Sunday, May 2, 2021

Bethania Birthday

Bewilderbeest, Fishdownthestair, Old Rob,
Diefenbaker at “Goliath”

Today was this old man’s birthday, and as birthdays go, it proved right enjoyable. The entire weekend, though, whirled through so fast and hard it barely registered on my radar. Ms. B. missed the lot of it, for she was gone on a crafting retreat in Georgia. Poor thing, that Ms. B.

Friday after work, I headed to the old homestead in Martinsville, where I hosted a relatively mellow evening with friends/fellow writers Stephen Provost & Samaire Wynne. We sat out on the back deck with tiki torches burning, enjoying wine and snacks, until fairly late in the evening. On Saturday, I went straight down to Winston-Salem, where I spent most of the day cleaning out my brother’s house (now technically mine) in preparation to get it on the market as soon as it’s possible. That was a long, ugly job, but with ample help from Phred’s friend/executor Jane and my friends Terry & Beth, we emptied it of the vast majority of its contents. I did manage to snag a couple of geocaches for good measure.

Once back home, I found my former next-door neighbors Paul & Jamie hard at work on their house as they prepare it to be listed for sale soon as well. We partook of some fine beverages and, a bit later, ordered Mexican food from Luna’s, which we enjoyed on my front porch.

This morning, I met friends Old Rob (a.k.a. Old Rob), Diefenbaker (a.k.a. Scott), Fishdownthestair (a.k.a. Natalie), and Cupdaisy (a.k.a. Debbie, a.k.a. Bewilderbeest) in Historic Bethania, just north of Winston-Salem, for a day of the rigorous hiking and geocaching. We found some fun ones, didn’t find a frustrating one, met a friendly snake, and enjoyed a late lunch (a damned fine burger for me) at The Village Tavern in Reynolda Village. One cache, which turned out to be our favorite of the day, led us to what is surely the most massive (if not the tallest) sycamore tree I believe I have ever seen. And a big old thing it is, with numerous trunks, perched right on the edge of Muddy Creek. We clambered all over that thing, taking in the various views. Of course, we signed the cache log.

After caching, I had to make a last stop (for now...) at Phred’s house to grab a few things that wouldn’t fit in my car yesterday. I didn’t collapse from exhaustion when I got home, but I came about close as one might care to. I reckon that’s what happens when you are no longer on the younger side of old.

Rounding out the nice birthday, I received payment for a short story coming up in a new anthology from Dark Regions, and a contract for another one recently accepted for publication in another upcoming book. I will offer up a big “yay!” for both these things.

I sleep now.
Ermengarde the Snake, named after a character played by Shoffner in a theatrical show some years ago.
Meeting of the half-minds (Natalie, Old Rob, Scott, Bewilderbeest)
L) Looking up at one of Goliath's many trunks; R) view of Muddy Creek from Goliath

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