Adventures with Katie Gard
Lately I've been getting invitations from my dear friend Katie Gard to hang out with her during her spuratic trips to the Twin Cities. Usually her reason for being down here has something to do with her sisters, Jennifer and Susie, but sometimes she gets these grad ideas of an adventure we can embark on. These adventures have revolved around food and dancing! We went to Whole Foods, specialty bakeries in the Cities and Noodles & Company. (One of my favorite fast-ish food places!) The dancing was fantastic! More-so the second time than the first. The first time, Katie had an inch to go salsa dancing since she had recently learned the steps. Katie has a lot of style when she dances so it was fun to watch her!
We decided to go to a Latino dance/bar near the U of M. We thought there would be more authentic dancers, but most of the people there did it for more...social reasons...and we witnessed this firsthand. There were two guys who occupied us for most of the night. They wanted to dance close as they practiced their English. We tried to be kind but as it came closer to the time for us to leave, we had to give them an ultimatum; only one more dance! haha They kept begging us to stay but we left. It was a learning experience, indeed.
Our second time around was absolutely magical! We went to Tapestry Folkdance Center in Minneapolis for swing dance lessons and a free dance afterwords. Katie's sister Jennifer joined us, which was a treat! We learned the lindy style of swing. It's more fluid than East coast style. The guys basically do everything and we follow. I finally learned to follow! It's a big step for me not to calculate in my head where the lead may be taking me. I thought that was my duty, but I've found that it's more trouble for the lead when followers do that. And it's more fun as a follow just to be swung around and around till you get dizzy! This happened quite a lot, actually. Many times we found that some partners were all about the spins and almost completely forgot the basic steps. There were a variety of people. Many of them our age! Everyone was asking everyone to dance! It was a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Most of the guys would dance with you once and then move on, but they were very kind gentlemen.
One in particular, an older Asian gentleman, shared his philosophy of dancing with me...He asked me: "How many feet do you have? How many hands? Two, right? Well, there's only so many ways you can move them, so you don't need lessons to know how to dance. Just move!" He was such a gentle lead. I felt like I was gliding across the floor by Fred Astaire himself! Not surprisingly, Astaire is one of the people this gentleman 'learned' from. :)
I can see how in previous societies, like Jane Austen's, that dancing was an acceptable way to find someone to marry. While dancing, you find out pretty quickly how compatible you are physically and conversationally. And swing is fun enough that it won't get too serious if you don't want to. This was the perfect environment to meet some quality people. Thanks Katie for the fabulous adventure! Hope to have more soon :)
I can't wait to go back to Tapestry. Hopefully I can bring my swing-dancing friend, Matt Kroll with me ;)
Rachael Wittern (now Green)'s Wedding
On June 26th, my friend Rachael Wittern was married in a lovely ceremony to Aaron Green. I had never met the groom, but since he had survived Rach for a few years, I guess he could handle her ;) No, no, in all seriousness, when I observed them together I could tell that they enjoyed each others' silliness, but, more importantly, she seems to genuinely respect and care for him. They seem perfect for each other in that they want to take the journey God has planned for them together. The ceremony was beautiful because it was personal and family oriented. The ring was bared in a locked case by a secret agent wearing shades! Hilarious! The reception hall was decorated with Rachael's favorite animal, the frog :) I was so thankful to be there to celebrate with her and her family.
After we saw the bride and groom off, I spent some quality time at a cabin with Jen Marks, Meg Griwac and Katie Gard. Monica Filman needed to head home, otherwise she might have stayed with us. We were able to just hang out and catch up on each others' lives. We asked silly and hard questions while the rain pounded down outside. We were cozy, and very tired. It had been a long week for them preparing for the wedding, so they had earned a good rest. The time we had together was such a blessing.
Camping with Ruth and Sam
Ruth, Sam and I planned a little get together for the 4th of July weekend. We camped in Guthrie Center, Iowa at Springbrook. Our campsite was by the creek, among trees and had plenty of room for all of us to park our cars. We successfully set up our own tent and built a few fires! I brought my new little brill to grill some hot dogs and buns. We also had a fire pit where we roasted marshmallows and threw in little smoke bombs to celebrate our country's birth. Sparklers were our favorite way to celebrate! We put them in our empty bottles to make them look like lamps haha! I had my first experience catching lightning bugs/ fireflies! I had never seen so many in my life. They were enchantingly beautiful bobbing around the creek...On our little hike we picked up some snails whom we named and created soap opera-type scenarios as to how they all were related :) That was our perfect first day...
We awoke to rain, rain and more rain...so we took the hour drive to Des Moines and the Jordan Creek Mall. It was more fun to be dry in there than to be soaked outside. We explored creative shops like Teavanna, toy stores and the huge Sheills with two-story tree inside. So you could argue that we got some outdoors experience there :)
Since the rain had not stopped by the time we returned and there was a strong chance of a storm coming, we packed up our campsite and checked into a nearby motel. The woman at the desk was, at first, very suspicious of us. She grilled us with some questions about how old we were and such, but when I told her that we had come from the campsite and didn't want to get caught in the storm, her attitude lightened considerably! She gave us the room closest to where we had parked. We felt bad about bringing all our muddy things into the room but we found something that no one expected...a pair of socks that had been kicked off in the night by the previous sleeper...EWWWWW! So that was the bed we set up the tent on. Didn't feel guilty at all for doing that. We just hope the owners would change the sheets then! We slept in our sleeping bags on the other bed. We played Nertz till we passed out. The next morning we had breakfast outside on my picnic blanket. Since Ruth had announced her move to Colorado, it was a sad parting for us...but not without the hope of a visits in the future.
Those are my adventures so far, but more are sure to come! I'm still actively looking for a job. Just need to figure out where the Lord is leading me.
Coming Up: My Movie Review Special!
Blessings to you all,