Its Original Limestone Church

Well, it looks like sometime tomorrow, the wind will have finally subsided and we can get back to some normal days of winter. What really surprised me, was seeing how high the temps will be starting on Tuesday and continuing on past the new year, but unfortunately it appears we may have rain mixed with sleet. Ugh! They’ve been calling what we’re now getting, a bomb cyclone, but it sure feels more like an Alberta Clipper.

After arrival at office, I placed a call to a colleague, just to spend a few minutes to talk about a recent death which has yet to be reported in our local news. I can’t remember the last time such a thing has happened, so evidently the family must’ve decided not to do anything, and likely had the body cremated and moved on from there. What surprised me the most, was the family not having at least called the decedent’s close circle of friends. Oh well, it looks like times are changing in the way in which people handle death in their families.

After finishing up on my phone call, I busied myself with getting all the gift sacks readied and then placed in my vehicle for my door-to-door delivery. I figured it best to get them delivered before Noon, just in case the weather turned all the uglier. Thank goodness I found all of them home except one, who according to a neighbor, was spending Christmas with family out of town, so I left it with that neighbor to deliver upon return. Oh how I wished I would’ve had a video camera with me, just to take show all of you how thankful they were. There’s no question the seniors in our community are all the more grateful for someone taking time out of his or her day, just to drop off a gift and offer a few kind words. This has been one of the most personally rewarding times of giving for me.

Several of them asked why I went to such a bother, and my knee-jerk response was, “Because I wanted to.” It comes as no surprise when being offered that question, because there are far too many people who run around giving things to others, and only in hopes of some kind of future financial gain or increased notoriety. I’m really not into such behavior, because when someone doesn’t gift freely and willingly without even the tiniest of strings attached, it means absolutely nothing.

Shortly after I returned to office, I received another call regarding a furnace not working properly, so I immediately called my go-to HVAC company to have them check it out. Thank goodness there was still a technician on hand. This has definitely been the year with furnace problems, and mostly with those newer high-efficiency models with their planned obsolescence.

I believe after this wicked storm has passed, most of us will have a lasting reminder of how vulnerable we are to Mother Nature’s fury, as well as realizing how susceptible we are to its affects. In spite of the City being out with their plows and sprinkling sand, the streets were still dangerously slick, and likely due to the wind blowing snow over the roads which creates a thin layer of compressed snow that’s just as bad as ice when driving over such surfaces. I’m ever-thankful to be driving an all-wheel drive vehicle which allows for better handling in weather like this.

When I picked up the mail, I found the most touching card which was signed by a number of members over at St. Paul Lutheran, along with some added words of thanks for me playing for them. Of course they also had a gift card inserted, which I’ve told them many times, not to do. Getting that card with those many touching words, was definitely the highlight of my day.

While out, I just happened to run into the new interim Minister for First Congregational Church here in Mason City, and while visiting with him, he asked if I was still playing for St. Paul Lutheran, and of course I told him “Yes”. Unbeknownst to me, they now don’t have anyone to play their pipe organ, which prompted him to ask if I’d be willing to play for them on the Sunday’s I don’t play at St. Paul. Just to appease him, all I mentioned was that he call me some day when he’s at the church, and I would run over and play a few hymns on their organ, just to see if I’d be comfortable playing it. Today was the second time in less than a week where I heard about another large church in our community being without an organist. Wow. It looks like organists truly are a dying breed. Since I’ve been to several funerals in that church, I know their pipe organ is up front which I would certainly have to get used to. Having heard it being played, it’s definitely got some ranks to it. If I’m not mistaken, that church is one of, and possibly the oldest still standing, because its present east wing, was its original limestone church.

Since I live in the hinterland of our City, I thought it best to get my tuchus home before it started getting dark, and after noticing how the wind was feeling all the stronger, I didn’t want to find myself blocked by another snowdrift. Luckily the snowplows had my street open for my safe return, and yes, the non-highway streets were slick.

I saved-back a few more gift items which I hope to have delivered before Christmas is over, and if I don’t get the rest of them given out, there’ll still keep for an appropriate time and place. For weeks I’ve had a plan to take a day-trip out to Eastern Iowa on Christmas Day, but I had to cancel it, and only because of what Sunday’s weather is supposed to be like. I believe they got hit harder with snow than we did, so who knows what it’s really like out there in those rolling hills.

I continue to wish all of you a safe and memorable two days ahead, but above all, do not take any un-necessary chances while out driving.

Tonight’s Most Appropriate One-liner is: Charity is infinitely inventive.

Joe Chodur

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