Friday's Weekend Column
The Northland Wakes Up
by James Glaser
I think that spring is right around the corner now. Chipmunks were out today and I started cleaning out my workshop. Up here the Department of Natural Resources lets you burn piles of things outside because the snow will keep any fire from spreading.
You can't burn plastic or shingles nor painted boards, but piles of brush, scrap wood, and paper are OK. Today I started a real spring cleanup of my workshop. Months of cutting with the table saw, sanding, and routing had made the place a mess and it was getting hard to walk around with all the scrap wood.
You look at a little board and think I might need that, so you lean it up against the wall. It always seems that when you do need a board, the ones you saved are all a little too short and after a while you realize that all of your open space is taken up with junk boards. On top of that, even after you clean the place up there is a lot of sawdust sitting on the edge of those boards.
It will take a couple of days to get the place all cleaned up and then at least a day of putting all the tools away. I must have twenty wood chisels that need sharpening. A few years ago I learned how to get them "scary sharp." Instead of using a stone, you use 1000-2000 grit wet/dry sand paper taped to a piece of plate glass. When you are done the edge looks like a mirror and you can see no marks in the metal.
I once cut my wrist with a chisel I had just sharpened. It was one of those cuts where the blood would pump a little stream up in the air every time you took the cloth off you were holding on it. I tied the cloth on real tight and headed to the Emergency Room. The Doctor that sewed it up was a duck decoy carver. He liked how clean my cut was and traded the stitches for some chisel sharpening classes.
Not only are the hibernating animals starting to come out with the longer days of sunlight, but some of the local people are starting to wake up too. I had three people stop over today. One lady told me not to tell anyone, especially her husband that she was not going to vote for Bush again. Her reason to switch her vote was because of the way we got into the Iraqi war. She said the President lied. Funny thing is her husband told me months ago that he would never vote for George again. The guy didn't like the PATRIOT ACT at all.
Two other people came by and told me that they were switching from George to who ever the Democrats put up. These guys voted for Bush because of the gun issue. They both hate what George is doing to our personal freedoms. Yes the northland is waking up. People up here take the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to heart. They know the second amendment is only one of our rights and they have all the guns they will ever need already, so they think it is time to protect the rest of them.
You know, when you have a good day like I did today, it makes you want to smile. Maybe it is the longer days or the fact that the snow is starting to melt, but I don't think so.
I think I am smiling because I am starting to see my friends and neighbors worry about our country. People are starting to think that our country's future is more important than getting a little bit of a tax rebate from George Bush. They are thinking about what kind of freedom we are going to leave to our kids. They are sick of fear and hate and want the country we all used to have.
Last month a television preacher said God told him the election would not even be close and that George Bush would win. I don't think the guy was listening to God.
BACK to the Essays.