These are the down days, the idle hours, the in-between times. For many of us, were stuck between the season splits. Memories behind, hopes ahead. Piles of muddy gear and to-do lists both overflowing. It makes sense. Its for our own good to shift into neutral. Dividing the open season into segments gives us a crack at different populations of ducks and geeseresident birds in the first split, early migrants in the second season, and then the long season long-distance migrants that pour south with the deep-winter winds.

But like good medicine, the in-between times dont go down so easily. Were just getting our circadian rhythms adjusted to the early rises. And the poor dogs dont understand. They pad softly into the bedroom at 4 a.m., wondering why were not stumbling up and at em.

So, use this time wisely. Patch up a few things. Fix the leaky sink and finally rake the yard. Put up the Christmas tree. And make amends with that other person who lives in the house. Theyre worn out from all those early-morning alarms, too.

Its rarely a break of more than a couple weeks, and the brownie-point bank account balance is down to stale crumbs. Theres no better time than right now to make nice. It wont be long till were back in the saddle, burning both ends of the candle and what little goodwill is left in the house. Tis the last few nights before the long season. Have her car detailed. Take him out to dinner. Unload the dishwasher. The brownie-point bank is open 24/7, and every good deed is another day in the marsh.