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Even the moon acted like Friday night was Magic. — Photo by Shanna Lee

 Shanna and Dawn, my granddaughter and her wife, threw an 83rd birthday bash for me Friday night. I had a blast.

I laughed a lot, drank just a bit too much, played pool and near the end even had one dance. It was magic.

 When I was young, I had loved to dance. But one night, the man I was dancing with told me I was a horrible dancer and had proved it by (I now suspect) maneuvering me so I stepped on his feet.

I stopped dancing for the next twenty years,

It was not until 1983 — when I found myself footloose and single in a small Idaho town, and friends with three women who liked to party on Wednesday nights after work, that I began dancing again.

At first, I would turn down invitations to dance. But one night, perhaps after a drink too many, I accepted.  My partner told me that I was a good dancer. I thought he was lying, but I didn’t turn down offers to dance after that. Amazingly his compliment was repeated a few times again by other partners.

For the next two years while I lived in Twin Falls, and for quite a few years after that, I danced at every opportunity that came my way. My favorite was the country western swing with a six-foot-two guy who was just a friend. Our favorite move was something we called the Octopus.

 But until Friday night I hadn’t danced in at least 20 years. The body reacted as if I had just danced the day before, and brought with it a flood of dazzling memories. It also felt good to have a man’s arms around me once again. I guess this old broad still has a bit of life in her yet.

Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Blue-footed booby. The male is on the left. Note the smaller appearing pupil. -- Photo courtesy Wikipedia

 “Work like you don’t need the money, love like your heart has never been broken, and dance like no one is watching.” — Aurora Greenway

Journeys

The large white and brown bird with the blue feet didn’t recognize my right to the hiking path. Its Galapagos Island home, where man has not yet imposed his predatory nature, let it assume it was my equal.

I stopped about a foot away and was quickly mesmerized as the two of us, human and bird, stared eye-to-eye. Since the pupils in its pale yellow eyes appeared smaller than that of the bird sitting on two eggs beside the path, I knew I was being confronted by a male booby.

Without taking its eyes from me, the booby blocking my path lifted his bright blue right foot. He gave me a quizzical look, then lifted his blue left foot and then his right foot again. Finally I lifted my tennis-shoe clad right food in reply.

A blue-footed booby, looking as if he was searching for a Dr. Seuss book in which to be a star.

 For the next couple of minutes, he and I did a Hokey Pokey. It probably was the same dance he used in courting his mate.  Our comedic interlude with music playing only in our heads might have gone on longer if it hadn’t been  interrupted by our group’s tour guide, who chaperoned us to keep the Galapagos wildlife safe.

“Don’t tease the bird,” he said when he saw me.

“I’m not,” I replied. “The booby invited me to dance with him.”

At the guide’s disbelieving frown, I moved on down the trail. When I turned back around for one last look at my dancing partner, he raised a blue foot as if saying good-bye.

Such unexpected moments are what travel is all about.

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