Yesterday Avdi and I spent a beautiful fall day together.
First, he introduced me to the arcane (for lack of a better term) world of DND tabletop strategy, role-play, miniatures, and collectible card gaming. We toured the room, and he even bought me my first pretty dice bag and assorted dice! I have no clue! But shiny! As we walked to Avdi’s, he explained the tabletop gaming world to me, as a way for young adults to continue to enjoy mature pretend play in a safe social environment with boundaries.
Next we went to The Annex café for coffee drinks, croissants, and getting some work done out on the patio. That is, Avdi worked and I just kibitzed and fed sparrows. While at it, he started the process of getting me on his phone plan with a new phone (mine sucks). Also, he bought us tickets to the Justice and Liberty for Abortion event to benefit the Missouri Abortion Fund, organized by national abortion rights activists, including the female rabbi of Avdi’s congregation. My first official activist event in STL!
Then we got to participate in his synagogue’s Rosh Hashanah Tashlich ceremony, held in a park at a pond. There was a circle of people and a guitar. Instead of the traditional bread, to avoid polluting, we threw stuff from the ground into the pond, symbolizing personal concerns and issues we wanted to ask others’ forgiveness for or remove from our lives. Avdi and I took turns doing ours; then we just had fun with skipping rocks and throwing stuff! A guy blew an awesome shofar really well. He even threw in a kid’s tune request! I love that this group is like a bunch of old diverse hippies with a sense of humor and social justice activism, not a bunch of stuffy pretentious snobs!
Next we continued the park theme, walking in the beautiful old Forest Park along paths through prairie native plantings (asters, goldenrod, heliopsis?, etc) along a river with stately old bald cypress and sycamore trees. We saw a huge white heron or egret by the water. There are turtles and frogs. It was hard to believe this park is right inside St. Louis, in sight of the city skyline, like a mini-Central Park.
Finally, we drove home to Avdi’s, had drinks (my first negroni) and hot dogs on the patio, and later watched (for my sake) the first episode of the series The Expanse. I have a whole long backlog of shows and movies I’m behind in or never got to watch, so we’re remedying that, one at a time!
That was a lot of firsts! I’m just trying to make up for lost time and soak it all in. It really is a second lease on life while I still have some left, so I’m saying yes to as many experiences as possible. Who needs an unrealistic bucket list, when there are so many opportunities right in my new neighborhood, starting with my own family and friends. It gives new meaning to the RH hope for a better new year.