This 8th Day of April, 2018

The first and foremost job for me this morning was to drive to my office and get myself prepared for my scheduled playing of the organ and piano for the Sunday morning Service at St. Paul Lutheran Church here in Mason City.  I normally try to arrive there early enough so to run thru all their hymns and service music before congregants begin arriving.

The list of hymns that were given me last week didn’t contain even one I was familiar with, so I went over to their church office and made copies so I’d be able to learn them during my free time.   As chance would have it, there was one that even YouTube didn’t have as a video.  The only reason I look there on occasion, is that it helps me to be certain I’m playing a given piece up to tempo since most don’t have meter listed on their pages.

After attempting to play it a half dozen times, I grew frustrated, determined, dis-appointed, and even a bit angry with myself for not being able to get it to where it felt rhythmically comfortable.  Alas, after playing it about twenty times, I got it.  So this morning, I was pretty proud of myself for having learned it, and all was going to be good, but wouldn’t you know it, about 10 minutes before their Service started, I was informed that the difficult piece I spent so much time learning, was incorrectly given.  Instead of that one, there was another they wanted played.

One of the clergy gave me the number of what he wanted, so off I went to run thru it.  Never having heard that one as well,  my fear factor started burning within. Thank goodness, I was able to run thru it several times and believe it or not, it sounded just fine.  I think my not so perfect sight reading skills kicked into over-drive due to my being overly pressed for time.

After their Service was over, several from the congregation came upstairs to thank me for playing and mentioned how well all the music sounded.  I couldn’t help but reply, “Well, I got a good lesson in complacency today, because I didn’t think I had it in me to play something I’d never heard or played before, but found myself able to crack it within a ten minute or less time frame.”  I drove away reminding myself that it’s good for us all to be challenged on occasion because that’s what kicks us into gear to become all the better.  But on the flip side of my belief, is that when too many challenges are given, most will normally lose heart and walk away for good.

One of my clients wanted me to stop by a rental he owns so to give him some pointers on things he could improve to make it more rentable.  When I got there, he was busy cleaning oven racks from the kitchen stove.  I could tell he was not the least bit happy.  Looking at those racks, I couldn’t help but say, “Did your tenants think those racks were to be used like grills of an outdoor barbecue?”  Excluding a few raw words, he said,  “I’m finding all the more younger people placing frozen pizzas on these racks without using pizza stones or tins, and when they heat up, they drip down on racks like these and  get all the more baked on after continued mis-use.”  I couldn’t help but say, “The parents of those young ones should have their ears chewed on as well.”  Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if all the more have been raised by wolves.

Our predicted snowstorm arrived today at nearly the precise hour, and here we have well over 5 inches and it’s still snowing.  They say this is going to be our last, but we’ll see.  Remember the heavy snow we received in May about three years ago?  We’ve got quite the winter landscape on this 8th day of April, 2018.

My one-liner tonight is, “Action causes more trouble than thought.”

Joe Chodur

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