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Birthday thoughts

Posted by joeabbott on November 13, 2017

Today is my birthday, and Suzy and I started Week of Joe on Saturday; I’ve had two outstanding days, expect another today, and then have the rest of the week after that. Time to talk birthdays!


For the uninitiated, Week of Joe is the week-long celebration of me around my birthday. I get to choose my meals, the activities we participate in, and Suzy has a card and gift for me each day. We’ve enjoyed this tradition (including Week of Suz in June) for a number of years now, and while I always look forward to the lavish attention, it’s admittedly hard to see a big difference in most of the other weeks we share. And that’s a good thing.

As we become more aware of all the things we have and save our dollars for the new home project, I focus less on the gift part and like to do things with Suzy. I’ve gotten into a habit of immersing myself in hobbies that have me on a trail or in the shop or playing video games, so time with Suzy is at a premium. It’s the thing I most look forward to enjoying during WoJ. While it’s hard to see a problem in this celebration, the one thing that dents the enthusiasm just a bit is that it’s toward the end of the year when I have lots of other time off from work, it’s near a gift-receiving holiday, and it’s kinda wet and chilly outside for doing some of my hobbies.

But none of that stops me from having a good time with the time we have. So, let’s look in on the 2017 Week of Joe!

imageSaturday we went to the Best of the Northwest art show. I thought of it as a craft fair but when you get to looking at things … specifically the price tags … you realize it’s art. And I kid a bit about the whole price tag thing. Yes, they’re charging more than you’d expect to pay if they were wrapping still-stained popsicle sticks with colored yarn and passing it off as home décor, but it’s real, honest-to-goodness art.

While Suzy goes every year, I go occasionally and have to say I enjoyed most of it. I most liked getting into the booths, talking to the artists, and sharing a bit of time with these folks. I was in a metalworkers booth and spotted a photo of his shop, shared a bit of conversation over that, and then asked about a totem-looking piece in the picture. He went on to tell me about some support beams in his shop, how he learned to carve faces so he could adorn them, and then offered to show them to Suzy and me next time we were on Whidbey Island where he has the shop. It was a fun bit of conversation.

We talked to Pavel the puzzle-maker, some print designers, and Suzy re-engaged with a potter\sculptor who remembered her from a prior visit. The place is as much about people meeting people as it is about art. I used to be self-conscious about being caught looking and worried about hard-sells. Here people actually want you to look and there is no hardness in anything … just open warmth. I love it.

At the show we bought some glass art for our backyard. The piece has a dramatic flair and a great color (purple) that work so well with the spot Suzy picked. While it’s not a birthday gift for me, it’s a great little something to get during WoJ.clip_image001

That evening we went out to eat at a local BBQ place that, we found out after stepping in, was giving away free meals to veterans … as our Nation was saluting Veterans’ Day. So we shared a little time and space with those who have served our country; lots of Marines, Air Force, Navy, and Army shirts, hats, and jackets. And there was a group of older women who appeared to be old friends catching up and talking animatedly at the table next to us. It made our quiet conversation a bit harder but we continued to look up and share a tight-lipped smile as the table would whoop and belly-laugh at some story only shared with good friends … and the rest of a public restaurant. It was fun.

And so yesterday came and Suzy gave me what we call a Big Breakfast: scrambled eggs, sausage links, hash browned potatoes, and pancakes! A king’s feast to start the day … glorious. After packing that in and taking care of the dishes, we went outside and raked leaves. While it doesn’t seem like a WoJ sorta event, the rain had stopped and work needed doing so we got out there. It feels good to be productive and accomplish something like that … even though it’s a fleeting victory: there are always more leaves to settle in the yard.

clip_image001[4]After that we went to REI, a local outdoor goods co-op to look at tents. I’d decided I wanted a lightweight tent and needed to comparison shop. We chose to go to the “flagship store”, hoping to see as many of the models setup as possible. Unfortunately the place was jam packed with people, a number of folks allowed their kids to use the tents as a makeshift playground, and they only had a couple tents setup … and very few in the class I was looking for: small and lightweight.

But, we accomplished a number of things: we were able to compare and contrast a bunch of choices, we talked at length to a salesman, and we came home with a tent! And, after setting it up, debating a few more options, and considering everything … we came home with the wrong tent for me. During set-up I realized it won’t hold its shape without staking it out, and I was really hoping for more of a free-standing model. So, it’ll go back tomorrow, we’ll place an order for the tent I think will suite me better, and all will be well.

There are cards and gifts and cakes and all sorts of other goodies here on WoJ but that hits the highlights. I’m taking Monday (today) through Wednesday off and I’ll post more as the fabulous celebration of little ol’ me continues. Best gift so far? Time with Suzy!

Hope your celebrations are sometime you can look forward to all year!


2 Responses to “Birthday thoughts”

  1. chantal said

    happy happy birthday joe …

  2. joeabbott said

    Thank you! 🙂

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