This community park may be full of oldies but the state still demands it's pint of blood from them !
Ok that's stretching the truth a bit as I'm only refering to giving blood voluntarily. Last Friday the 'big red bus' pulled up and the residents were offered the customary drink and cookies in exchange for a few pints of their precious blood. To sweeten the offer even more, you'd get a $10 restaurant coupon for every 2nd visit. That's a powerful lure !
I initially thought that not too many stepped up, despite such offers. Lets face it, most of them need what blood they have. I'm sure some would've wanted to make a withdrawal rather than make a deposit at this particular bank. But then I remembered that there had been a sign-up sheet and so people were arriving in ones and twos all day at their alloted times. The bus only had 4 beds and so it never looked busy but it was really taking blood to it's capacity.
Deb had signed up and was hoping to be able to give for the first time. She has low iron and this meant never being accepted before. She was more confident this time as she'd been taking vitimins and so we went down to the bus just before noon. I've never given blood in the UK and so have no idea what paperwork we Brits are presented with, but here the medical Q & A form was enough to put you off. There was even a question about spending time in the UK between 1980 and 1995 I think - I assume this had something to do with Mad Cow Disease and not a slur on my country as such. Oh I'm sorry but you visited Stonehenge and Madame Tussauds in 1990 so your blood has been tainted !!!! Maybe you went to Buckingham Palace and have blue blood now.
After the form was completed, she went to have a quick test with a pin prick of blood being taken to check her iron and maybe other things. It was close, the closest yet, but sadly she was JUST short of the levels required and was advised to try again on Monday. Eat a few iron bars over the weekend or something. I donno.
The good thing was that they stamped her card anyway and so we're hoping that even if she fails again today, she might get another stamp and so get the $10 coupon. She just left for it so I'll add the update before publishing this post.
After all that excitement we went a few feet round the corner of the building to have lunch at the 'cafe-on-the-lake'. This is not the grand edifice that it sounds but it's a wonderful place to gather outdoors and eat a light meal from 11:30 - 13:00 Mon to Fri.
It's basically a permanent trailer although all of the grilling takes place just outside it. The inside is for the volunteer staff to take the orders, pass them to the cooks outside on the right and then take the cooked meat back inside again and create whatever order the customer asked for - plain burger with lettuce, tomato and onion or cheeseburger or hot dog or chilli dog and so on. There are plenty of healthier options on the menu as well but come on, if you can't have a burger when you're this age, what's the point ?
The daily special (burger or hot dog or whatever) comes with a bag of chips and a can of pop and all for $2.50. Excellent value and of course you KNOW the meat has been freshly cooked as you can see it being done. Sure you can get 'better' professional fast food offers from time to time (like the current one of 2 Whoppers for $2) but for one thing you'd probably spend another $2 driving to Burger King and much as I like Whoppers, you'd never be sure when the meat was initially cooked.
In any case, it's another great opportunity to mingle with other residents, as can be seen in the photo, and so we love going there a few times a week.
The next day was the BIG game and if you go back and read my college football post, you'll know that I'm talking about Michigan v Ohio State. It was made even more special this season as both teams were 11-0 and were 1 and 2 in the standings. I'll make this brief as sadly Michigan lost so a heavy gloom settled over the trailer. I was gloomy even before the game started as back in the UK, Leeds had lost 3-0 at home and were back in the Championship relegation zone. Unbelievable for a team in the semi finals of the Champions League only a few years ago.
Sporting tears dominated the weekend as Annika failed miserably in the golf - although she doesn't really need another $1 million anyway - and Tiger lost in a playoff in far off China. England drew in cricket and lost in Rugby. Oh and The Falcons lost in the NFL just to make my weekend complete.
Medical update : Deb's blood was refused again as she'd even less iron today than on Friday. I knew I should've brought over some cans of Iron Bru. Little UK in joke there.
So that's the story of the blood and tears and I can't think of a way to include any sweat. I did go for a good walk yesterday morning and sort of worked up a little sweat but that's about it.
The thing is, it seems not many of my sporting 'heros' gave up any of the 3 either.