Pulitzer Prizes For Fiction

It was an up, out and at ’em this morning just so I could get my contemplative prayer session completed, and I’ve found that the earlier I get to my darkened corner, the less noise distractions I have to deal with when hearing cars driving past my office. Just as I was approaching my office, I noticed a suspicious looking character looking in the windows of the building next door, and when he turned and looked my way, I noticed he was fully “hooded” along with a dark cloth face mask covering everything from his eyes down. When seeing that, I thought “Hmmm…Why would you be wearing a face mask and hood in this weather?” Well, when he saw me, he quickly darted across the street and landed in that gazebo in the parking lot of The Manor. I have no idea what he was doing there because he seemed to be looking for something on those benches and floor while talking on his cell phone. Even the most forgiving mindsets would’ve considered he was up to no good. When seeing that, I was reminded of the conversation I had yesterday with the woman who moved out of our area about 15 years ago.

After my prayer session was completed, I sat down at my piano and ran thru the music I was given to play at St. Paul, and by the time I was finished, it was the hour for me to head over to their church. On my way over, I couldn’t help noticing how near-miraculously the flowering crab apples managed to send out their flowers so quickly. It must’ve been those overly-hot days that prompted such rapid growth.

When I got to St. Paul, I mentioned to one of their regulars that I’d likely not be playing my best because I felt as if I were in a funk this morning. She didn’t seem too worried about it, so off I headed to the gallery and get the “old girl” up and running. I ran thru all the pieces, and the two of them I was having problems with, just weren’t sounding right, so I played with the stops a little more until the organ sounded more to my liking.

There must’ve been a divine intervention with my accompaniment this morning because by the time I finished playing their recessional hymn, I was still in a bit of disbelief I’d not stumbled or made noticeable mistakes the entire time, and especially on one containing five versus, a fast tempo and written in a minor key. Oh well, whatever came over me, was gladly received but totally unexpected. Some day when I have time, I’ll have to go over there with a key-cleaning mixture to get the sticky keys of their organ rid of all their build-up of gunk. I’d wager those keys haven’t been cleaned in a very long time. Since it was warm inside their house of worship, I found the dark keys a bit sticky to touch. Truth be told, before their Services started, I ran down to the restroom and scrubbed my hands really good, just so my fingers would move over those keys more smoothly.

One of their members was celebrating her birthday today, so everyone joined in singing an “a cappella” version of Happy Birthday which I thought was nice. I must not have been listening closely because I thought the Pastor mentioned her being ninety, but for sure I must’ve been mistaken because she definitely doesn’t look or act that age. Today was the first time I’ve heard someone being sung “Happy Birthday” during a Service, which I considered just fine.

When I got back to office, I changed my clothes and headed out to help a dear old soul plant some native Sugar Maples in his big yard. He started them from seed in a small plot at the end of his garden where they’ve been growing for about three years. Since he’s not nimble enough to be down on the ground, we decided he would dig the holes and I would plant them. Fortunately he’d already had the trees dug up yesterday and placed in a big pail with wet compost.

When thinking he had only about eight or ten of them in that bucket, there ended up being exactly fifteen which were transplanted. There would’ve been eighteen trees planted but the other three he had in that bucket was one black walnut and two mulberry trees which when I saw them I said, “You really don’t want black walnuts or mulberries in your tree line do you?” Oops. So much for being a smarty-pants when recognizing something other than what he wanted planted.

He was definitely ready for me this afternoon because he already had round wire meshing made for them, along with fence posts to keep them in place. Fortunately like me, he’s grown more proactive about keeping the varmints away from young trees and plants. He has had similar problems with deer as well. Before installing the mesh around them, I placed generous portions of mulch at their bases, just to keep the weeds from choking them, and lastly, I carried numerous pails of water over to those holes, just to give them a good soaking. Without a doubt, I had my workout today, but glad to be of help with getting them planted. Knowing his physical issues, I dare say he wouldn’t have been able to get them all placed in one day. We had some good laughs while working which helped the hours to pass. He’s expecting every one of them to grow, but I did warn him it wouldn’t be likely because there’s always one or two that won’t make it thru the winter. It won’t surprise me if he babies them the entire season, just to prove me wrong.

When I got back to office, I cleaned myself up and changed back into my street clothes, and then sat down to read today’s news. Once again, I read another article about Russia and China’s continually changing history, just to so it fits into their plans of expansionism. Can you imagine how many millions upon millions of school children are learning histories of their own countries which have been totally distorted? Those people who’re writing that garbage should be awarded Pulitzer prizes for fiction.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Almost all of our sorrows spring out of our relations with other people.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur


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