Monday, October 15, 2012

Me day

I haven't had a Me Day for a long time. So yesterday I declared one for myself.

A Me Day is a day I set aside to have a little adventure and try something new, by myself and just for me. The glow I have at the end of a Me Day day is worth it and lasts quite some time. Well, until the itch comes again.

Starting with the Ojiketa Art Blitz (the second annual) in nearby Chisago City at 10:30 (yes, I even skipped church), I was one of the first hundred attendees and therefore received two wine glasses and a great burlap bag, which was the real reason for being there at 10:30 and skipping church. I have two glasses from last year's festival so it's, by default, the start of a collection.

My good friend, Barb, was there displaying and selling her exquisite gemstone art.

It was a cool, brisk morning for walking around the park, a former Camp Fire Girls summer camp, but a great place to greet familiar faces along the paths in the crunchy leaves to the various cabins where art was displayed. The hot cider took the chill off the body while the friendly atmosphere warmed the spirit.

The sun came out as I drove into the cities to the Mall of America. It's my annual visit to the MOA to the American Girl store for Christmas gifts for my two little girls, ages 5 and 6. As toddlers, I bought them Bitty Baby; so each year I buy them accessories. Since they both started kindergarden this fall, I bought them a Bitty Baby backpack and rolling suitcase, a fleece coat, mittens and pink beret for the coming season. Checked that off my list.

Strolled along the Mall with no other purpose, enjoying the store displays and stopping to watch the cake decorating contest. Picked up a few tips for frosting a cake and decided I must have a pedestal turntable and a cloth pastry bag for best results.

Mid-afternoon hunger set in, so off to Nordstrom to the top floor for lunch. My mother and I used to have lunch there when we were at the Mall together and it has fond memories. The bleu cheese, pear and candied walnut salad was wonderful, but I was conscious of the empty chair across from mine and held an imaginary conversation with Mom.

On the way out of the Mall, I was tempted by the cosmetics counter and all the beautiful fragrances. Years ago, I wore a fragrance by Estee Lauder called Aliage.  I hadn't thought of it in over twenty years, but asked if it was still available. The first salesperson said, no, sorry, it had been discontinued. Another salesperson said, oh, no it hadn't and she had some in a drawer behind the counter. Apparently, it's not in high demand.

As I sampled it on my wrist, a flood of memories came back of my first real job in my professional career, wearing Jones of New York suits and expensive shoes. Truth be told, I probably couldn't afford either, but Aliage brought it all back, reminding me that I was once 40 and somebody.

That did it. I had to have it. Wasn't this a Me Day, after all?

I left the MOA, smelling very good, I might add.  Now headed to the Danish American Center for my first visit to their Reading Circle. I had dutifully read Per Petterson's book, I Curse the River of Time, and was prepared for a good discussion.

The group didn't disappoint. Far exceeding my expectations, there were fifteen women and two men gathered for what turned out to be a most enlightening review of a good book and background of the author with his unique writing style. I was glad I came.

Again I thought of my mother, who I try to model by jumping in and trying something new, for better or worse, whether it be a successful venture or a total flop. This one was the former and I intend to return. A cup of good Danish coffee and a slice of American apple pie topped off the discussion, allowing me the opportunity of visiting with some of the people there.

As usual, a glow went home with me, the sun starting to set but still illuminating the reds, golds and oranges of this beautiful Minnesota autumn.

You've never had a Me Day?  What are you waiting for?