Friday's Weekend Column

by James Glaser
September 27, 2002

Here it is Thursday and I am writing Friday's column so as to get it out early. It is an exceptionally nice day in northern Minnesota, with the sun shining and it is about sixty five degrees. These are the days that make living up here worth while. No bugs, the lake looks like glass, and lots of migrating birds are stopping at our feeder for a traveling lunch.

I was working on my 'writing house" down on the lake side. I don't have a name for it yet, but I plan to remote my computer down there so I can be that much closer to the lake and really be sitting in the trees while I write. In the house now, I am about 45 feet above the water and 75 feet back from the shore and with those numbers you should be able to figure out how steep the bank to the lake is.

To be honest I hired a young man on summer vacation from college to put in the 6x6 posts that hold up the 20' x 12' platform that I am building my little house on. He did roll down the hill several times and any tool dropped meant a trip down to the shore. I have a ramp about 40' long than meets the top of the stairs I put in last year. Lots of posts, lots of concrete, and lots of work just getting that platform done. It looks great right next to some huge white pines and large cedars. Squirrels and chipmunks are constantly walking down to see what I am doing.

I don't know about global warming, but we have not had a frost yet and I am still picking about ten or so tomatoes every day. Two days ago, I kid you not, I found a fawn asleep on top of a row of beets. He or she had eaten its fill and fell asleep right there. Sounds cute, but after awhile deer start looking like big rodents and will eat flowers, shrubs, and every variety of garden produce you plant.

This time of year is just great for another reason, a person can go out at night and star gaze for hours. Sometimes in the summer the bugs block the stars and all the clothes you wear to keep the misquotes off, make it too hot. Now a person can go out and lay on the picnic table or the deck and because there is no "light pollution" the whole Milky Way just jumps out at you.

Silence, we have complete silence if there isn't a breeze. People that come up here to visit always say, "it is so quiet I can't believe it." Usually they are so freaked out about the stars and the quiet, you have to tell them to shut up.

For some reason, people that come up here are kind of afraid of the dark and start talking about wild animals. Well it is very seldom real dark, only a few nights a month. All a person has to do is sit down in the dark for about twenty minutes and you get your night vision. There is star light and moon light and yes there are moon shadows, star shadows too.

I always feel safest in the dark. You stand or sit in one place and nobody will see you and that goes for animals too. If you don't stink too much, you can sit out on the edge of a field and watch deer come out to feed. If you don't move they don't even know you are there.

Is this column going anywhere? Am I about to relate it to some great world problem? No. I am just writing about my piece of America and after reading it you should be able to tell why I love living here and why all Americans are so lucky to have been born here. You spend time watching the news or listening to the radio and you get bummed out big time.

But if you spend a little time just looking at everything that was created for us, you find it is kind of like a prayer.

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