Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

Duck Hunting Season
by James Glaser
October 24, 2008

I don't even know if Florida has a duck hunting season, but it sure feels like duck season down here now. Cold, damp, and rainy is how duck hunters like it, and to tell you the truth, it is just fine with me, too.

Sure Florida is the Sunshine State, but down here when the sun is out, it is hot. After the brutal summer we have just had, a chilly damp morning gets me started at work a lot earlier. Today I was cutting on the table saw with the large overhead door open, and I didn't even have a fan on. All summer I have worked in front of a four foot in diameter fan. Yes, it does blow the dust away from you , but it is also a lot of noise.

Now when I turn off a tool, the shop is quiet, and that is a pleasure. With this chilly weather I can draw without perspiration dripping on the paper, and if I am doing finish work, I don't have to continually be wiping my face so that drips of perspiration don't fall on my work piece. When you have gotten to the four hundred grit sand paper, a drop a sweat can cause you to have to go back to 220 if you don't catch it right away.

Also now I can reverse my shop vac, and blow myself off before I head out to lunch, whereas in the summer heat, every bit of sanding dust sticks to you.

Of course Florida duck hunting weather isn't really like that back in Minnesota. Up North there is a rim of ice forming around the lake, and the mud on the road is frozen hard in the morning when you start out. Up there I would be starting a fire in the wood cook stove to take the chill out of the kitchen, but down here the shop is still warm in the morning when I walk in. I guess the concrete slab is still holding the summer heat.

In fact, I don't really have any heat in my shop. Last year the guy next door to me would get his shop up the 80s with his wood stove. I learned a long time ago that all you need to do to warm up is start working. Florida, even Northern Florida, doesn't get that cold. Heck, the water pipes are only a few inches under ground, and if there is going to be a hard freeze, the Park has us turn on our facets to a steady drip. Really, there are exposed water pipes all over Railroad Square.

I am thinking about voting tomorrow. People tell me there is a line to vote if you don't get there early. This year "early voting" has really taken off, but I bet election day will still be a real zoo.

Business at my gallery has started to pick up. I can't say I have had any Christmas shoppers yet. I think the cooler weather gets people out, and it is kind of like Minnesota in the late spring. Up there people have been cooped up staying warm in their houses all winter without much social time. So, when things start to warm up in the spring, people start heading to town, and they are ready to talk to somebody new. Down here people have been cooped up in their air conditioned homes staying cool, and now that things are cooling off outside, they are ready to come out, shop, and talk.

So, down here in Tallahassee, Florida we are starting our eight months of nice weather. With eight months of nice weather I guess guy shouldn't complain about the four bad months, but then I am from Minnesota. In Minnesota you never get eight nice days in a row so you are constantly complaining about the weather, and that is a hard habit to break.

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