Friday’s Weekend Column
Extreme Heat

by James Glaser
July 15, 2005

When it gets up into the 90s in Northern Minnesota, that is extreme. What is even worse is when night time temperatures stay above 70. People up here usually don't have air conditioners, but we do have basements. Basements can be cool dark places and when the weather gets hot like this, more and more people are using theirs. My basement has one wall of windows, so it is bright down there, but it is still about 15 degrees cooler than the first floor.

You ask about Global Warming this week, and there are no doubters. There are some silver linings though. The lake is great for swimming, tomatoes plants and corn love this humid heat, there are fewer mosquitoes, and life slows down for the whole community. The heat is what everyone talks about and if you are working for someone, they know your output will be lower in this heat.

Today I got up at 5 am to start my walk and it was 70 then. I came around one corner and there were two deer standing in a creek cooling off. I think they were so hot, and there were so many deer flies around them, that they stood right there until I got about 15 feet from them, and then all they did was walk away.

I had about 50 deer flies flying around my head all the way out and back. I killed about 15, but the rest were driving me nuts. In the afternoon I had a wide brimmed hat on, and that kept them farther away. Hats work well as the flies go after the highest thing on you. Indians figured out that having a feather on their head kept the bugs flying around the feather, leaving them alone.

Until today I was taking my walk in the late afternoon, but it was brutal. I would take along a bottle of water with me to stay hydrated, but I was soaked by the time I got back to the house. I think I like the early morning walks better. They get my day started, I feel good when I am done, and I am ready right away to start work. I hate to say this, but I think all this walking is getting me in shape. My hip feels good and only toward the end of the day does it start hurting. Everyday it seems like I make it a little longer, pain free. This is good.

Next month I am having an auction. Charmaine and I always planned to have one, but with her being ill these last few years, we put it off. I think I have the potential to be one of those old men, who have paths through their house because they have so much stuff. I have lots of stuff and let me tell you, it is all good stuff, but there is just too much of that good stuff.

It is hard to pick what to sell and what to keep. It seems that everything has memories attached to them. I think I am selling the object, but I will always have the memories. It isn't like I am selling everything to the walls, I so plan to keep lots. (The really good stuff)

Now good stuff to me, might not be good stuff to you. I have some nice Indian bead work that I enjoy. I have a lot of paintings by Native Americans and I have some strange things. I have a nice collection of little screw drivers. You know like the ones you get with a sewing machine or ones with advertising on them. I like the ones with a phone number of 24 or 17. Just two digits.

So, for the next several weeks, my job is going to be getting ready for the auction. I have lots of sorting to do and lots of clean up. Everything has to be moved across the street and I still have to go through the workshop, because the stuff has overflowed over to there. I read about getting the clutter out of your life and I guess that is what I am doing.

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