Making a Run up North

by James Glaser
June 12, 2006

Today I'm going to take a trip back to Northern Minnesota. Map Quest tells me it is 1,630 miles, and I should make it in 27 hours. I plan to visit my mother in Saint Paul, and that it 1,370 miles into the trip and almost right on the way.

I am driving my truck because there are so many things I left at home that I want down here. Even with the truck I will be paring down my load. One thing I want is my old truck, the 1957 A-100 International pickup. I put all the time and money into it, so I should have that to drive around down here. I will have to rent or buy a flat bed trailer and tow the truck down on that. I might have to fork out some more money when I get it down to Florida, and get an AC unit installed.

I want my dad's tool box, too. He was a machinist back in the late 40's, after he came home from the war. My mother saved for a whole year to by the tool chest for him, and it was his pride and joy. He said it was almost too nice to take on the job, as he thought somebody might try stealing it. He held on to it though.

The tool box is a Gerstner 11 drawer machinist tool box, in oak. It still has Dad's tools in it, and I have a stand that looks like it was made to hold it. I don't use the tools much, except for lay out work, but that tool box sure looks nice in the studio.

I also plan to bring down some wood I have up North and a couple of cabinets I made. Wood up North is way less expensive than down South. I have so many things I would like to bring, but then I would need a whole U-haul semi.

I really don't know how long I'll be gone, and right now isn't the best of times to leave with the new studio and all, but then no time is ever going to be perfect.

I have to figure out what to do with my house, as Florida looks to be a long term stay. Plus I want to see my daughter Nikky, my two granddaughters Jazmin and Amelia. Also, there are my sisters, and all my friends up in Northome to see.

I was worried about leaving Northome because the place is filled with such nice people, but I have found Americans are pretty nice no matter where you go, and the people in Tallahassee are every bit as nice as the people up North, they just can't speak as clearly. That line could get me in trouble.

Really though, I have found the people down South to be just as interesting, and just as friendly as those I left behind. You treat people nice and show some respect, and they will do the same toward you.

My place up North is really great, and it is everything you could want... if you want to be in the woods of Northern Minnesota. About a month ago I wrote an article about living in Tallahassee, and I wrote, "In the last eight months I have not seen a bad day weather wise." In my whole life there was not one year I could have written that about life in Minnesota.

Oh, people in Tallahassee might think they have had a bad day here and there, but they are spoiled with nice weather, and really have no idea of what bad weather really is. True, I haven't lived through a hurricane, but Tallahassee is a good forty miles from the ocean, and if you look around town there are plenty of 100+ year old trees and homes. So this place can get hit by a bad storm, but Katrina-like devastation is not coming here.

I don't know what the next few years are going to bring, but I do have a plan in the back of my mind. I am going to keep working at my sculpture, and get enough pieces for a show. I am going to finish and publish my book on fudge making, and publish a book with my best anti-war columns.

I believe that I have found a woman to spend the rest of my life with, and that makes all the work ahead worth while. Right now I am working on the logistics of it all, and that makes this trip necessary.

I will try and write a column while traveling. Computers are getting easier to find when you are out and about, but it will still be hit and miss.

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