and the reason being, my having experienced several illuminations which occur on a rare basis. Each time they’ve happened, they become memorable experiences.

Since I didn’t want to be out shoveling before the sun came up, I decided to go to an early church service, and when looking at the clock, I had to skedaddle because I had but ten minutes to get readied and be there before the bells started. As I was driving over, I was trying to remember the last time I’d darkened the doors of that church, and I would safely say it was before this pandemic started back in December of 2019. My how time flies when you’re life has been disrupted for so very many months.

The first thing I noticed, is they’d changed pastors since my last visit, and my only thought was, “Please don’t be long-winded like so many have become.” Well, my fears were confirmed because he was at it for a good 25 minutes, but the worst of it came when I noticed he was reiterating a point which he’d inject into some of his sentences which grew all the more annoying. In my mind I was thinking, “If he uses those same two words one more time before he’s finished, I’ll be near the point of walking out.” Just before he finished, he used them again. Ugh!

Seeing how young he was, I began to wonder if more of the “new-age” religious are given different instructions while in seminary because he’s the third young one I’ve come across that’s sermonizing in such a fashion. Being in the very back pew, I could see most of the small crowd ahead of me had lost interest many minutes before he finished.

Another annoyance, was the way in which he’d slow down while reading out of his liturgy book and placing far too much stress on key words. I’m sure some of those few who really get off on the pious side of a given Service, we’re fully enjoying the performance. One thing I’ve learned over these long years, is the absolute necessity for the “religious” to keep the interest of their brethren engaged as much as possible because that’s what keeps them coming back. I’ve always enjoyed the great ones who’d always find personal stories to tell which would tie-in with their gospel readings. And by the way, there were no personal stories told while giving his sermon this morning.

I didn’t stay for the exit hymn because I’d already got my fill of the leader’s voice which was stuck in a vibrato mode. Back when I used to help some of the song leaders with their singing style, I would more sooner than later get them trained to where they wouldn’t be singing vibrato, and almost always I would tell them, “Vibrato is like a salt or pepper which for good health, is to be used sparingly.”

When I got to my car, I looked the clock and realized I’d been at that Service for over an hour, and mostly due to that long sermon, lengthy hymns, and the pastor’s over-accentuation of liturgical words. While driving out of their parking lot, I couldn’t think of one inspiration that took place other than marveling at the beauty of that church’s stained glass windows. Once again, please don’t think me a negative person, because I’m a realist, and there’s a big difference.

My shoveling didn’t take as long as I’d expected, and glad for it because I was growing tired of fighting off the freezing of my finders. If I wasn’t so annoyed by the snow and cold, I would’ve taken my camera with me to get some good shots of the new-fallen snow, but definitely not in the mood for it this morning.

When I arrived back at office, I got some bills paid which had recently arrived and then stamped and delivered to the Post Office, and while out, I stopped at Casey’s and grabbed a half cup of coffee before returning to office where I changed my clothes and went to work at finishing up that daunting task of getting those dried hot peppers removed from their plants. Believe it or not, I manged to get them all picked off, so now I’ll be removing their green stems and getting that last batch ground.

Judging by the number of them I now have left to grind, I’d say there’ll be another gallon or two of ground pepper created from them. Since I already have three gallons ground, by the time I’m completely finished with them, I’d say there’ll be somewhere around four or five gallons created from those 300+ hot pepper plants. When knowing how many hours I’ve spent with them from the time their seeds were planted last Spring, it comes as no surprise why certified organic spices are so expensive.

I have two half-pints of freshly ground hot peppers that I’ll be delivering to several of my clients who’ve asked for it, and certainly glad to freely share. After getting a good sniff or two of the end product, I’d say they’re are good if not better than what I prepared three or four years ago which is why I was on a burn to get a new batch because I was almost completely out. Believe me, I’ll have more than enough for gifting these coming months.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Silence is more musical than any song.

Joe Chodur

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