Starry Nights & Serendipity

The Embrace Kitchen Dancing event wasn't quite what we expected (it wasn't promoted very well & the respective websites--venue & talent--had very little information, so I ended up calling them because I had no idea if there was a cover charge, etc. and couldn't determine it on 2 websites and 2 Facebook pages! Yeesh.) so we ended up not dancing, as we'd be the only couple out there with the professionals. Between us, hubs and I have 4 left feet! ha (Yes, I LOVE to dance, but I never took a dance lesson until I was nearly 40. Didn't discover belly dance until I was 45...) We did, however, talk to the instructors and we plan to take private lessons from them--probably beginning in September (our 23rd wedding anniversary--28 years of being together) or October because of all the travel we'll be doing until then.

As luck would have it, two avid bicyclists rode in and table space was limited so they asked if they could take the 2 empty seats at our table. We readily agreed and the women were fun and friendly! It turns out, one of them is a massage therapist and uses an integrative approach that I've studied on a little bit and didn't think anyone local did that type of work. It's something between a sports massage with a lot of stretching (I did this my last few years of running because I was not ready to hang up my running shoes. I'm still devastated by not being able to run, but I know that walking is doing my body more favors.) and deep tissue and relaxing massage. The ladies also encouraged me to go out and bike!

I've been in the arts community pretty much ever since I moved back to Illinois, so I'm friends with a lot of musicians, artists, writers, dancers, etc. I used to co-run an open mic on the riverfront with two of my poet friends and we invited everyone to perform. It's actually how we met Troy and how hubs got into magic! Anyway, one of the musicians last night was an old friend--Preston Jackson. He's a true renaissance man--he is a renowned artist, sculptor, jazz & blues guitarist, yogi and tai chi expert. I've taken tai chi from him before and it was at his studio and art center where we held the open mic. It was fun to catch up with him, too.

We left the jazz & dance event (the instructors made it look soooo effortless and beautiful!) so we could go to the Heart of Illinois Fair to see our friend Michael perform in a magic show. Hubs will be performing on Saturday. We also met up with Troy and his girlfriend & daughter. Hubs is like an uncle to her, and she is sort of our surrogate grandchild! lol We were at a side magic show, but it was clearly designed for very young children and was largely educational and Madalyn is almost 11, so she was bored. Hubs suggested we take her & walk around the fairgrounds. Her eyes lit up when she saw the rides, and it was hubs's suggestion to go on one. He won't--the only rides he's ever been on to my knowledge are the scrambler and the spinning tea cups! ha My daughter has never liked rides, or speed for that matter. I love rides--the faster and scarier, the better! lol But, since that isn't my family's thing, I haven't been on any rides in about 25 years. I went on a whirly gig type ride with Madalyn and had a blast!! There might be photographic evidence of my 'look ma, no hands' pose--I'll update this entry later if he did snap a good photo.

Last night was literally the most fun we've had since before Covid! The night was clear, starry and amazing and we just didn't want it to end. So, after we saw the magic, walked around, rode the ride and said our goodbyes to Troy & his family, the band started up on the the grand stage, so we hung out and listened. Ironically, they were a local country band, so I got a taste of what I'll be listening to in the next few weeks! All of them were excellent musicians. As a bonus, they had a fireworks show just behind the stage at about 9:15. We left the fair, and still didn't want the night to end. We stopped at this little hole-in-the-wall for a drink on our way home, about midway between Peoria and Bellevue. You know how you stop into a diner or tavern in a small town, and everyone looks at you sideways with that 'you ain't from these parts, are ya' stare? This place was friendly! The patrons and staff alike. They had the All-Star game on the television. I used to be a HUGE baseball fan but it hasn't been the same for me since the big strike of 1997 and I don't really follow it anymore. I felt the excitement and nostalgia last night and was happy to see the AL win! My favorite baseball player of all-time was White Sox catcher, Carlton Fisk. I still consider myself foremost a Cardinals fan, but my dream World Series would be Cards v. White Sox and I'd have a tough time choosing a side!

Anyway, we didn't get home until midnight. That's awfully late for two old fogies on a school night! haha But, what a wonderful night filled with magic, stars, adrenaline, nostalgia, dance, music, adult beverages, fun & fireworks! I'm still glowing and I got the best night's sleep last night after all the excitement--I only woke up once that I can remember! And, I've already booked my first session with the massage therapist I met last night. Oh--one more little piece of serendipity to add to my story. Across from the magician's booth was a booth with hair pretties & fascinators. I keep my hair fairly long (though I might get a few inches chopped off on Friday--I'm looking for something a little edgier with maybe a light fringe of bangs) and even though lupus has robbed me of about 1/3 of my hair, it's still pretty thick. (If not for the Latina hair, I'd be noticeably bald in places.) I have the toughest time wearing barrettes that can actually hold my hair back off of my face, and they had a great assortment. $25 a pop though. Yikes. I may get one of them, however, because it would be perfect for belly dance. I've been putting my hair up in a half pony so that it's off my face but my hair is still loose in the back (there are a lot of moves using your hair as a prop in belly dance), and this would make an excellent alternative to that.

I think I've caught you up now. A lot happened in just a day! 


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