Friday’s Weekend Column
Florida Weather Can Be Boring

by James Glaser
April 14, 2006

Every morning you get up, and the sun starts to peak out from the horizon, and you just know it is going to be another nice day. Right now it is in the fifties in the early morning and the temperature climbs almost to eighty by late afternoon.

After dinner I try and sit out on this covered swing I have on the deck and read a bit. Lately it has been two chapters of the Old Testament and one chapter of the New Testament. I wanted to read the whole Bible in a year, but it is going to take a while longer than that.

I know I read the whole thing years ago, but there is so much that either I forgot or maybe I just skipped some parts, because most of it all seems pretty new to me. Of course my head is in a different place now, and this time I want to read it, where last time I bet I thought I had to read it.

Well, back to the weather. After dinner in that swing there is almost always a little breeze. It is in the shade, and if you get too comfortable you might just drop off for an early evening nap. Yeah, I know all about Florida hurricanes, but Tallahassee is 40 miles from the ocean, and it is 55-79 feet above sea level, depending where you are in town. Most of the city is rolling hills, so it would take a wave of Biblical proportions to make it up here

My tomato plants are growing at quite the rapid pace. Up North they start growing when the morning warms up and quit growing as soon as that sun goes down, but here they grow more that twice that long and down here the soil seems to always stay warm.

I talked to my sister Jodi a few minutes ago, and she gave me an update on my mom. I was talking to mother yesterday on the phone, and she sounded better than she has in years. She was calm, not worried about anything, you might say she was at peace with herself. Jodi said they had a meeting with the staff of the rehab facility my mom was sent to from the hospital. They said that she would be able to live on her own again. She is going to stay there for a bit longer for physical conditioning, but that her mind is just fine. I'm going to tell her to get that in writing!

About twenty five years ago I was having a hard time with thoughts of Vietnam, and I checked myself into the Psych Ward at the VA Hospital. This was on a Friday afternoon, and they were great. They gave me a room, told me when meals were, and then checked my suitcase for weapons and took my belt away. It took about thirty minutes before I figured out that I had made a big mistake being there. Yes, you can check yourself in easy enough. It is the getting out that is hard. It was Friday afternoon, and all of the staff with the power to let me go had left early for the weekend, so I was stuck there at least until morning. I knew that trying to escape or getting rowdy would do me no good. I had a good book, ate diner with some very interesting veterans who were not trying to leave, and I read my book until I fell asleep.

That next morning right after breakfast I was at the nursing station telling them that I wanted to see somebody with the power to discharge me. They told me I would have to wait until the doctor made her rounds, and it wasn't until lunch that she had time to see me. She suggested we have lunch together, and when we were done with that she said I could go home. That lunch time conversation was my test to see if I was a danger to myself or to others. I passed. I always thought I should have had something in writing about that.

It is a scary feeling when the government or a hospital "has" you for any reason. Freedom is so very important, and that thought that you can no longer decide what is best for you can set you on edge. My mother has always been in the best of health, and now she is taking eight pills a day. Jodi was talking to her about them and telling her which pill did what. My sister is a pharmacist by trade, so she is a great resource. My mother told her that she would only take the pills she was willing to buy. My mom lived through the Great Depression and "frugal" best describes her. If she thinks the pills are over priced, she will pass on them.

My studio is still about five days away. The man who is moving out was there for over twenty years, and he worked making heavy things. Yesterday there was a forklift there moving large sculptures out. All I want to do is start getting that space ready to work in. Actually all I want to do is start working again. I understand how hard it is for that guy to leave, but it is still hard waiting.

While I have been waiting to start moving in, I have had a lot of time to write. I have written a lot of friends from over the years, and everyone that has written back tells me that it is so nice to get a real letter. How often is the mail box filled with bills and advertising? Getting a real letter tells you that the person sending it cared enough to give you the time it took to write it. E-mails are nice and cell phones are a real convenience, but that written word that you can go back and read again is something special.

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