Saturday, March 13, 2021

Gift Day

 It's Friday. 

March 12. 

Last October, as we (at work) began our new fiscal year, it was announced that we were getting 5 Gift Days (days off with pay) when the office would be closed. The first one was Christmas Eve. The second one was the Friday of the Family Day weekend. And the third one, one month later, was today. 

I don't think I've ever needed a gift day more. It was SUCH a welcome break. AND IT WAS SUNNY. And I brought a(nother) load to the lake last night (books, rocking chair, kids' toys, my mom's rock painting supplies, lamps, photo albums, negative files, and a propane fire pit), so I was at my favorite place. 

I met Val for a walk along the dyke this afternoon, it was 13 degrees and GLORIOUS. We talked (OKFINE ...) I talked for an hour about my week and it's challenges and highlights. We talked about parents in heaven. (Today is the 6th anniversary of my dad's death.) And we talked about our kids. (That goes without saying, amIright?) 

We walked for 10,000 steps which I think, in dog years, is about 17 hundred miles. My legs feel achy but good. After our marathon, I stopped in at her house to add 4 dead, frozen chickens and a box of chocolates to my overflowing truck. 

From there, I drove back to Yarrow to my favorite deli to see what they had. I got some fresh buns, ham, cheese and farmer sausage. (Can I mention here that they have 3 people behind the counter, ready to serve you as soon as you walk in? Last month I was at the Save On Foods at Garrison Crossing to pick up some groceries. I stopped at the deli counter and waited. I was the only customer. Two of the workers had their back to me, and one gal (about my age) was facing me. But she did not make eye contact. She was very captivated with the conversation she was having with her co-workers about the upcoming weekend. I was RIGHT THERE. In front of her, and she wouldn't acknowledge me. Nor did she mention to the other two, that I needed help. I waited for 2 minutes. (I know, that doesn't seem long at all...) There was no bell to ring; I waved my hand to catch her attention, but she was not having none of it. So I walked away. And I've never been back. I will only get my deli things in the family owned deli in downtown Yarrow. I'm sure Save On could care less. 

On my way back to the lake my phone rang. It was Val.

Her: Are you back at the cabin?

Me: On my way.

Her: We're coming up; John doesn't want you to unload the truck by yourself. 

Me: I'm totally fine. Really. I'll do it slowly and I've got all weekend. It's a beautiful evening. Go do something fun. 

Her: This IS fun. We can't watch Father Brown AGAIN. We're leaving now. 

😭 😭 😭 😭 

And while they were on their way, I got a text from Mark (Heather's husband):


Dump run complete. 

I am now a VIP at the Thrift Store. 

Let me figure out what to do with the anti-freeze. 


😭 😭 😭 😭

When I left for the lake last night, I left 'piles' in the garage:

  • Thrift (Mark and Heather were going to look after it on Thurs at 7)
  • Dump (Henry and Mark were going to look after it on Fri at 2)
  • Daryl (I had set aside the pressure washer, snowblower, set of metal shelves, gardening tools) for him to pick on Monday at 9 am)
  • Clint (rubbermaids from his past, construction materials to go to the lake, kitchen stuff suitable for Picnic Creative, his food marketing company) for him to get this weekend.
  • Max (rubbermaids from his past, boxes of things I'd collected from the basement.)
  • Jim (dad's tools that need attention/removal/something...) to be dealt with this weekend.
  • Me (two furniture pieces and a couple rubbermails) to be taken to the lake. (Hoping Clint has room...)
(I never want to spent another evening in the garage by myself sorting through 1000 boxes.)
(Good thing I'll never have another garage.)
(Good thing I'm never buying another thing as long as I live.)

ANYWAY, Mark did his part in cleaning out two of the biggest piles. AND I AM RIDICULOUSLY grateful. In addition to his text, Heather called to let me know she'll have a tuna casserole ready for me when I get back to Surrey on Sunday evening. And Henry brought my mom a porkchop dinner, made by Nancy. 
(Is this a thing? To prepare meals for people who're packing to list their homes? I didn't know.)

TO ANYONE READING THIS, especially if you're on the youngish side of life:
Invest in friendships. Build up a circle of friends who'll have your back if you get a cancer diagnosis or want to sell your mom's house quickly, or decide to start feeding 60 homeless people once a month, or want to paint rocks with someone, or need a travel companion, or want a reading buddy, or have a craving for sour dough bread, or need someone to walkntalk with or have a desperate prayer request. 

My life is rich and full because of the people in it. I am the luckiest. 

John and Val came. Emptied my truck. Looked at my condo's floor plan while we had ham n cheese buns, and dreamed with me about evenings on my deck, eating shrimp sandwiches from the bakery below. (YES! Blacksmith Bakery is going to be in my 'hood!). And while John was getting the last bit in (the four frozen birds), Val cued up this song on her phone (lookit us being on top of music sharing options) for us to listen to together. It was from her to me, because it reminded her of my dad:

😭 😭 😭 😭

As far as gift days go, this was a gooder. 

And as far as dads go, he was the best:


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Facebook Marketplace. Is there an easier way to get rid of stuff? I think not. Depending on what it is, you can have it gone in mere seconds. Like, for example, if you're 'selling' your son's car lifts and tools for free, expect to get 30 very eager responses in the first minute. 

Bookshelves on the other hand, are not quite as hot an item. Listed an assortment of them for $25 each. Sold half of them almost right away. Changed the price to 'free' after 48 hours and they were picked up that evening. 

Had some interesting Marketplace encounters near the end of this week:

I'm trying to give away a couple desks. This one was my work desk at Billie's Country. A SOLID metal desk (30" x 60") that's about 40 -50 years old. When Billie's sold, Max sprayed in Matt Black and had it in his room in Murrayville. Perfect homework desk. 

Her (from her name I know she's a different culture and colour than me): Desk still available?

Me (super happy to finally have some action on this item): Yes!

Her: Where is it?

Me: Fraser Heights

Her: Will it fit in small Honda Civic?

Me: Nope. It's a big desk. Did you see the dimensions?

Her: How I get?


Her: I need it.


Her: You will deliver

(I text Max. "Hey do you want to make $25 and deliver you old desk to a lady who lives a couple miles from here?)

(He responds: LOL. How would I? No way that'll fit in my Jeep.)

Her: Can you disassemble?

Me: I don't think so. It's all one piece ...

Her: Put it in pieces, you can bring.


Her: I am a 62 year old recovering cancer patient. You shud help me. 

Me: I am a 60 year old recovering cancer patient. I don't have a truck. 

And I never heard from her again. 


This one was fun... I was selling a folk art painted potato bin:

She transferred the money to my account for this ^ and a hand-painted toy chest (seconds after I told her they were hers), and said she'd be interested in buying some rocks as well. (That was last week.) She stopped by yesterday to pick it up (I was working, so I couldn't meet her. Told her I'd put everything on the porch, she could help herself. I apologized for not having many rocks to choose from... I haven't painted since end of January). 

This was her response:


My biggest challenge was a set of 4 snow tires. They were Clint's but I was trying to get rid of them for him. I took close up pics of the tread on each tire, described them in detail re: size, make, model etc. And had them listed for free. NOTHING for 5 days. Everytime someone came to pick up a piece of furniture, I offered them a snow tire, no charge, as a parting gift. No one wanted one. I told Clint he'd have to deal with them. 

But then, last night, just as I was pulling into the lake, my phone dinged. A guy was wondering if they were still available. YES, I said, enthusiastically via text. 
And seconds later, my phone dinged again. Another guy asking about the snow tires. And then a third ding a few seconds later. By the time I walked up the steps and let myself in, I had 6 inquiries, all anxious to pick them up that evening. (What the heck? NOTHING for 5 days and then 6 requests in a few minutes?)

By now it was 8:30 pm, but one fella was very eager to pick them up asap. 
Told him if he could get there by 9 pm, they were his. 
Called my mom and let her know someone was coming to get the tires. She didn't have to do anything except open the garage door for him. And BAM. It was just that easy. 

(For anyone interested in my mom's furniture or collectibles, Max will be selling her items on Marketplace at the end of the month. Follow him on Facebook for deets.)

2. I am also thankful for answered prayer re: British Twitter Heather. She is moving! (Rental contract was signed today; she's got the keys.) To a nicer area in Northern England. She is optimistic and hope-filled. Her sister is doing well in rehab. She recording pod-casts again. She was able to purchase a used car. 

I am so happy for her. 

3. I am very very thankful that my kids and I are going on a trip. It's not Tuscany. But Tofino will be a good substitute. We'll be celebrating my milestone birthday, together, on the westernmost edge of Canada. (I am so excited.) Best part is the way Dani has spearheaded the whole thing. She's made accommodation reservations, talked to her clients about restaurants, activities, trails, hikes, drives...
and has made dinner reservations for us as well. 

And the sweetest thing about this week?
While Danica was dealing with Air BnB, she needed to verify that I was who I said I was re: payment, so she was to take a pic of me with her phone. I misunderstood and took a quick selfie and sent it over. Drew said, "NO MOM. She has to take a pic WITH HER PHONE. 
You look nice today."

😭 😭 😭 😭

For the record, I did not, in fact, look nice. 
I was a wreck. 

No make up, four-days-dirty hair, computer-reading glasses, WHITE skin (waaaa, I need a tan) and 5-hours-of-sleep eyes. And my lips have disappeared off my face.

(This is my Zoom look from earlier in the week...) The decline has been rapid and is gaining speed. 

By the time this house sells I'll be bald or totally grey and have wrinkles from my eyes to my knees. 


Thanks for stopping by,
Stay safe, take care, much love,

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