Nothing More Than A Bloated Village

Judging from the weather events these past several days, Mother Nature seems to have jumped the gun by ushering in winter a handful of days before it officially arrives on the 21st. Today’s wind and snow flurries were more than annoying because of the drifts being created on pockets of buildings in our Downtown. Because the wind was blowing up and over my building, it was depositing snow at the rear, which I had to shovel three times, but when looking out front, there wasn’t anymore snow than yesterday, other than a tall pile the wind had created in the entrance nook of my front door, which I had to shovel twice.

After I got that snow shoveled, I busied myself with the returning of emails and text messages that had come in over the night, and once I had that accomplished, I went back to that file of hymns I’d arranged yesterday in alphabetical order. I knew I’d been doubling up on some of them, so back thru the stack I went, sorting out doubles and triples which were sent to the shredder. As I suspected, it took me longer than I was anticipating, but at least from here on out, I’ll be able to find what I need more easily instead of rummaging thru that whole stack.

After I put that music file away, I headed out to get some additional work done on my project, and today’s two hours were spent getting paint-overs scrapped off a very many window panes with a razor blade. There was some wiping down and vacuuming up of that dried paint, and after I’d got everything cleaned up, I stood back and had a good look at the finished products. Without a doubt, those two big banks of multi-paned windows, now have a new lease on life. As I was driving away, one could swear they were recently installed. I’ve always considered those two monster windows, the hallmark of that home, so now they should stand out even more. Another daunting project completed.

Since I’ve been running low on photos to share, I decided to take a drive out in the countryside on this snowy day. I was a little hesitant about the highways and blacktops, but then dismissed my fears and headed out. Fortunately I managed to find a few interesting places where I could stop and snap a few moments in time. Tonight’s photo is of a recently frozen-over creek which is reminiscent of many areas of North Iowa during wintertime.

When I returned to office, I decided to head back to my work area to get cracking on black walnuts, and since my fingers were back to normal, I figured it was time. After about two hours work, I’d say I’ve got over a third of those I harvested cracked and placed in storage. We’ll see how long it’s gonna take me to get the rest of them cracked, and if it ends up being a bigger challenge, I’ll likely not take that many from my friend next year. I’ve freely and gladly gifted about four pounds of them already, which I know are being put to good use. Hey, I just had a thought. Wouldn’t it be great if we’d create a group of people who’d come together once a week and crack black walnuts for charity?
Just think of all the sewing, quilting and woodworking clubs we have, so why not one for cracking black walnuts? There’s more than enough walnut trees in our City and countryside to supply many more than one group of crackers. The end products could be packaged and sold, and then the proceeds would go to designated charities. What do you think? I’d say it’s unique enough to where we’d have willing participants. Just like sewing, knitting and woodworking, there’s an art that must be learned when cracking them. I watched several Youtube videos of people cracking them which I considered either hilarious or downright dangerous.

Before heading home, I stopped at Fareway to purchase three half-pound packages of Irish butter which they had on sale. That was the first time I’d seen it on sale, and since I use it when baking, on toast or popcorn, I figured at that price, I’d stock up because you can definitely taste the difference. That was a very good buy if you ask me.

While working today, I couldn’t help thinking about the structure of our City’s boards which I believe are far too top-heavy, or should I say ‘stacked’ with either professionals or their spouses which definitely doesn’t give representation to the bulk of our community.

A number of years ago, one of the board members of our Library Board asked me if I’d be interested in serving on its board, and of course I fully agreed because he knew how much I was a proponent of reading books instead of passively having one’s nose in front of the boob tube. I was pretty much assured at the time that I’d get that position, but when the time came, it was a fly-over for me, and only because the president at the time had someone she preferred. From that experience, I was brought up to speed on how many of our City and County board members are selected. I think it’s very interesting when never hearing about openings being posted, along with those in our general public being encouraged to run for those open seats. Yes, some board members are voted in, but there are many others which are not. You can bet when I found out why I wasn’t selected, there was created a very long-lasting bad taste in my mouth.

Some of you may think I’m wrong, but I can assure you there are many who’re seated in those positions for show, just so they can include those titles in their bios. Yes, it becomes all the more curiouser once you’ve peeked down that rabbit hole. When will the powers that be in our City realize we’re not aligned to, or anywhere near the size of a metro area? We’re nothing more than a bloated village with a declining population, yet the stumbling blocks they create when trying to get something accomplished, is quite remarkable. Now don’t even get me started by naming experiences others have had.

Tonight’s One-liner is: There’s nothing permanent except change.

Joe Chodur

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