In Jim Cook's Archive


Coming to Florida for the winter seems to give a person a new lease on life. You can be comfortable going for a walk with no fear of slipping and sliding on ice. The sun mostly shines unlike the gloomy days of the wintery north. A hurricane was in force the morning after our evening flight to Tampa and we left a blizzard behind. Our Delta flight from Minneapolis had plenty of people and as they boarded and crowded the aisle, I put my head down and ducked away. Everybody was wearing masks, but there’s no social distancing when people are standing over you.

Our homewatch person picked us up at the airport and drove us 2 hours south to our winter residence on Gasparilla Island. My wife had contracted for a major remodeling of our house and the addition of an elevator. I had argued against these unnecessary changes to no avail. The construction was far from complete and the elevator still not installed. We retreated to our upstairs bedroom to wait it out. Our neighbors invited us over for a bite to eat and to bemoan the fate of the nation. His business is hurting. After a day of pounding rain and wind, the skies were clear and I could go out for a run. Although I have Parkinson’s, I hold it off with exercise.

The coming week has me excited. Monday night the Vikings play the Bears. Wednesday night is the basketball draft and the Minnesota Timberwolves have the first pick. Friday is the big duck decoy auction in Maryland that I will watch online. I collect antique decoys and will be bidding on a few. My business in Minneapolis is good, which gives me peace of mind and the weather is balmy. For an old guy, this is nirvana.

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