A Forest Fire With a Squirt Gun

Even though our temps weren’t really that low, the chilling dampness felt like it was penetrating every layer of clothing I had on. At first I thought it was me, but just about everyone I spoke with today, was having similar experiences. At least the temps will be higher for the weekend.

After I had all my early morning duties taken care of, I took the time to get some banking done before the weekend, and since I rarely go to a particular bank in our Downtown, I was delighted to see a woman who’s always been my “go to” person, still working there. Having known her for decades, we’ve long-ago shed our social “filters”.
She didn’t seem to be as upbeat as usual, so I asked how things have been in her life, and after hearing another one of her close relatives is at death’s doorstep, I fully understood why her demeanor was different today. I did share a few appropriate words, and then bid her farewell until I should happen to darken their doors again.

Having been on a burn to get my taxes wrapped up, I spent another hour or so on them, and after getting a good look at what I’d already done, I figured if there’d be another two or more hours of time spent, they should be fully finished, with the exception of my having to wait for year-end docs to arrive. You can be sure in more ways than one, I’ll be darned glad to have the year 2022 fully behind me, and mostly due to a great hurt a nefarious creature inflicted on me last year. As most know, the farther in time we move away from events created by those many vile two-legged creatures wandering our earth, we’re able to bolt-lock our doors, adjust, and move forward in time, which is exactly what I’m doing. I fully welcome 2023 with open arms, and only because I’ve been having these “feelings” of late, there’ll be another event taking place which will set things aright, and a score settled.

With some time to kill this afternoon, I went back to my nut-cracking corner and worked for a good three hours until my fingers started alerting me it was time to quit, and only because I don’t want to have my fingers looking and feeling like they were some weeks ago, which was due to my working on them non-stop for too long. Lesson fully learned.

After reading the news coming out of Ukraine today, I was reminded to keep those suffering Ukrainians in my thoughts and prayers on a daily basis. For as long as I live, I’ll never fully understand why dirty old men are allowed to have such absolute control over the masses. Yes, I know Putin had his propaganda machine working overtime for the last twenty years, but for those Russian citizens to turn their blind eyes to what’s happening in Ukraine, tells me they’re either really stupid, completely indoctrinated by his fake news, or terribly fearful of their government’s henchmen, which is the greatest of evils.

Before heading home, I made a point to go over to a funeral home for the viewing of Jim Medlin who used live in one of the units at Prairie Place on 1st. Not long ago his wife passed, and since then, I could tell he wasn’t quite the same. Fortunately he had children living here which had been a big help. I’m not exactly sure when he had to move to the nursing home, but I do know it wasn’t that long ago. What I’ll always remember about him, was his ever-smiling face and kind words.

While there, I ran into an old client whom I’d not seen in at least three years, who proceeded to tell me about some very unfortunate happenings in his family where there’s a divorce going on with one of his children, his own semi-serious health issues which are creating other physical problems, and the list went on. Just looking at his face, I could tell he was heavily burdened by stress. I did everything I could to share a few comforting words.

Another familiar face from Prairie Place showed up, and since our families have been traveling parallel paths for generations, I had to bring her up to speed with the recent happenings on my side of the fence. She actually had a jaw-drop once I told her the “biggie”, and after composing herself she looked me straight in the eye and said, “Thank goodness your mother wasn’t alive to see it, because there would’ve been hell to pay.” The only thing I could do, was agree. Yes, it was good seeing her.

When reading the local news today, I couldn’t help wondering where that non-profit “Visit Mason City”, got their numbers for last year, and only because whenever I’m driving past that office, there’s little or no activity going on, yet they said they’d fulfilled 55,000 visitor requests and welcomed more than 4,000 guests to Mason City. But the real questionable figure, was the $125 million visitor spending for 2022 in Cerro Gordo County. If that be true, how much of that $125 million was spent in Mason City, as I’m sure Clear Lake’s portion was remarkably higher.

Another interesting bit of news, was seeing where Mason City is receiving $1 million dollars from our State government, which is to be used towards improving 50 homes in our City. Ok, after doing the math, that means there’ll be a limit of $20K per home or unit. Sorry guys, $20K will not go very far when attempting to fix-up the many rat-traps we have in this town.

If you’ve got part of a weekend free, just take a drive up and down all the streets in our older districts, and after you’ve seen it all, you’ll agree that a million bucks spent, is gonna have about as much of an impact, as one trying to put out a forest fire with a squirt gun. Once again, I’m not being negative, but rather the chronic realist.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.

Joe Chodur

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