Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

The Day After Turkey Day
by James Glaser
November 25, 2011
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All day I have been thinking that it is Sunday. Wanda said I should make the trip to the dump with the garbage, and I said it isn't open on Sunday. To which she said, "But it is open today, because it's Friday."

As I wrote about a month ago, we had our Thanksgiving last month because our daughter-in-law was going to have a baby on or near the real Thanksgiving, and we didn't want her to have to ride all the way up here from Saint Augustine, about 130 miles one way. I did mention to her that I had been there for the delivery of three sets of puppies, and how I felt confident that I could be a competent midwife. I don't think that made her feel any safer. She was probably praying all the way up here for our mid-October Thanksgiving that nothing out of the ordinary would happen.

Anyway, we had a great Thanksgiving last month, and the baby came two weeks ago, a healthy 6lb. 6 oz. girl. Today the new mother called me and asked when I would be arriving tomorrow, and I said I wasn't coming with Wanda, but was staying here to work. She said, "But I am making a big dinner for you two." To which I said, but I am sending fresh made cookies. She said "Cookies?" and went on to say that was just fine, and she was kidding about the dinner anyway.

Usually after a holiday I am a bit disappointed in myself for eating too much. So today I am feeling rather proud of myself, because I didn't pig-out on the holiday feast. In truth, only because we didn't have one. Still, it is nice to get up without that guilt trip going on in your head. I could go for a piece of pie though, but will have to be satisfied with cookies just out of the oven. Because I am cooking for a new mother, I am going healthy, and making oatmeal raisin. Wanda approves of that, I think because those are her favorite cookies.

I am actually looking forward to tomorrow. I will be erecting the scaffolding next to my tower section of the tree house complex. That way it will be safer for me to put the roof on, install the soffit, and trim out the gable ends. Yes, the whole project has gotten a bit out of hand, but I can see the end now, and hope I'll be able to sleep up there before the first of the year.

It is kind of nice when people assume that I am building the tree house for my grandkids, but really it is my tree house. I am already thinking of how I will decorate the inside. I am thinking a ceiling fan, gas lights, oriental rug, and maybe a few skulls from my collection. I am thinking a Timber Wolf skull. It is a legal one I bought at an auction, and it was from the 1930s, way before they were put on an endangered species list. Also, a beaver skull, and I don't know which others. You have to remember, tree houses are a guy thing. Although I won't have one of those "No Girls Allowed" signs up.

Think about this. Why do deer hunters need tree stands? Millions of deer are killed every year by hunters who shoot from the ground. Elevated tree stands, either permanent or portable are for frustrated tree house wannabes. If they can't have the real thing, at least for a few days of the year they can pretend they have one.

Again, I have to tell you, if all year long North Florida had the weather like it has in the winter, this place would have millions of people living here. Starting in late October or early November North Florida's weather is like the best fall weather up North, but it stays this way for five to six months, and then you have a transition month into a very hot summer that lasts 4 to 5 months.

Summer, even in Florida, is a lot more bearable if you have a tree platform that gets you up off the ground and maybe even in a slight breeze. Also, being up in a tree you are assured some shade for a big part of the day. Another plus, way fewer bugs.

I just had a great thought. Next year, the grandkids and I could have thanksgiving at the tree house. I don't know about cooking a turkey and the fixings over an open fire down on the ground, but for sure we could bring out our dessert.

These four day holidays sure mess with your inner calendar, but it is nice now to think I have two more full days after thinking this was Sunday. I bet I can get a lot done.

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