Friday’s Weekend Column
The Heat is On

by James Glaser
April 21, 2006

The mercury is in the 90s and people down here are walking around like this is the way it is supposed to be. Well I guess it is the way it is supposed to be, but I'm from Minnesota, and up there it takes months for the temperature to go from the 70s to the 90s. Down here it takes about a week.

I knew this was going to happen. I have been ready to move into the new studio for over a month and now they tell me for sure I'll be able to start Monday morning. A month ago it was still cool, even two weeks ago it was cool in the morning, but now it is going to be hot no matter what time I start work. I guess I should be happy that I have a space to move to. I have spent the last month trying to find some place better than the one I found, and I haven't come up with anything even close. So I will count my blessings, and just take my time moving. One plus with this heat is that if I decide I have to paint the place, the paint will dry fast. There, I am trying to look on the bright side.

Seeing that I couldn't move in this week I got the gardening bug and I started digging out a spot for flowers and a few vegetables. I think I'll cast a bird bath out of concrete. Now I know why I see construction workers moving so slow down here in the afternoon. If you really want to hit it, you better plan on doing the heavy work in the morning. By noon that sun has taken a lot out of you.

My landlord, who has become a heck of a friend, just stopped by with a plate of grouper, shrimp, oysters, and cheese grits for me. They like their grits down here and I am starting to like them too. Speaking of eating, I think my diet has improved a lot down here. Every day I get my five fruits and some vegetables. My lunch is a smoothie made with a banana, grapes, plum, orange, and what ever else is around. I freeze the grapes and banana so I don't have to add ice. I get a couple of vegetables at dinner and have been eating a lot of sweet potatoes, a lot of squash, and steamed green beans. The store in Northome had few fresh vegetables and fruit, so if I didn't get it fresh out my garden I had to eat the things we canned.

Here in Tallahassee a lot of the stores have produce departments bigger than the whole grocery store up north. It is sometimes hard to believe that the closest town to my home in Minnesota had only 280 people in it, and that was counting the nursing home residents. You move from there to a big city like Tallahassee and you find yourself spending money on a lot of stuff you don't need just because it is here.

Back home if you went to a big town you stocked up on anything you couldn't get near where you lived, so you wouldn't have to make a special trip to get it. Here they have everything and some times I forget. Plus I do treat myself when I really shouldn't. They had crab legs on sale for 4.99 a pound, and they steam them for you and lots of times fresh shrimp is 3.99 a pound and that is peeled and deveined. That makes it hard to pass up.

So, I guess all in all I am living the good life down here. I still have my home up north and I do worry about it almost every day. I am going to have to make a decision about if I should keep it or not. Winter down here was so easy. As I think about it, I can't remember one bad day in the last eight months. That is pretty hard to beat.

This weekend I'll plant some flowers and I think one hill of squash and maybe a red pepper or two. I dug out a garden spot and added good soil to it, throwing what I dug out to one spot. I plan on making that hill of dirt a round raised stone platform with the bird bath in the center. I'm doing that just for fun. After this weekend it will have to be hard work every day, and I'm looking forward to that.

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