Pages Out Of A Coloring Book

With it being another Sunday morning, I arrived at office early enough to comfortably get my contemplative prayer session completed. Today’s was more memorable in that there were few if any distractions which when there are too many, become problematic with my regimen. I’m sure all of you’ve had those instances where no matter how much you try to concentrate on but one thing, there’s something else that manages to distract your directed thoughts. A number of months ago I encouraged a colleague of mine to at least give it a try. Well, about two weeks later she announced her inability to settle down enough to get focused on one direct line of thought. As exceptionally intelligent she is, I was a bit surprised she couldn’t do it. My guess is that her mind is on over-drive every waking moment, and doing something like that would go against the hardwiring of her brain. Oh well, I guess it’s not for everyone.

After my session was over, I worked on several files until it was time for me to change clothes and get back to my gardening, and since it was a cool and overcast day, I figured it to be the perfect time.

I spent a good four hours getting that garden area to the point where it was about as weed-free as even a master gardener would expect. Thank goodness the flies and mosquitos weren’t bothersome. I would say that section looks about the best it has in years, so I guess I can do a little patting on my back for keeping those weeds under control. I’m not exactly sure what I did or didn’t do, because those asparagus plants I ordered and planted, have been doing far better than I ever would’ve expected. The instructions said not to pick them until the third year, and if that’s the case, those babies are going to be as big around as nickels by that time. Because I’m fully familiar with asparagus from back in my younger years, there’s one thing I know for sure, and that’s fact they absolutely hate have spreading grasses near them, and likely because they create a matting which inhibits their growth, so you can be sure there are no weeds or grasses growing anywhere near them.

All the other veggies seem to be doing well, and especially the cucumbers which still have me in a state of shock in how prolific they are this year. I’ve been eating a cucumber salad every night, and still have to take sacks of extras nearly every other day to people I know who’d appreciate having them. The pickle cucumbers have supplied me with a good year’s worth of kosher dill pickles which should last me a good long year. I do like a good home-canned dill pickle at least once a day which I believe creates a balance in our digestive system.

When I got back to office, I did a little research on the market prices in some of those cities where those people live who’ve called on my 1165 Hwy 9 acreage. I wasn’t a bit surprised when seeing the asking prices on homes that would sell in Mason City for a good 200K less than what they’re getting. I’d likely be of the same mindset and cash-out while the getting’s good. One of them mentioned how much they’ve missed the Midwest pot lucks, the closer friendships, walking trails and ease of commuting. She definitely wouldn’t have to worry about encountering a bear or moose while out walking in North Iowa. If they do move here, I hope she realizes that even here in North Iowa, we have a distinct political polarizing going on which unfortunately has created rifts where there shouldn’t have been any.

Just yesterday when visiting with an older gentleman, he got on the subject of politics and went into quite the long speech about how ignorant and narrow-minded people are getting, and to the point where he’s even lost long-time friends over it. I couldn’t help interjecting by saying, “I never considered myself the brightest bulb in the auditorium, but just these recent years, I’ve been seeing a whole lot of flickering going on.” Of course common sense is no longer a player because what people are seeing and hearing on the social medias, is Gospel truth. Really! Just ask few of them.

Since yesterday’s visitor is completely guileless, he jumped on the subject of all the murals that are being painted all over our Downtown. I couldn’t help laughing when he exclaimed, “They’re starting to look like pages out of a coloring book!” Now that he planted that seed, I’ll be looking at them in a different light.

With it being my Sunday off from playing at St. Paul, I decided to go online and watch a Service from yesterday. I hadn’t looked at anything coming out of that particular church in months, so I thought it best to give it a watch. The nice thing about viewing Services online online, is you can fast-forward past some of their normal rituals.

Well, it wasn’t the least bit moving, and only because there was a visiting cleric whose sermon was as dry as summer’s dust. The music was OK, but I could tell the accompanying pianist was doing some showing off with her keyboard skills which I always find annoying. Oh well, at least I tried. I also heard they’d been recently gifted a new piano from several donors as a memorial. Gee, why don’t they get their organ serviced and start playing it. Oops, I forgot how few organists there are now in Mason City, and their numbers are continuing to dwindle which makes me sad.

Since I’m going to be playing at St. Paul next Sunday, I decided to take some time this afternoon and get comfortable with all the pieces I was given. I must’ve really been in the mood because I found that I’d been playing various pieces for well over an hour and a half. I still can’t believe I was at it that long, which must’ve meant I needed the practice. I’ll have to call that budding cellist to find out how he’s coming along.

Tonight’s One-liner is: People will generally accept facts as the truth, but only if the facts they agree with, are what they already believe.

Joe Chodur

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