A Gothic Novel

This morning’s showers were unexpected, but I guess they were needed for our fields and gardens.  We should consider ourselves fortunate for not living in other areas of our State, because those locales are under drought conditions.  It just so happened I was speaking to someone today about the changes in our weather patterns to where we both agreed that North Iowa’s seasons have turned into middle and southern Iowa’s weather of 25 years ago.  As I’ve mentioned before, I only hope the changes have slowed or stopped, because if they haven’t, there’ll be areas of our Country that’ll be turning into barren desert-like areas that won’t be fit for growing much more than sagebrush, cacti, scorpions, and rattlesnakes.

I was a little miffed when finding I had to change my Saturday morning plans to something else because of the rain, but at least I did find another worthwhile “to do” until I had to be at my public open house.  The person that was supposed to help me said, “It looks like you’re going to have the morning off.”  Of course my knee-jerk response was, “Not to worry. I’ll find something else that’s been hanging fire.”

My public open house at 415 – 1st St. SE was a great success to where there were people coming and going the entire time I was there.  In fact, I actually wasn’t able to leave until about a half hour past my closing time.  For sure I’d never want to rush a late-comer, because there’ve been times when they’ve ended up being the home’s new owners.

One of the people in attendance mentioned that she was related by marriage to one of my first cousins on my father’s side.  For some reason, she thought I didn’t remember her from previous open houses which she and husband attended over the years, but today was the first time she mentioned her brother having been married at one time to my cousin.  Since my cousin hasn’t lived in North Iowa for likely 30 years, I knew what State she lived in and what her job was, but that was about it.

During our conversation, she was mentioning things that I knew for a fact to be wrong, and of course I couldn’t keep from telling her in a kind way that she was mistaken.  Since I was relatively close to my cousin’s mother over the years, I was pretty much up to speed on past happenings–especially when it had to do with that particular aunt.

There was one sore subject brought up, and because it was mentioned, I told the rest of a story many on my father’s side of the family didn’t know, and it all had to do with a particular wooden trunk my grandfather gave me when he moved off his farm and came to live with us after my grandmother died.

While driving back to the office from my open house, that trunk came to mind, and just thinking about all the hands that had touched it, and the homes it had been trapped in, I had a creepy-weird feeling it’s attempting to make its way back to its rightful owner.  I think perhaps the way in which it left my possession, had a lasting effect on the “essence” of its structure.  We’ve heard of poisoned earth, haunted houses, and even certain pieces of jinxed furniture that’ve been documented over the years, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that 140 year old trunk has developed a mind of its own.

After several unexpected deaths, and knowing where it was, I made a kindly call to the person who had it last, and was curtly snubbed by a sharp response saying it was given to another, and a near hang-up end of conversation. Not long after that call and a soulful conversation with my mother, I pretty much sent it down as just another wrongful thing that was done, and left it at that.  But after today’s conversation, I have a feeling that trunk hasn’t forgotten. Sounds a bit like a Gothic novel doesn’t it?

Since I had enough time to attend a local church service, I hurried myself over and walked in about a minute before it started and still able to easily find a place to seat myself.  As chance would have it, the woman seating ahead of me was a dear lady I sold a condo to about five years ago.  She moved back here from the Twin Cities area and glad she did because she now has more relatives in the area that’ve been a great help.  She looked far better than she did the last time I saw her, and hopefully Mason City has been good for her health.

There happened to be a “double sermon” by the pastor and another associate which made their Service all the longer.  I couldn’t help but notice a few around me beginning to yawn, and likely so because it wouldn’t have been so bad if they’d used their shortened gospel readings instead of the long ones.

There was quite a bit of music during the Service, and the only one I opened my mouth to, was one that I was familiar with, which if sung properly has very much of a “chant” sound to it.  Unfortunately the song leader and accompanist were not singing or playing it properly, so yours truly sang along as it was meant to be sung, and after a while, the creepiest-cool echo began resonating within the church.  I’m not sure how many heard or felt it, but for me, that was the highlight of my visit to their church.  I know I’ve spoken before about the spiritual, mental, and physical benefits they’re now finding with group chant, and if I’d asked those around me about it afterwards, I think they would’ve agreed it was moving.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.

Related Property:
415 1st St. SE Mason City
Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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