Friday’s Weekend Column
It Is Going To Be A Warm Christmas

by James Glaser
December 16, 2005

Every day down here is like a nice fall day up north. 40's in the morning and 65 to 70 in the afternoon. This is perfect construction weather. It seemed like every fall we would get a week or so of this weather, usually during grouse season. I always looked forward to it, and would get the yard all ready for winter.

This kind of dream weather has been going on for weeks down here, although it did get rather hot last Friday, up in the 80's.

Last weekend I was at Amelia Island Plantation, a posh resort on the Atlantic Ocean. I walked the beach looking for pirate treasure, like gold doubloons, but I didn't find any. I found a few sea shells, but the nicest thing about the whole walk was that I didn't see even one small piece of litter. I saw nothing man-made on that stretch of beach, and that was a real treat.

This resort was high buck all the way (someone treated me to a room for a night) and the prices tell you that it is pretty exclusive. Condominiums cost two and a half million dollars, and I looked at a lot for three quarters of a million.

Rich people do have it nice, but as one of the workers told me, "These people are the loneliest people in the world." Every thing was really nice; the shops were expensive, but they had nice stuff. The restaurants were great, and the architecture was filled with ideas for me, but there were no children. There was a store filled with toys for children, but the lady told me it was for buying gifts, and she seldom saw any children pass through the door.

This resort had 3½ miles of beach, and I think I was the only person walking out there. A glass of low buck white wine was eight and a half dollars, and no matter what you bought, a little line at the bottom of the receipt had printed, "20% was added 'for your convenience.'" I guess rich people don't have the time to figure out what kind of tip they want to give. I asked at the supper club and found out the waitress didn't get the whole 20%, the management took their cut. Like I wanted to tip the manager.

I saw lots of black people there, but they were all working and I noticed their jobs did not directly deal with people. They were cleaning, doing yard work, and delivering things to the shops. I take that back, the drivers of the trams that took us to and from dinner were driven by black women. The people cleaning the rooms could not speak English, so I have no idea of where they came from.

It was a nice short stay, but I was glad to get back to the real world. I had a good week working and even did a bit of volunteer work. Volunteer work is good for you. It makes you feel worthwhile and it is kind of fun to do some thing, with no thought of a return for your labor.

I have all my Christmas presents bought, but I better get on the stick and get them sent out. Last year, everyone came home, so I could just hand things out. This year I am 1500 miles away and the postman will have to give me a hand.

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