Blood and building, end of two eras

The last picture from inside my building - looking out the front door to the road leading away
The last picture from inside my building - looking out the front door to the road leading away

Nine years ago I moved our company, Friendly Connections, into a build I had leveraged using money from my IRA I'd collected over the years.  A couple of years ago I managed the transition of moving the company into a larger company from which now I'm divesting.  Part of that movement ended up abandoning the building, moving the company out as well as dissolving the company name.  For six years we lived on the other half of the 3600 square foot building so my commute to work was 52 steps.  Life and business was up and down but the building, for about 8 years, contained dozens of people, hundreds and hundreds of customers, dogs, cats, chickens, blood, sweat, and tears, music and laughter and not a little bourbon to ease the tension.  I was able to ride out my front door through the wooded neighborhoods on a 20 mile bike ride that returned me home.  I took the ride five or six days a week.  In many ways being able to ride saved my life and being in that location allowed me to do 100 to 120 miles a week.  

I sat on a couch in front of the building for a month or so in the spring one year recovering from surgery on my pituitary gland, AKA brain surgery.  I had a hip replaced and had all that interior space to learn to walk again.

At one point early on I put the above quote from Pat Summitt ( one of my heroes above the door.  I live by the quote and have for most of my life.  In many ways it defines who I am and did long before I read it for the first time.

Today, just before signing the papers to sell the building to a new owner, I stopped by to take my last shot of the building.

The lovely shaded building
The lovely shaded building

Finding a buyer was way more painful that I thought it would be.  My monthly cost to support it was something like $3500 and I essentially loaned my own investment company that owned the building around $45k over the years to keep paying the mortgage.  I had a mediocre realtor who did not do a very good job marketing and closing the deal but finally this month, the first month that I would have had to default two mortgages for lack of funds, it closed.  

It was as if we were on a plane nosediving and I was pulling up the stick for all it was worth and just as the undercarriage scraped the ground I was able to pull up.  All is well that ends well.

I said goodbye to the building.

Shortly thereafter as I was sitting around thinking 'What now?' I got a text from my local blood bank.  I've been giving blood since I was a teenager.  My mom did it and I never thought much about it.  Gallons upon gallons of blood over the years.  I gave in Japan while on deployment.  And in Hong Kong.  I had a standing appointment every 8 weeks with a phlebotomist in Jacksonville, Florida for probably two years.  It was kind of a soap opera thing.  We had half an hour or so to talk, just the two of us, every couple of months.  I learned of her daughter who was a stripper for a while and her husband and she learned of my family.  It was fun and the blood bank profited.  I found out I had high blood pressure trying to give blood one day.  Probably saved my life.  Some meds fixed that and I could give again and have until today.

But today was my last attempt.  I've had a skippy pulse every now and then for a while now and they don't like that.  So I tried to give today but they booted me.  With my AFIB (I pretty much have an ADHD blood pumping system in general) I'll be on blood thinners for the rest of my life which means I can't give blood.  

End of another era.

So, altogether a strange day.  I've got some fresh beer in a growler sitting in my refrigerator calling to me.   I think the sun just cleared the yardarm.


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