Excited Thursday Rundown

On the eve of my family’s arrival, I am giddy with excitement as I type this. Don’t take it personally, but I am going to write this Thursday Rundown quickly so I can get back to preparing for them.

Missing the Derby – This past Saturday was a little sad without a Kentucky Derby to watch. Well, let’s be honest, it was sadder because I didn’t have a Kentucky Derby party to go to. For a few years we had a blast going to my former supervisor’s house to enjoy the Run for the Roses. Dressing up was mandatory. Here are a few photos from non-pandemic years.

A look at some of the past Kentucky Derby parties.

The Last Dance – I have watched the first six episodes of “The Last Dance” and I will do my best to watch the last four. Growing up as a kid, I hated the Chicago Bulls. Hated them. Not a Michael Jordan fan either. But now that I am older, I can forgive the fact that they beat my two favorite teams (Sonics and Jazz) over the span of three consecutive years in the Finals. Not bitter anymore, I have enjoyed watching the colorful personalities and incredible achievements of these Chicago basketball teams. Some of the footage is priceless and the interviews candid.

I am really enjoying “The Last Dance.”

More Local Delicacies – A couple weeks ago, I told my parents I was going to treat them to my favorite donut place in the world, Retro Donuts. I made good on my promise this past Saturday as I visited the shop and brought an assortment of breakfast delights home. Well, I guess I kind of owed it to my mom and dad because the night before they ordered from my favorite Spokane pizza place, McClains. The spicy thai pie is out of this world and it once again did not disappoint.

Was spoiled over the weekend with Retro Donuts and McClains.

A Viral Celebration – With most universities and high schools forced to cancel in-person commencement exercises, many institutions have worked hard to offer online alternatives. On Saturday, Washington State University will host a virtual celebration to honor our graduates. Our digital event will be significant because it will be one of the first in higher education; WSU is on semesters and commencement is held early. Thus, lots of people and other institutions will be watching as we set the standard. I have the pleasure of helping out with the celebration’s social media efforts and am looking forward to a great show!

WSU will host a virtual celebration on Saturday.

Watching Your Weight During a Pandemic – For those not worried about contracting COVID-19 but rather gaining “the COVID-19,” there is some good news. According to a scale maker that is privy to the weights of customers who use its internet-connected product, people are typically gaining just .21 pounds per month during quarantine. That sounds re-assuring but I am still scared out of my wits to step on the scale after nearly eight weeks of not going to the gym.

People are for the most part maintaining weight during the pandemic.

———————–

Big day tomorrow. I ask that you pray for my wife, daughter, son, in-laws, and their pilots as they make the cross-country trip. Enjoy the rest of your evening. Don’t Blink.

Looking Forward to Friday

It became automatic. Someone would ask me when my family would be arriving in Washington and before they could get the entire question off their tongue, I would respond with the exact number of days until their arrival.

“29 days.”

“22 days, basically three weeks.”

“Only 11 days!”

“My favorite number…seven days.”

“FIVE FRICKIN DAYS!”

You get the picture? I had a page-a-day countdown calendar in my head that would dutifully rip to the next number at midnight. But the page-a-day mental calendar has now been replaced by a digital clock counting down the time in hours and minutes. Right now it reads about 41(h):15(m).

It has been a long wait, one characterized by delays and cancellations, but my wife, daughter, and baby boy are set to arrive Friday at noon. By the time they touchdown on Spokane soil, it will have been exactly eight weeks since I last saw them.

It has been nearly three weeks since I have seen my wife and babies.

As I flew out to Washington, I remember feeling like it would be eternity until I saw my family again. At that point, we had April 16 circled on our calendars for when they would arrive. But COVID concerns halted the original plan and pushed out what seemed like a distant date even further. Thus, a new countdown started with an arrival date of Thursday, May 7.

Just as the new target date switched from days to hours, we received more bad news beyond our control: Delta had cancelled my family’s flight. Thanks to Sidney’s fast thinking, she re-booked a new flight just 20 hours later on American Airlines. She made the arrangements before even telling me, saving my stress levels from going through the roof.

Barring no more surprises, my wife and kids will be here at noon on Friday. My in-laws are graciously accompanying them on the long flight. I am thankful for all the people who have consistently reached out to me with inquiries on the arrival date, words of encouragement, and stories of their own about being separated from their families. I am even more thankful to Sidney, who has done such an incredible job taking care of Sloan and Beau in my absence. Playing this waiting game has been tough, but as my dad told me yesterday, it will only make seeing them all the sweeter. Don’t Blink.

WSU Leading the Way in Swatting Asian Giant Hornets

For those of us who usually sleep nightmare-free, this weekend was probably especially cruel. I can’t imagine most of us slept through the night without horrific venomous creatures buzzing in and out of our dreams. Three words folks…

Asian. Giant. Hornets.

Over the past few days, national media outlets have cut through the endless COVID-19 news cycle to bring us another terrifying threat––killer bees. This is no joke, Asian giant hornets have been spotted in my home state of Washington and there is plenty of room for concern.

Would you want to mess with an Asian giant hornet? (photo courtesy of the WSDA).

These hornets are two inches long and look like they came straight out of a horror movie. Well, they probably came from Japan, but that is beside the point. Bottom line, these things are nasty. But if the physical sight of one doesn’t bother you, perhaps their violent tendencies will.

Asian giant hornets will attack and kill with little provocation. It takes just a few stings to kill a human. Don’t insult an Asian giant hornet with a beekeeping suit either, its stinger will cut through it. Seriously. A sting will draw blood and misery, no matter how protected you think you are when you encounter one. That is why the best course of action, if you are ever unlucky enough to cross paths with an AGH, is to simply run away.

These things are bad news (photo courtesy of CNN).

Interestingly enough, this sensible advice was given by a Washington State Department of Agriculture entomologist in something called the WSU Insider. An online publication, the WSU Insider is produced by University Marketing and Communications at Washington State University…AKA the department I work for. Fortunately for me, I have the privilege of working closely with the talented individuals who make the Insider happen.

But what am I getting at? What’s so cool about another Asian giant hornet story? That’s the thing! It wasn’t just another Asian giant hornet story…it was one of the very first!

Way back on April 6, that day’s edition of the WSU Insider carried the story of this invasive species. That’s right, four weeks before our country temporarily shifted its focus from a killer virus to killer bees, our publication was already alerting our region of the issue.

But why did the Insider have such an “inside” scoop with this story? It is because Washington State University is leading the way on this interesting yet troublesome situation.

WSU is leading the response to this invasive species.

Our scientists at WSU are all over this. They are providing management advice to beekeepers and helping the public identify the hornets. They are also lending a hand to the agency charged with trapping and eradicating these dangerous insects, the WSDA.

One more thing I would like to add. I spent a lot of time at the beginning of this post describing how Asian giant hornets are bad for humans. While this is true, their wrath is even worse for honey bees. These hornets assault honey bee hives and decapitate the occupants and devour the larvae. With entire honey bee colonies eliminated, important crops are not pollinated, creating a big problem for growers. It is a fact of nature that invasive species usually cause nothing but harm.

Let’s hope the harm caused by these Asian giant hornets is minimal! Next time a post pops up on your social media feed about these terrifying insects, know that WSU is playing a big role in swatting this issue.

Places to Spend Quarantine At

This weekend I heard the true story about a man who decided to quarantine at Disney World. Faced with endless spots to practice social distancing at the gigantic park, he didn’t make a bad choice. He opted for a tropical oasis called Discovery Island.

Although he didn’t make a bad choice in terms of park attraction, he did make a bad choice in terms of breaking the law––Disney World apparently discourages trespassers, especially during a global pandemic. The 42-year-old man named Richard McGuire was arrested after managing to live on the island for about 72 hours.

Unlike Richard McGuire, Disney World would not be my first choice to quarantine at.

The bizarre story got me thinking: If I had no obligations and couldn’t care less about breaking and entering, where would I quarantine? Well, I have a list of 10 possibilities.

Las Vegas Strip Casino – Any place on the Strip––whether it be Caesar’s Palace, the Venetian, the MGM, etc.––is like a mini city with all the amenities you could ever need. Besides all that, the biggest draw for me would be staying in the high roller suites!

The possibilities during quarantine would be extensive inside a Vegas casino.

Major League Baseball Stadium – By day I would relax in a lawn chair out in center field and by night I would lounge in the cozy home team clubhouse watching the big screen televisions.

I would do just fine spending the quarantine inside a MLB stadium.

Barnes & Noble – When I stop at this store, I always spend way more time inside than I originally planned. I am sure that a life of quarantine inside a Barnes & Noble would be pleasant. I would spend a week in one genre and then move to a new one the following week. The café would keep me fed, hydrated, and happy.

The Mall – What’s not to like about ample room to jog indoors and numerous entertainment options to keep myself stimulated? In the evening I would retreat to one of the department stores so I could get my zzzzzz’s on an ultra-comfy couch or big bed.

I think I would sleep well at the mall.

Sporting Goods Store – I think I could live on Power Bars for a few months. You see, my diet would be secondary if I had access to all the exercise equipment my heart desired. I would also be able to work on my golf swing and sleep in tents at night.

Movie Theater – Contingent on someone joining me who could actually work the projector, I would love to ride out the pandemic at a movie house. I would walk out of the place at the end of COVID an esteemed film critic and a complete slob––can you imagine all the popcorn I would eat?!

I wouldn’t object to sheltering from this pandemic inside a movie theater.

Fancy Hotel – This might be the best option on the entire list. If I could infiltrate an abandoned luxury hotel, I would have all my needs met. Business center, nice gym, good food, and comfy sleeping quarters.

Dave & Buster’s – If I was looking for a place to stay during quarantine that would challenge me to better myself each day, Dave & Buster’s would be my best bet. With all the time I would spend there, I can’t think of any excuse that would prevent me from breaking all the high scores and records on the various games. Whenever I would need a break, I could find comfort at the bar watching the endless big screens.

I would be kept very busy inside a Dave & Buster’s.

Local YMCA – I could easily hang out at a fitness club by myself for a duration of time. My days would be structured by shooting hoops on the basketball court, swimming in the pool, getting my pump on in the gym, and maybe playing some solo racquetball. With shower facilities readily available, this arrangement would be perfect.

Cheesecake Factory – These restaurants aren’t known simply for their incredible food and ridiculously in-depth menus but for the nice buildings they operate out of (a reason why many of them are all currently shut down). Not only would I eat like a king for every meal, but I would be able to choose a different dining area to enjoy each one of them in.

Camping out inside a vacant Cheesecake Factory would be an interesting way to ride out the Coronavirus.

—————

No matter how enticing some of these options might be, there is still a location that I would always choose in a heartbeat over the above 10 places: home.

Although at times it might feel like the walls are closing in, we must never find ourselves taking for granted the opportunity we have to shelter from this pandemic with those we love the most. Trust me, it is better than Disney World. Don’t Blink.

A Week Until My Family Arrives Thursday Rundown

No matter where you are reading this Thursday Rundown from tonight, I hope your quarantine is going the best it can. For those on the frontlines and behind the scenes working to keep us safe and defeat this virus, thank you. Let’s get to the five topics.

What a Crazy Four Months – Tonight we conclude the first “third” of 2020. That’s right, we are 33.33% of the way through the year. It doesn’t take a lowly blogger to tell you that this partial trip around the sun has already been like no other. Personally, it has been a crazy ride even without the Coronavirus. The blessings and challenges are numerous. Usually I will say that a year “went by fast,” but 2020 is entirely different. It already seems like 2020 has been a looooong year and we aren’t even to May yet. Can’t wait to check back in on August 31 as we evaluate the second “third” of the year.

The first third of 2020 that has been highlighted by a big move and a global pandemic.

Meaningful Gesture – I moved to Myrtle Beach six years ago. I made the memorable cross-country drive with my dad. He flew back west on April 29, 2014, but he left something that I would find the next day. The note he placed in my silverware drawer was worth much more to me than the $5.

My dad left me this note six years ago.

Side-By-Side – When I received this photo from my mother-in-law of Beau lounging on the bed, I thought I would compare it to a similar one of me as a baby. I think there is a minor resemblance but Beau is so much cuter than I was. I can’t wait until my family joins me a week from today!

Beau and I hanging out side-by-side.

Movie Recommendations – Over the past two weeks, I have watched more than 10 movies. I saw a couple Redbox films that I feel like you might enjoy. “Richard Jewell,” a movie that tells the story of the heroic security guard who was wrongly accused of plotting the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, was much better than I anticipated. If you like good character development and remember anything about the 1996 Summer Games, you might want to give it a chance. Another option is “The Gentlemen,” an entertaining and suspenseful film that was bolstered by a star-studded cast. I think it is more of a “guy” movie but if you are craving action and a great ending, I think it can satisfy anyone. Out of the numerous movies I have watched on Netflix recently, I thought the 2012 Matt Damon film “Promised Land” was pretty good.

If you are a guy and like action, consider watching “The Gentlemen.”

Best Gift Card – We celebrated my future sister-in-law’s birthday this past weekend and I needed to pick up a present. I went to Walgreens looking for a gift card to Hobby Lobby or perhaps Dutch Bros. However, I canned those plans once I saw this Total Wine gift card. I guess it stood out to me just because I buy a lot of gift cards and I had never seen one to Total Wine before. Anyway, besides its novelty, I purchased it because, like it or not, Total Wine has been deemed an essential business. Now if I was using the gift card I would use it to purchase a six-pack of domestic beer but I know Carrie will put it to much better use!

A photo of Carrie on her birthday coupled with the Total Wine gift card we gave her as a present.

——————–

As we move forward in 2020, let’s continue to pray for a resolution to COVID-19. Enjoy the rest of your week and thanks for reading. Don’t Blink.

Science Fun During Quarantine

This morning I came across an article that offered at-home science ideas that kids could do outdoors. The idea of course is that even though children can’t formally learn scientific concepts inside schools at the moment, they can still educate themselves in their own backyard.

After reading some of the ideas that supposedly passed as science, I figured I could share some of my own at-home science exploits that I enjoyed as a kid. Take or leave any of these five suggestions.

Starting Fires – My parents purchased two magnifying glasses for my brother and I when we were little. i don’t believe they were trying to promote a science experiment, but we definitely didn’t use them to play “detective.” We were outside all the time burning leaves and ants. I will always remember the thrill of maneuvering the magnifying glass just perfectly to produce a strong beam that would effortlessly burn through leaves and spark small flames. I learned a lot about the sun’s energy and heat in general.

Growing Stuff – Nothing will keep a kid’s attention on a day-to-day basis like watching a plant grow. As a younger version of myself, I took seriously the task of planting a seed in some dirt, watering it, and watching it break through the earth. Want to know something that I grew regularly and that would be perfect to plant right now? Pumpkins! They grow fast and are very practical. Life cycles, water importance, meteorology, and so much more are all scientific lessons learned.

Ice Pops – The article I read today suggested throwing objects in a glass of water (i.e. small toys, play jewelry), freezing it, and then excavating the frozen items. I did this all the time as a kid and loved it. But for the sake of offering something a bit different, I would suggest allowing your young ones to make ice pops. Making homemade popsicles is fun and educational! Just pour Kool-Aid or another sugary drink into a mold, add sticks, and freeze. Kids learn about freezing points and the art of mixing something that tastes good.

Before I paid for frozen ice, I made it myself.

Rock Discovery – This sounds a little lame writing about it now, but when I was 8 or 9 I really enjoyed finding cool rocks. My friends and I would go to a couple yards in the neighborhood that had rock landscaping to try to find unique stones. We would look long and hard, psyching ourselves out if we thought we found something that resembled gold or crystal. We would always take a few home with us and trade them with each other later. Nothing like some remedial geology to get the young minds stimulated!

Snowballs in July – The parents of a neighbor friend down the street had a big chest freezer in their garage. During the winter we would form snowballs, place them in Ziploc bags, and store them in the freezer. Once the summer months arrived, we would take them out and sling them at each other. This was an important scientific lesson because…well…I guess it really had nothing to do with science at all.

—————–

Don’t let the learning stop just because school is closed. Let your children explore science while being active. But please remember, adhere to social distancing guidelines. Don’t Blink.

Takeout on Steroids

It has become a quarantine tradition. On Saturday nights, my parents order takeout from a local restaurant. Best of all, they feed me too (yay!). We have enjoyed some delicious meals from different eateries in the North Spokane area over the past several weeks. However, the tradition took on a slightly different form this most recent weekend.

Instead of ordering from a locally-owned restaurant, they decided to go corporate. The winner? Texas “Eat Your Heart Out” Roadhouse. Within the past several months a location opened not too far away from the house and how can you really say “no” to those rolls?

Around 7 p.m. this past Saturday, I had my excitement for the evening as I went with my parents to Texas Roadhouse to pick up our order. It was a culture shock!

Until that night, we had very tame experiences picking up our takeout. We would pull right up to the restaurant’s front door and a lone employee would walk out with plastic “thank you” screened bags filled with Styrofoam to-go containers. The transaction would take a couple seconds and then we would drive out of the lot just like we found it…practically empty.

The Texas Roadhouse experience was an entirely different animal. As we approached the restaurant, we could already see the cones and vehicles from a couple blocks away. Once we entered the parking lot it was almost like an obstacle course following the signs that led us around the perimeter of the property up to an energetic and eager employee.

This is what the North Spokane Texas Roadhouse looked like as we drove up to it.

“Hey guys! Spot 21!”

The individual Texas Roadhouse parking spots were labeled by small signs with numbers on them. No, these numbers didn’t correspond to a row of spaces at the front of the restaurant like a normal takeout operation during non-pandemic times. Instead, basically every single spot in the general lot was numbered and most of them were occupied by cars!

We pulled into our spot and watched the scene. At least seven employees were making runs to the cars. A couple other employees manned a cash register set up outside the main entrance. The employee who initially assigned us to a parking spot was sprinting around the lot chasing random cars. It was a hotbed of activity.

After the two cars parked in front of us got their food and left, I took a photo of the front of Texas Roadhouse. Look closely to see the cash register.

Amidst the chaos, there was a pretty solid system in place. Once in our spot, one of the runners checked in with us. Once they cross-referenced our name, they brought us a receipt with our order. Once we confirmed it, they placed a slip of paper under our windshield wiper signifying that we paid. Then came the food. No mass-produced plastic bags here. Our dinner came out in large, sturdy brown paper sacks with twine handles. What a waste of money, I thought.

But then I thought of other ways the Texas Roadhouse was saving money. As I looked around at the busy parking lot and the sacks and sacks of food that kept coming through those main doors, I mentally took note of potential cost saving measures in place…

Fewer rolls baked. We ordered three meals and only got a total of four rolls. If I was dining with my family in the actual restaurant, the ratio would not be 1.333 rolls per person.

No soda refills. Now I know people say there is a non-existent profit margin in soft drinks but you have to be kidding if you say that not refilling glass after glass of soda all night long doesn’t cut some costs.

Forget about the peanuts. Probably my favorite thing about Texas Roadhouse (besides the large mugs of beer) was eating way too many peanuts and throwing the shells on the floor. The chain no longer has to worry about keeping the barrels full nor cleaning up the mess.

Dishwashing costs, restaurant maintenance. Although the brown sacks and the quality food containers can’t be cheap, I am sure Texas Roadhouse is still coming out ahead without the obligation to wash dishes and thoroughly clean the restaurant on a daily basis.

I ordered the ribs! I would think that not having to wash dishes would save Texas Roadhouse some money.

Reduced labor. Yes, the parking lot was busy with Texas Roadhouse employees going in every direction but the 10 workers I counted on Saturday night paled in comparison to the roughly 100 employees I swear I see inside the restaurant on a regular night during non-COVID times.

So while many local businesses are going through a nightmare right now, could places like Texas Roadhouse be thriving? I have a feeling that loss of liquor revenue might mean a big N-O to my question but I would still like my restaurant business people to set me straight. Until then, even though Texas Roadhouse is one of my favorite casual chain restaurants, I think we will probably order takeout from a restaurant next Saturday that needs our business a little more. Don’t Blink.

How to Ruin TV For Your Spouse

In public, I am a pretty restrained individual. I don’t feel the need to voice my political views or offer commentary in group settings. The same holds true for social media. I don’t use my accounts as an avenue to pop off about current events or debate with others.

However, in the comfort of my own home I am a little more uninhibited. I might offer my two cents on certain topics if something irks me on TV. When skimming the newspaper this morning, I saw a certain letter to an advice columnist that almost made me feel like my wife could be writing it if only we haven’t been separated during the majority of this COVID pandemic (just 11 days until we reunite!).

This was the advice column that resonated with me today.

Truth of the matter, I started to develop a habit of freely gracing Sidney with my “expert” commentary when watching television together. Just like the person seeking advice, I could at times drive my wife over the edge with my unsolicited revelations.

I found myself in major violation on a few different fronts…

1. Demeaning the reality shows that Sidney enjoys watching.

2. Predicting what would happen in movies or pointing out inconsistencies in the plot.

3. Yelling at the news over national stories I did not care for.

For a while, I couldn’t help myself from chiming in with my hot takes. It inflated my sense of self with my perceived cleverness and provided an outlet to blow off some steam. But what I was too proud to realize at the time was that my outbursts were completely self-serving.

You see, my commentary made TV-watching for Sid miserable. We both work hard and after the kids are in bed at night, we enjoy relaxing in front of the television. This therapeutic time for both of us was dampened by a certain loudmouth. Sidney was able to communicate this to me and I got better at it. Was it instantaneous? No. But I did gradually improve.

I think the response from Carolyn Hax, the advice columnist, was too flowery and complicated. Just give straight-forward advice, right? I would have told the annoyed wife to have a conversation with her husband and not simply tell him to “go away.” Rather, explain how the commentary not only adds absolutely nothing of value to your television-viewing experience but that it actually detracts from it. Explain how it turns a time of relaxation into a time of dread.

If he is a decent dude, he will get it…pandemic or no pandemic.

Do you have a perspective on armchair commentators? If so, I would love to hear it. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Don’t Blink.

I Saw the Sign Thursday Rundown

Another Thursday in this uncertain COVID-19 has arrived and once again I am here to at least provide some certainty with my delivery of another Thursday Rundown. Let’s get started…

Such a Good Idea for Kids – My good friend from high school and his wife came up with the best quarantine activity for their kids. They set up a root beer tasting challenge! They purchased some of the heavyweights in the root beer industry and allowed their daughters (and themselves) to blind taste test the sodas. After everything was said and done, the verdict was mixed. Cody liked Henry Weinhard’s the best. His wife and youngest daughter opted for Sioux City Root Beer (I will have to try it one of these days). His oldest daughter chose the only canned root beer in the challenge––Barq’s! Nice work, everyone.

Absolutely loved this Root Beer Challenge idea!

A Sign… – For the first time in more than a month, I saw toilet paper actually stocked on the shelves of a grocery store with my own eyes. I was in Rosauers on Saturday when I spotted several rolls that were up for grabs. It definitely wasn’t Charmin or Cottonelle but it was a welcome sight to see. I know we have a long way to go but I have seen several encouraging signs this week with respect to our coronavirus battle.

It was good to see toilet paper back on the shelves!

Never Forget – On the three-year anniversary of Sloan’s Pyloric Stenosis corrective surgery, I would like to take a moment to thank Dr. Robert Cina and his talented surgical team at MUSC in Charleston. They are the reason why Sloan is a healthy and sassy toddler who makes us all so happy. It took a year of reflection before I wrote this blog post two years ago.

During Sloan’s bout with Pyloric Stenosis and for over a year afterwards, we kept it between immediate family. Sidney and I are so thankful for the support of our parents. This photo shows our moms and dads with Sloan at MUSC.

The Masked Coug – A little humor could be felt on campus last Friday when the “Cougar Pride” sculpture was outfitted with its own PPE. We don’t know who fitted the WSU landmark with the mask but it sure was a hit on social media. Breathe easy!

The “Cougar Pride” sculpture was outfitted with its own mask.

Have a Good One, Mel – The NFL Draft is already underway (so weird adjusting back to west coast start times) and I am not watching. However, if I do tune in later tonight, it will be to watch Mel Kiper’s analysis. Six years ago, I wrote this ode to one of the smartest people I have ever watched on television. Even if you aren’t a fan of Kiper, you have to admit that Darren Rovell’s tweet is pretty good.

It is Draft #37 for Mel Kiper Jr. tonight.

—————–

Thanks for spending a few minutes of your Thursday with me. Enjoy your weekend and be safe! Don’t Blink.

Reducing Our Wardrobes

When we started to pack up our house in Myrtle Beach, Sidney and I realized something…we had A LOT of clothes. No, it wasn’t just my wife with a stuffed closet––I was guilty too. For a dude, I had an embarrassingly large wardrobe. Unless we wanted to fill the entire 16-wheel moving truck with our clothes, we had to do some purging.

Well, purging isn’t exactly a good word. We threw out a very minimal amount of clothes, just the stuff that was pretty much unwearable. The other stuff we made available so others could get use out of it. We repurposed our clothes in three main ways…

I alone had enough thermals to fill a regular-sized closet.

1. Consignment – I feel a little guilty admitting this, but we did sell some of our clothes. Sidney and I each made a couple trips to Plato’s Closet with boxes of clothes. I would describe what they accepted and what they paid out as disappointing. Each time we went to the store, we walked back out with a majority of the clothes that we brought in. We averaged about $25 per trip and placed all proceeds in an envelope labeled Moving Fund.

2. Goodwill – When sorting out our clothes, we had boxes earmarked for Goodwill. In addition to those boxes, we added the rejected consignment clothing as well. Our trips to Goodwill were always therapeutic because it felt so good to drop off large loads that took up space in our house during the cluttered moving process. On a more somber note, it was also a reminder that we could have helped those in need much sooner if we made regular trips and didn’t hoard (bigger issue for me than Sid).

Even with multiple stops to Goodwill and Plato’s Closet, we still shipped UHAUL wardrobe closets filled with clothes to Washington.

3. Office Giveaway – I obtained TONS of Coastal Carolina University gear during my nearly six years at the institution. I took a couple items with me as keepsakes, but I knew I would have to leave most of it behind. When my mentor and friend, Kenny Dow, left the University of Montana for another job, he allowed his co-workers to poach his UM wardrobe. Likewise, when Bill Plate left CCU, he gave me his Chanticleer ties. I took their examples and put my Coastal Carolina gear up for grabs. I put a video of my large collection on social media, stipulating that you had to be a CCU employee if you wanted dibs, and within seconds it was claimed.

A glimpse at a portion of the CCU polos I had in my possession.

———————–

Funniest/Saddest thing of all? I probably still packed more clothes than what I needed. Something I am trying to work on is to let go of items and resist the temptation to stockpile. It is a learning process. Don’t Blink.