Just Dance

Children do it instinctively. Babies do it, even in the womb. Young lovers look into each other’s eyes and already know how to move together, while septuagenarians will shed arthritic knees and aching backs to glide out on the floor without thinking. But it’s hard for a lot of the rest of us Grownups to just get out there and dance. It’s been a part of every culture around the world forever; maybe we’re just out of practice.

Me, age 4. Took 50+ years to learn moves again. Photo by my dad.

I have just finished floating about the Caribbean on a giant ship,  with no Internet, so no travel blogs until now. Besides which I have been too busy dancing, sometimes to a DJ in a club, occasionally with a group or at a lesson, and the rest of the time just in my head.

This is a revelation to me because from the time I was an adolescent to just a few years ago, I gave up dancing. Like many people, I was just too self-conscious that even having taken lessons, I couldn’t “do it” right. Then I took up Zumba after I stopped working full-time: problem solved.

Regular readers and friends know that I play a bit of pickleball, which is a cult, as we are well aware. Pickleball players talk about it all the time, but the folks in my Zumba classes do it just as often and enthusiastically. We have our favorite teachers and get there early for their sessions; we miss them when we’re on vacation. And once you start, you don’t want to stop.

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Unwinding The Turban

This is an older post, but with little Internet on my trip, I still think this is relevant. Find Your Tribe, whether it’s Sikhs, Olivia cruisers, writers, lesbians, historians, tax practitioners, accountants, or all of the above–whatever floats your boat.

I watched a young man unwind his turban a few days (now years) ago, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind, even while cruising around in a boat full of lesbians.

These are opposite ends of a spectrum yet so clearly related in my mind. Diversity is on the rise in America and worldwide, yet increasingly under attack. More than ever, we must seek to understand those who are different and accept those differences just as we share and experience our own.

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The Pierogi Mystique

Christmas pierogi at the kajmeister house.

My grandmother’s handwriting is still on the recipe, which we urged her to write down, before she passed away in 1978. It was written the way that grandmothers write recipes, without precision or exact steps, with unique spelling. She wasn’t a particularly great cook, according to my mother. Although perhaps that was about more about relationships between mother and mother-in-law than about food. I do remember finding her borscht disgusting, although what five-year-old likes beet soup with sour cream? We did, however, fight over her pierogis. More on that shortly.

The secret Chmaj recipe. Photo by kajmeister.

My brother gave me pierogi-making tools last Christmas, but we couldn’t fit in time to make them. They are a time-consuming task, as I imagine making tamales, won tons, or empanadas might be. I decided to make them this year on Christmas then enlisted the elves when it was taking more time than our stomachs could bear. When I posted a photo on Facebook, there were questions and comments, and my reply got so long, I thought: Ok, just do a blog. So here you go.

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