Ticky-Tacky Shoebox Apartment

Well, I can definitely say that today has been a classic example of the type of weather we’d have to deal with on near a yearly basis, back when when I was many decades younger. Unfortunately the same fears over getting stranded outdoors, furnaces going out, and water pipes freezing came rushing back to mind. Without a doubt, it wasn’t fit for man or beast outdoors today.

Of course while driving out on the west-side, I happened to notice a bright yellow Ford Mustang in the ditch near the top of the hill near the intersection of 12th St. NW and North Taft. After getting a good look to see if someone was still inside, there must’ve been a good samaritan who’d already picked up the driver. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was being driven by one of our young, and only because far too many of them take our weather conditions for granted until something like that happens. The sleet we had last night, along with our strong wind and drifting snow, was a recipe for such happenings to take place. As much as I was being careful while out driving today, there always had to be someone riding my tail, and likely because they felt I wasn’t driving fast enough.

While on the phone with a dear one this morning, I couldn’t help mentioning there’d be times when the wind was blowing the snow so hard, there’d be drifts of snow touching the roof of our barn. Back then, there was a bigger concern over getting paths created to the buildings where animals were waiting to be fed and watered. Yes, there were very difficult days back in those times, but yet, I still consider those years to have been the most heart-felt, and likely because most families had to focus on survival and sustainability, rather than the daily dramas created by those who have nothing better to do with their free time. I’m still convinced the reason our society has become so fractured, is due to the average citizen having far too much free time on their hands, which they in turn, use to crawl around on the social medias, looking for groups who share their own toxic beliefs, and unfortunately the more they find, the more it makes them believe they’re on the right path. Aren’t we supposed to be following our own paths instead of those created by others? Every time I speak of this, I’m reminded of Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken’.

Another friend of mine whom I’ve been praying for, called today to wish me a Merry Christmas, and also to inform me she’s getting much better, which was the highlight of my day. Since our families share many micro-cultural similarities, I was compelled to tell her the entire story regarding a most recent family happing, which left her nearly speechless. We both agreed that there are those who have, as they’ve grown older, become callous, greedy, and selfish to the point where it’s hard to imagine how they manage to live with themselves, let alone able to stand face-front before a mirror. I had to assure her that life will continue to go on, wrongs will get set aright, and good will overcome evil. Without a doubt, our conversation this morning, was indeed the highlight of my day.

I now have all the components in my possession that’ll be used to fill a number of Christmas gift bags which will delivered tomorrow, just as long as I’m able to get around the City. As chance would have it, one of the dear seniors whom I’ll be seeing tomorrow, happened to call this afternoon to wish me a Merry Christmas. I couldn’t help informing her that I’d be stopping by her residence some time tomorrow with a little gift for her and husband. Every time I see her, she reminds me of my dear sister who passed away some years ago, and especially how much her eyes are a dead-ringer of my sister’s. We sure have a number of look-alike people running around North Iowa.

Seeing how this weather has become so nasty, I’ve decided to break-down and make a shepherd’s pie on Christmas Eve, which I thought fitting because they create a hearty meal during such bitterly-cold weather. Some use ground beef for theirs, but I prefer ground lamb, and since I was at a groceteria before heading home today, I picked up a pound. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had shepherd’s pie, so let’s hope it turns out as well as I’m expecting. I will have to doctor it up by adding a smidgen or two of my home-grown ground hot peppers, along with a good helping of my San Marzano tomato paste which I absolutely love.

While reading the news today, I was happy to find Zelinsky’s visit to America went without a hitch, and especially how well he was received in Congress. I’m sure Putin was seething when seeing how our congressmen reacted in positive ways during and after his speech. The more I read statements coming out of Putin’s mouth, the more convinced I am he’s completely out of touch with reality. I won’t be surprised if there’s gonna be coup soon taking place within the walls of the Kremlin. I still can’t believe that war’s been going on only a few days shy of ten months, but at least the Ukrainians are slowly taking back their sovereign lands.

Please don’t think I’m doubling up when making another not so positive comment regarding one more ticky-tacky shoebox apartment complex that’s being built down the street from the one already standing, but after driving past the one being built yesterday, I just can’t keep quiet. First of all, that site would be the last place I’d be building an apartment house, because that’s all one has to do, is look at the general neighborhood where there’s rickety old rentals and not so handsome commercial buildings. Every once in a while, my dear friend calls to tell me about some of the posters making unpleasant comments on our City’s Facebook ‘rant and rave’ page. I keep reminding her that every time I drive past the first one, I’m immediately reminded of a stack of shoeboxes. After hearing those comments, it sounds like they were very cheaply built.

Tonight’s One-liner is: The real art of being a slave, is to rule one’s master.

Joe Chodur

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