It’s Been a Week!

It’s a bit embarrassing how few boxes I have unpacked since I moved last week. I just can’t get motivated in that direction. I don’t worry too much, because let’s face it – eventually it will get done. But I would like to fix my own meals. I have discovered I will never be someone who eats out all the time. Anyway, it’s sometimes quite frustrating and I need to get a move on. Later.

But it was a good week. I woke up on Monday and realized not only was it my birthday, but I had planned nothing. I took control of my birthday years ago after a particularly lackluster one, so I only have myself to blame. I’d thought about it just not ever made plans.

So I pulled myself together and did something. I drove to Charlotte and went to the Billy Graham Library. I think library is a misnomer, but it doesn’t matter. I’d describe it as more of a tour through his life. I found it interesting and will be writing about it on NewsBreak soon.

I grabbed a chicken salad sandwich from their cafe before I left and headed towards Huntersville. I had decided that since I had made no major plans fir the day, I would donate platelets. What better way to celebrate your birth than hopefully giving someone else something they can use to live.

But first I needed cake. I was a bit early, so I had time. I went to a place called The Bakery Shoppe, and had a piece of chocolate cake with mocha mousse and chocolate ganache. It was birthday cake worthy.

The platelet center I went to was not my usual, but to avoid a long trip to the one where I normally go I just went to a center near home. There’s nowhere to donate platelets in my small city. The women there were nice, even giving me some nice Red Cross paraphernalia and a card for my birthday, but the procedure was long. Granted they took three units of platelets and also plasma, and I use a one-armed machine which takes more time (I’m a squirmer), but it was a two-movie donation. I was fit to be tied by the end. But we got it done and I was on my way. It exhausted me, and the normally night owl me went to bed at 8 p.m.

Tuesday was a great one. I live Camp Victory Junction and all activities were suspended last year for COVID, as they should have been. This is the camp started by the famous NASCAR racing family in memory of Adam Petty, who was killed in a race when he was 19. His legacy is vibrant and this camp is something special,

Camps are different this years, with family members there. While we usually give kids tethered tides, this year we are just pitting up a balloon for them to see. There were 13 families there that night for a three+day visit.

The camps are staffed by amazing college students. It’s quite an honor to get accepted as they get lots of applications. Many of the students are considering careers in some aspect of medicine. Kids and staff are a pleasure to meet.

We had a great night, despite a bit of drizzle early on. Hot air balloons have become one of the symbols for the camp and the balloonists who participate often travel a ways to do it (the pilot that night was from Virginia.) To see a kid entranced with the balloon – it makes your night!

I had several meetings with financial planners – both my normal one (who handles most of my retirement money) and one from the bank who I was told could help me maximize what I was doing with my money in savings at the bank. As you know, I sold my house last week which means I had to make sure I was wise with the proceeds. While I still 0lan to work some in the next few years, I am trying to avoid anything full time. I have cut expenses enough that I should be able to support myself without that money, but I also want to travel extensively. I need some of it accessible.

Thursday I ate more cake. A friend treated me to a piece at a great little place out in the country. The owner mostly specializes in wedding cakes and those for other special occasions, but she opens up for cake-by-the-slice Wednesday through Friday afternoons. We sat on the gorgeous front porch, ate cake and then spent a couple of hours talking. It was glorious. We hadn’t talked in so long and it’s great to catch up with friends.

Speaking of catching up with friends, I am having brunch with my best friend from growing up tomorrow. From 4th grade through high school we were inseparable. I have few memories without her. We don’t see each other much these days, so each time is a treat.

Oh, what else? I got a glimpse of the 100-mile yard sale that is going on around us this weekend. I have my niece some of my decluttered items and she said they were selling fast. Though I am not a shopper, there was a lot of selection and tremendous bargains. And I just did a quick look to see what it was all about and write about it for NewsBreak. Since I am still in declutter mode, I tried to keep my blinders on, but I can see why it entices. Someone’s trash is certainly another’s treasure.

Then I went to the Wine Maestro last night to see my buddy Wendy Wooten perform. Wendy’s going to be my first musician interview for NewsBreak and hopefully we will get that done this week. Not only is she talented, but interesting. You’ll enjoy getting to know her.

And I had pineapple hard cider at the Wine Maestro. It was what they had on tap. Yum! A big glass of amazing for only $5.

Oh, and after using my friend Bill’s camera at Victory Junction, I ended up with an iPhone 12 Pro Max and a new iPad. Happy birthday to me?

I’m sure I left some things out, but that’s most of my week in a nutshell. If anyone feels like unpacking boxes, come on by!

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