Friday's Weekend Column
When Will Winter End?

by James Glaser
March 28, 2003

It was turning from dark to light. Most would still think it was the middle of the night, but I could sense that it was getting toward dawn. I really am not that astute, it had snowed in the night and that made the pre dawn sky appear lighter.

I was oh so comfortable laying there and felt that maybe I could roll over and catch a few more hours of sleep. I took one more look out the window and realized that even though there was little light, I should still be able to see the island. It must be snowing more than I thought. I reached over and turned on the radio and like perfect timing I heard "10 to 14 inches in Koochiching and Saint Louis Counties." The Koochiching County line in about three quarters of a mile due north through the woods and that didn't sound so good.

I couldn't go back to sleep because I had no idea how much LP gas was in the tank. I thought we had enough to last well into next week, but wasn't sure and as I laid there I knew I would never get back to that, going back to sleep comfort level.

I got up, got dressed, headed down stairs and could smell the coffee. Charmaine was up way before me and for some strange reason was all chipper and smiling about the weather. No I wasn't going to try and figure out why, as she has kept me guessing for all of these years..

Even before a cup of coffee I headed out to check on that LP tank and we had some where between 15 and 20 %. It is a 500 gallon tank, that gives us enough so we don't have to panic. As I headed back into the house I took on a positive thought. Weather men are wrong more often than right, so chances are we will only get an inch or two. A couple of hours later as I am typing this out it has stopped snowing all together.

Just yesterday I had been across the road cutting tongue and groove pine boards for a little alcove I added to the house on the lake side. It is a six by fourteen foot addition that I put on to open up our main floor. I cut in a eight foot archway in the existing wall and this little room has a Sliding glass door facing the lake and a big window facing east looking at the deck. Yes, because I added this room I had to move the deck out to go around it. Little projects become big projects. I have realized that this place will never get done, but I have the perfect excuse. I am a carpenter and everyone knows, carpenters never finish their own homes. It is tradition.

Also, if this was lets say Arizona, I would have finished years ago, but this is Minnesota and there are only so many nice days up here and on a really great day in Minnesota people are in such shock they don't know what to do. You don't want to start something new because the weather might not last and you don't want to finish up that last job because you would be wasting this really nice day, so you do exactly what every good Minnesotan would do, you go fishing.

I am not like an avid fisherman, but I do live on a wonderful lake and have a forty foot dock with a big octagon on the end. This is no Bull, I have to take a break here as the squirrels are jumping up on the window three feet from my face, making little noises, that I have learned to translate as "get my food out here!"

OK, they have their sunflower seeds, even wild animals can be as demanding as household pets. Back to fishing, like I said I am not that avid, but do love to sit on the end of the dock and use worms and a bobber for pan fish, or stand up and cast Dare Devils" for Northern Pike. Hey just sitting on the dock is great too. Lots of ducks to watch, loons, even pelicans. Early in the morning the lake is like glass and watching the sun come up is never boring. Man I wish this winter was over. This is what happens every spring, you get a few nice days, the snow melts, and you start having those summer thoughts. Then, Wham! Winter comes back one more time or maybe two and sometimes three and you know there is nothing you can do about it.

I was taking a break from war coverage this weekend and had on commercial radio. This station breaks for the President and I fall for it thinking some great announcement is coming. Turns out it is Tony Blair and George having another press conference. With all the political big wigs on the radio and TV, it makes me think something is going real bad over in Iraq. Everyone keeps telling us everything is going according to plan.

Last week the Vice President was telling us that the people of Iraq would rise up and help us with removing Saddam. They rose up all right, but are fighting us and trying to protect their families from the "Great Satan." Arab countries have been calling us that for years, I think it started in Iran after they took over our Embassy. Now George Bush has got the whole Arab and Muslim world thinking we are just that.

George just now told America that his coalition for this war is bigger than his Dads. The longer this goes on the more I think George is trying to out do dear old dad. Well the truth is that George the 1st had a huge coalition that I think totaled thirty one countries with their troops helping us in Combat and their check book out ready to help cover the cost of the war. George the 2nd has two countries helping him and the check is going the other way this time. This George claims forty seven countries, but we had to pay every one of them. Some we are giving billions to just to be our "friend." Sad.

So the press conference is over and I can get back to this white mess we have here. With the radio off, you look out the window and it looks like one of those Christmas balls you shake up and watch the snow swirl around. Right now there are about twenty five Purple Finch at the feeder in the snow. They aren't really purple, they are red.

So I am going to head to town just in case that weatherman is right. We have enough can goods to last for a long time, but want some milk and eggs. Charmaine keeps talking about chickens and maybe we will add them this summer. I don't think the daily chore of feeding and watering them seems like a job I want to take on, but sometimes I don't have that choice.

This weekend will be a non-war weekend in hopes of getting rid of the headache I keep getting with every new report. Thinking about that makes the snow and the peace and quiet up here pretty nice.

Post Script: It is now evening and all afternoon is has rained. Now the temperature has dropped and the rain has changed to snow.

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