Friday's Weekend Column
Man Its Cold In The Morning

by James Glaser
October 17, 2003

It isn't really all that cold, but it seems that way because our bodies take a long time getting used to these chilly mornings. Here is the trick to handling the first days that you have to scrape the windshield. Just like going swimming, you have to dive right in. If you stand around thinking about work, you will be so cold you will start to shiver. So plug in that saw or pick up that shovel and start working and in no time you will discover that cold fall days are the best working temperature.

In a short time you will start shedding all those shirts and sweaters you had on, as they restrict your movements too much. In the fall time flies right on by, because you aren't stopping to rest from the heat of summer. The fall temperature keeps your body right where it should be, no sweat needed.

I'm working down the road with Jimmy Martin, building a deck for some friends that own a resort. We told them when we started that we only work six hours a day. I think they thought we were kidding, but that first day we quit right at six hours. We don't take coffee breaks and I think our years of working experience lets us get a lot done, but after six hours we start to fade rapidly.

I was in town today after work and someone was asking me how things were going at the resort and I said just fine. I then had to explain about our only working six hours a day and that was why I was in town shopping at 3 PM. We were done for the day. The lady talking to me said that only working that many hours was so smart, because then I had time to work on other stuff, like her shelf that I have to make. I didn't tell her that even with a short work day I come home totally pooped out and rather than go out to the workshop, I read a few pages of a book and fall fast asleep for an afternoon nap.

Building a deck is working with post hole diggers, carrying heavy sixteen foot long boards, and lots of ladder work. Just cutting out six stair jacks from 2 x 12s for the two stairs tires me out. We are always trying to fit everything just right and will take a board down and redo it if we don't think it looks good. Hey, Jimmy and I want to say, yes we built that. Pride in workmanship is not a thing of the past. We only take on jobs we like and when we start a job, we don't have any others going, so every day we are there till it is finished. I hate that when a crew doesn't show up because the windows came in for another job.

I keep telling myself that this year I won't work out and just do my work in the workshop, but I like working with Jimmy. We have the same sense of humor, we know what we are doing, and working real hard can be fun. Who knows how many more years we will be able to do heavy work.

There were lots of shots from hunters this morning as the northern ducks are coming through from Canada on their way south. I saw several wood ducks down on the shore when I came home and I could hear Canadian Geese honking above the tree tops, but couldn't see them.

Farmer Ron and his wife Vicky got married this past weekend. After over twenty years together they thought they should tie the knot. As soon as I got the invite I called, wanting to buy all of Ron's fishing and hunting equipment, telling him that married life was the end of his being a "sportsman." He never did learn how to fish very well so staying home and doing as he is told will not be that big of a thing. On the big day it rained and it was cold. They got married in their front yard, their daughter Sarah was the minister and their other daughter Amy was Maid of Honor. As soon as they said, "I Do." The sun came out and it started to warm up. Everyone brought food and there is nothing like a bunch of Northern Minnesota women showing off their best dishes. I think I had about twenty "tastes" of different foods. I'm sure Ron and Vicky will continue to be happy and everyone there felt good about their marriage.

The weatherman is talking about a warming spell and that is just fine with me. No matter how ready you are for winter, you always look around and say if only I had a few more days. Well maybe this year I will.

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