Friday’s Weekend Column
Steady Job

by James Glaser
August 5, 2005

This auction thing is becoming a steady job and I still don't see the end of it. I am starting to, well to tell you the truth, I just thought of this, I am going to start sorting everything, one room at a time. I was just downstairs in the utility room, and I decided to work there until everything in that room is sorted and the things I am going to sell are taken across the road to the workshop. Novel idea huh?

I have been jumping from building to building, and room to room, loading a box full here and then one over there. I know I have made progress, because I have one building totally full of things to sell and the workshop is filling fast. Art work and furniture will stay in the house until the day before the sale to protect it from the weather, but I am moving those things to one area too. I really do hope the house looks bigger after all this stuff goes.

On top of all of this, I have been helping to get the American Legion food booth ready for the County Fair. Yesterday, Melvin Boquist and I were scraping and wire brushing the building to get it ready to paint. It was beastly hot out and I was ready to quit anytime Melvin was, but we kept it up until we were done. Those WW II vets are that way.

Early this morning I got a coat of white paint on it and tomorrow I will do the trim in red and blue. The ladies from the Auxiliary will be cleaning the inside and on fair weekend we will all be working the booth. We open at 6 am and we serve breakfast until noon. We get quiet a crowd out there and everyone seems to enjoy it.

All this last week, until this morning, it has been hot,hot,hot. In the 90s and high humidity. This morning it was in the 60s with a nice cool breeze. I am going down to Carol Ann's cabin tonight for chicken. This is the first chicken that Pat Marble butchered, I saw those chickens in the heat and they looked like they wanted to say, "Kill me first."

When I first moved to Northome, I went to the liquor store to get some wine for a special dinner. When I asked, the bartender said, "Wine, we don't sell much wine." Then he brightened right up and said, "But we do have some, White Port."

Have you ever bought wine by the half pint? Well that is how it is sold up here, and that White Port is used in the pickling of fish. It really is just awful, but I thought I might bring a half pint tonight as a joke.

I just now had a tomato sandwich. I was going to write about my tomatoes and remembered I picked a very big one today and decided to try it out. One slice covered the bread with tomato sticking out on all four sides. I cut it pretty thick, put on a little mayo, and a bit a salt. This time of year, tomatoes make nice gifts.

I took some over to George and Angie's and we made BLTs. We used their bacon from a farm raised pig. You might say, "A free range pig." Having real good pork has ruined me and I can't even eat the stuff from the supermarket any more. There really is a big difference in taste and also in the amount of chemicals the animal was fed. Actually, I think the biggest difference is in chickens.

Free range chickens are much bigger, the meat is firmer, and tastier. I don't know if I will ever get into livestock, chances are pretty slim. I will always garden and I have made swaps, garden produce for meat. I would like a few yard birds though. Maybe a rooster and a few chickens, the pretty kind, like a Polish or big, like a Road Island Red.

It is time to get washed up for dinner, so I will head down to the lake for a swim. I think I have as much paint on me as I got on the building.

Dinner was great and the chicken was just fine, as was the potato salad, garden peas and carrots, cole slaw, and fresh dill bread. We had ice cream with wild blueberries and raspberries on top. I grow raspberries, but find the small wild variety tastes much better than the tame ones. You can really appreciate them, because you know how long it takes to pick a big bowl of those little berries.

We all talked about chickens, gardens, high school kids we knew, and the condition of our lake. No current events tonight, and that was a blessing. We did talk a bit about minor troubles at the Lutheran Church, with the Minister and the Church Council. A bit about every neighbor who wasn't there, and what the fair would be like this year. Also the plans for this years float in the parade.

Peggy Marble is the "push' behind the yearly float and we have had some good ones. A couple years ago, for our centennial, we did a huge birthday cake and had the most petite local woman jump out in a bikini, while the rest of the people from our lake gave out cupcakes. We even got to sell our cake to another town, for their centennial celebration.

This year, because we are trying to raise money for a new library building, we are doing a float with a Book Worm. I don't know too much about it, I just know I won't be on the float as I will be marching with the Legion. We are however doing a community chicken dinner to raise money, and I have to help serve and clean up. In a small community there are always things you get asked to do and after a while there are things that you almost get told to do and you can opt in or out, but if you value the quality of life up here, you usually try and help if you can.

One thing you learn after a while about volunteering, you get way more out of it than you put in. It hard to believe, but you actually feel a real sense of satisfaction when a volunteer project is done, more satisfaction than any job that you are paid to do.

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