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31 Days of Experiencing New Things: Day 26, 27 & 28

Yesterday was Day 28 of this crazy 31 Day project of Experiencing New Things. And it was also gig day

Singing at Savona's

for me. The Boys and I performed at Savona’s Trattoria in Kingston, our regular monthly gig, and it was a great night for us. Lots of people showed up (which wasn’t the case last month) and the energy was high (as was the noise level) and the music flowed like Malbec wine.

What was the new experience of the evening? Well, two things. One was getting to meet Sari, another transplanted Californian who moved to Kingston just 90 days ago to be with her true love. Geez, when are we women going to learn to stop moving cross country for love? This is ridiculous!

I’d talked with Sari briefly by phone the evening before when my bon vivant Mark called me from the Kingston Digital Corridor Happier Hour at Keegan Ales and said, “You need to meet this woman! She just moved from Northern California and just like you, she misses all her friends!” Mark had just met Sari at Keegan’s, and after hearing a bit of her story and seeing the way she frowned and pouted out her lower lip when he mentioned the fact I loved New York but really missed my friends back in California, he called me on his cell and handed the phone to Sari. We talked a bit, in that awkward, I-don’t-really-know-you way for a few minutes, about California, about Whole Foods, about adjusting to a strange new place, and then I invited her to come to the gig the following night.

And she came! With her lover man, Brad. And it was such a joy to meet her in person! She’s as sunny as… California on a summer day. Beautiful, expressive, sensitive and full of life. We hit it off immediately, and now we have plans to become good friends!

My other new experience was eating Salmon Limoncello at Savona’s. I’d never tried it before, though it’s been on the menu forever. OH MY GOD! It was so delicious. Perfectly cooked, it melted in my mouth. And I ate the whole thing! Plus the pile of broccoli rabe sauteed in garlic. Very yummy, and the perfect end to a great evening.

On Day 27, the day before yesterday, I was reading a post by Rebecca Martin on the Kingston Citizens blog about the Mt. Zion African Burial Ground in Kingston. I quickly looked on a Google map to see where it was, thinking that if it were close enough, I could walk there. New adventure! But it was too far to go. But as I looked at the map, I noticed that Wiltwyck Cemetery was closer, and I’d never been there before. Ah, ha!

I guess I’ve got a thing for cemeteries. I find them fascinating and often beautiful. The way people honor their dead loved ones is so revealing, so personal yet so public. And they hint at the history of the city: the names, the families, the people who came here centuries ago. I find myself wondering, as I read certain headstones, who were these people? So, on Wednesday, before the day got too hot, I walked to Wiltwyck Cemetery.

This is one big, beautiful cemetery! I thought Montrepose Cemetery in Kingston was huge, but Wiltwyck could be even larger. It’s certainly more dense with mounuments and statues and headstones, and harder to navigate. I felt lost in it, and I was almost unable to find my way out once I got deep inside.

Here’s an odd thing. As I was writing this post, I got curious as to the history of Wiltwyck Cemetery, so I googled it. I found next to nothing on its history, but what I did discover is that the name of the cemetery seems to have two spellings: Wiltnyck OR Wiltwyck. Whaa??? How could that be?

On Day 26, I didn’t have a new experience. I didn’t. It was just a day of working here in my office, getting ready for the gig at Savona’s, doing some cooking. A lovely quiet day.

Only three more days of this 31 Days of Exeriencing New Things! BUT… I have a new 31 Day idea for August. I’m pretty excited about it. I’ll tell you soon!

1 comment to 31 Days of Experiencing New Things: Day 26, 27 & 28

  • Ann e.King

    One of these days, Alice, I’m gonna make it to Savona’s. And won’t that be a new experience for both of us!

    But in the the meantime I’ll continue to have new experiences right here in my own back yard. Literally. On Day 26, I was feeling a little all over the place. I knew there was angst but I just couldn’t pin it down. So I just decided that I needed to let go and be delivered to the best place for me to be at any given time. While my brain was telling me to work in the office, something else was telling me to get to the garden. On such a stunningly beautiful day, I didn’t fight the urge to be outside.

    I have seven small gardens around my house but I walked right out to one in front of my house, which is overgrown and messy, and with spade in hand, I started digging. I didn’t play real long out there, maybe an hour, but by the time I was done, I had a new hosta garden planted under the pine trees in the back yard ~ something I’ve wanted for the past couple of years.

    Nature brought me my new experiences on Day 27 and Day 28. I was laying in the hammock on Wednesday evening, just chillin’, watching the trees dance and listening to the sounds of the neighborhood, when movement under the pine trees caught my eyes. I sat up and watched a baby squirrel chase a baby bunny back and forth between the trees until the bunny skipped through the chain link fence. The baby squirrel was intent on getting the bunny off his property but it was cute as hell to watch.

    I know that it’s difficult to conjure up something really new on some days, and then there are days when the new stuff just pours out on you. That was yesterday for me. Four different new experiences.

    Under gorgeous blue skies, I tucked myself into the hammock under the shade trees in the morning and started to work using my daughter’s laptop (1). The project was an inspirational short film (2) that I produced in iMovie. While I was diligently focused on the work at hand, a sparrow landed on the hammock about two feet from my feet. And it stayed for awhile! (3) It hopped from one spot to the next, pecked at the ropes, looked at me, pecked again and hopped some more. I spoke softly to it and moved my arm but it didn’t fly away. It felt like that little bird knew that it was safe to hang out with me.

    In the evening, I headed across town to visit my sister who has been housebound due to her recent foot surgery. She asked me to take her for a ride in the car so I loaded her up in her van, and with no clear idea where to go, I let the car drive me. We drove south and east of town in rural farmland on rolling hills that neither of us knew was there (4). Fields of tall corn, soybeans, alfalfa and wildflowers dotted the landscape. The highway was empty except for our car so I drove at 30mph and rolled down the windows so we could take in all the sights and smells. Unfortunately, the timing was a little off with that decision because we were passing a farm that was right next to the road and the smell of fresh manure was thick. A little farther down the road, a pair of sandhill cranes flew in front of us across a corn field and under the sunset-painted clouds.

    It was so much fun to come to a road and turn on it and see where it took us. It’s amazing that this beautiful landscape is so close and we didn’t even know it.

    Even though there’s only three days left to this official experience, I have a feeling that I’ll be noticing all things new in every day beyond Day 31.

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