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31 Days of Experiencing New Things: Day 15, 16 & 17

There are new expiences you look forward to. They feel fun and adventurous. Others grab you by surprise. You couldn’t have planned them if you tried. And if you’re really lucky, you get a little of both in the same experience! That was Day 16, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

On Day 15 of Experiencing New Things, I was mired in the usual work day, spending most of it at my desk, meeting deadlines. I really thought I’d be without a new experience to report, but then, the skies grew dark, thunder boomed, and torrents of rain fell hard. It had been pretty toasty all day, and the sight of that thick sheet of rain called to me. I ran outside in my shorts and t-shirt, and let the rain just soak me through as I danced to the distant thunder and searched the skies for lightening.

Then, another new experience! The sudden downpour had created rivers of water in the street gutters, graceful, fast and

Me as Wet Rat in from the Rain

thick. So I jumped in! With both feet. And I almost gasped. While the rain was cool and refreshing, the water swirling around my feet was deliciously warm, warmer than bath water. Now, this may come as no surprise to other New Yorkers who are used to rain storms in the heat of summer, but for me, it took me a half-second to “get” it.

The hot streets, having broiled in the summer sun all day, had immediately cooked up the temperature of the rain water the second it hit the ground, and the more that water washed through the steets, the hotter it had become.

I came back into the house, happy and drenched to the bone, and in full appreciation for this 31 Daysof Experiencing New Things project. Because if I hadn’t been on the lookout for a new experience, I would have watched the thunderstorm from my window, then gone back to work. But when I saw that rain, I knew. Another  opportunity to experience something new had been delivered to my door.

On Saturday, Day 16, the act of buying coffee was transformed into yet another delightful, spontaneus, surprising event. On my way back from the Kingston Farmer’s Market, I stopped at Monkey Joe’s, one of Kingston’s famous coffee houses. My bon vivant likes a certain coffee there, so I thought I’d pick up a pound. Besides, it would give me a chance to put up a poster announcing my upcoming gig on July 29 at Savona’s.

The place was fairly empty (everyone at the Farmer’s’ Market, most likely). A good-looking gentleman in a Monkey Joe’s t-shirt was carrying large plastic dispensers of coffee beans from the back of the store to the display in front. I asked him, “Is it okay if I post this in your window,” handing him my poster. He looked at it, then at me, and asked, “Is that you?” pointing to the photo in the poster. A ligitimate question given the fact I was all diva-dolled up in the poster, while at that present moment, I looked like… well, me.

“Yep, that’s me!”

“Oh, yeah, okay, sure” he said. “Do you sing?” And that started a conversation about music. Seems he sings, too. AND writes songs. Lots of them. He even performs them from time to time with a guitar-playing buddy of his. Turns out I was talking to Gabe, who owns Monkey Joe’s. And to make a long story short, he ended up bringing out his guitar from the back room, sat at a table and sang 5-6 of his original songs. At one point, his adorable wife joined in to sing back-up. I was being treated to my very own Saturday morning concert!

And you know what? His songs are good! Great lyrics, — smart, snappy and full of story, and the songs were catchy, melodic, and diverse. Since serveral of his tunes could easily be rearranged as a jazz tune, I may get to cover 1-2 of his tunes at my September gig.

The rest of the day was full of new experiences as well. Before going to a concert — Art of the Duo with Maryanne deProphetis, vocals, and Frank Kimbrough, piano — at the New Music Salon at Beahive in Kingston, I had a glass of Pinot Grigio and a scallop appetizer at a new uptown Kingston restaurant, called Boiston’s. A small place with a good-sized bar and a partially open kitchen (which is always fun, to watch chefs cook) this restaurant has an upscale, classy feel without any attitude. It felt like walking into one of  San Francsico’s newer, trendier restaurants near the Castro or even downtown. I was right at home!

Jackie: singer, spitfire, eater of fried chicken

At the bar, I met a charming, ebullient 11-year old girl named Jackie who was sitting between her parents. She told me the fried chicken she was eating was the best she’d ever had. And I have to admit, it looked really good. Then, she told me she was a singer too, and, in fact she was going to music camp next week. She was adorable, so full joy and energy. I felt entertained and blessed to have met her… and her parents, who obviously had their hands full with such a spit-fire girl!

Yesterday, Day 17, I did something decadant, nourishing and healing. I got up, called the Emerson Resort and booked a massage. I knew about the Emerson because I used to try to sell advertising to them for New York House, and while I’d seen the resort, which is gorgeous, I’d never used their spa… which is also gorgeous. I had a wonderful massage from Jodi (ask for her if you go there! She’s great!), a bit of a steam, and then floated home. Even though it’s pricy there, when you book any service, like a massage or facial, you have full use of the spa facilities, like the steam room, sauna, hot tub, as well as the workout facilities. And the atmosphere is lovely. It’s worth taking a break and taking some time there.

Onward to yet more new experiences!

2 comments to 31 Days of Experiencing New Things: Day 15, 16 & 17

  • Ann e.King

    I think you had the same fun in a different way with those downpours. I’m glad they held together till they got to you.

    On Day 15, I finally hung pictures, fixed a couple of lamps and put the remaining finishing touches on my house. My neighbor, Jenny, had moved in next door at the same time that the pipe had burst in my house in January. I’d told her that I’d get her over for the ten-cent tour as soon as I had everything put back together.

    So, in the afternoon, once everything was in place and sufficiently clean, I headed out to the back fence and called over to Jenny to come take a look. Jenny’s in her late 20s and very different from me so I was surprised at her ooohs and ahhhs over my interior design. The unexpected delight was the joy that I felt just sharing the house with someone new. Now, I can’t wait to have more people come to visit.

    Day 16 was glorious. The weather was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky, when I headed forty minutes north of here for beautiful Door County, Wisconsin with my sister Linda and sister-in-law Patti. Patti was nearly finished with her own construction project ~ adding a second floor to their cottage. We did some work around the house ~ hanging pictures and rearranging furniture ~ but we also took some time to lounge in the water. At Patti’s insistence, I grabbed a floatie from the shed and laid on my belly with my face in the leg hole opening to watch the aquatic life. It was like a little glass bottom boat without the glass. I was amazed at how clear everything looked. The sun illuminated the colors to the point of brilliance. There was detail in the seaweed and plant life that you could never see while you were standing or even sitting in the water. I hoped that a minnow would swim by but I couldn’t stay still enough in the water.

    When I got home and told my daughter about my new experience, she told me that the kids had been doing that for years. Well, it was still new for me!

    Yesterday, Day 17, the world kept feeding me a super-size portion of irritation. How could I wake up feeling like that when the day before had been so glorious?! By days end, I knew I had to shake things up. I wasn’t even thinking of new experiences. I just wanted to get away to somewhere, anywhere that wouldn’t be here.

    I got in the car and drove. I thought, “Okay, just lead me somewhere where it’s nice and maybe I can get out and walk for awhile.” When I found myself turning on familiar streets, I just rolled my eyes. More irritation. But, I kept driving and ended up not too far from my house in a subdivision that I didn’t even know existed. I turned the corner and parked as soon as I saw the entrance markers.

    The neighborhood was nice. Pristine lawns, well-kept houses that were large but not huge, and a few pretty gardens that enhanced the landscapes. I got out and started walking.

    It was really quiet. Sunday evening and no one was around. I was pretty much moving in unplanned directions, not knowing where these streets would take me and not caring either. As I turned west, the houses and yards began to get bigger and more opulent. I became aware of the prosperity and abundance that lived just a few short miles from my house. Now I was really enjoying this walk, checking out all the architectural eye-candy that the neighborhood offered. When I reached the top of a hill and headed north, I was blown away by the house in the middle of that block. It wasn’t a house. It was a castle ~ three spires on the roof and everything.

    By the time I got back to my car, I had worked up a sweat, relieved the irritation and drank in some sweet possibilities. And I’d found a new place to walk. The magic of the whole experience was way too much.

    I think something else that’s new and exciting is about to happen!

  • […] was Day 30, and it, too, was full of new experiences. Remember Gabe from Monkey Joe’s? He was part of my new experience on Day 16? Well, on Saturday morning, he and his longtime musical […]

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