An Un-Forgotten Memory

The hoar frost was another beauty to behold this morning, and once the sun rose high enough, I was out driving around looking for some shots worth sharing. As I’ve mentioned before, winter landscapes like today’s, makes winter more tolerable for me, so each time they arrive, I’m out enjoying the views.

After I finished with my round of photo-taking, I headed back to office, and the moment I walked in the back door, my phone rang, and to my surprise, it was my long-time friend who lives out of State saying he’d just pulled up in front of my office, so I rushed to unlock the front door to let him in. Since it’s been at least three years or more since I’d last seen his smiling face, I ushered him in to have a seat for a long-overdue face-to-face conversation.

Our visit touched on just about every subject which included our jobs, our families, the state of our Nation, politics and just about everything in-between. I took a deep breath before soulfully asking him one question, and that was, being it a fact that he moved away over ten years ago, I was curious as to what his current thoughts were regarding the way in which our City now appears to him, versus over ten years ago. As I suspected, he believes it’s noticeably worse than when he lived here, which confirmed my own beliefs. I couldn’t help mentioning that drop in the bucket one million we’re getting from the State which is supposed to help clean up fifty residential units, which will likely be applied for by current rental barons.

Somehow we got on the subject of artificial intelligence, and Steve Hawkins’ belief that AI is going to be what’ll cause the extinction of humanity. Isn’t it funny how China, Russia and the United States is racing to have it perfected, but not fully understanding what great dangers would be created from it. I went on to say how much “The Minority Report” which is a movie starring Tom Cruise, containing many elements of our current world. I even went on to tell him I’ve watched it a number of times since it was released back in 2002. In just these twenty years, our world is becoming more like that movie. Among other things, it contains retinal identification which is now becoming commonplace in high-security areas. To my shock, my friend announced he’d never seen the movie, so for sure, he’ll be watching it more sooner than later.

I was wanting to take him out to lunch, but unfortunately he’d already had his with a relative, and since he lives a distance away, he had to get back on the road, so we both promised to stay more in touch, and hopefully we’ll meet-up again this summer. After I gave him a well-deserved hug, we bid our farewells, and off he drove. Without a doubt, seeing him was the highlight of my day. Yes, we go back more than two decades which is remarkable considering how fleeting friendships have now become commonplace.

I also had a good visit with my dear friend who’s recovering from Covid, and glad to hear she’s feeling better than she did the last time I spoke to her. She mentioned how much more she’s been sleeping, which prompted me to tell her the many times I’d read about rest being the best medicine for Covid. She really brought back some vivid memories when talking about those old heat grates that used to be in the floors of those homes built by our settlers. Some were square, and some were round, but they were always good for listening-in on conversations of the adults below. Too funny.

There were a few things I need to purchase over at Fareway, so I ran over there and picked them up before heading back to office and get cracking more of those black walnuts. I was only at it for about two hours, but at least I managed get the container I’ve been using, fully-filled, which I ended up taking home with me, and then placed in a vacuum bag and sent to freezer. I dare not mention how many hours it takes to get a good pound of those meats harvested, and only because you’d think I’m a glutton for punishment. What I do enjoy the most about cracking them, is the time it offers me to do some deep thinking and reflecting.

I called it quits early, just so I could run over to Clear Lake to “Ralphine’s” to buy some additional sympathy cards, and wouldn’t you know, they were almost completely out, but at least I found two that were worthy, so my trip wasn’t in vain.

Knowing I’ve mentioned it before, I must say again that Ralphine happens to be my first cousin on my father’s side, so my stay in her charming shop on Main Street was spent bringing her up to speed regarding a recent unfortunate happening, as well as walking back down memory lane. Once again I did reaffirm my belief that her father was a very kind and gentle person who radiated goodness whenever I was around him. She fully agreed.

Today’s visit just happened to be beyond coincidence, because just this morning while out taking photos, I decided to drive to a grove where a dilapidated building still stood, just to take a photo of it, which happened to be the last remnants of a once working farm, so I mentioned it to my cousin. Yes, it triggered an unforgotten memory regarding the sudden death of another cousin of mine who was a toddler at the time. I’m pretty sure that’s the building where that poor tyke was accidentally electrocuted. I was very young at the time, but I still remember the lasting grief that followed. Yes, those old farms contained many unsuspecting death-traps from both children and adults.

After I was finished filling her up with news from my side of the fence, she shared some happenings that’d taken place on her side which were also remarkable. Gosh it was good seeing her today, and by the way, if you’re in Clear Lake, take a look at her offerings.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Our dead are never dead to us, until we’ve forgotten them.

Joe Chodur

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