The weather report Friday night had ran in the wee morning hours, stopping by morning, and resuming at around 8:00 PM-perfect for our outdoor square dance; but it was not to be. The morning weather had rain starting around 4:00-just at the start of our festivities....but we were not to be discouraged.
With many people gathered by 3:30 we prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Then just as we started to set up, the rain started.
But we had plans for every contingency. Quickly, the young men followed Mrs. Curley's directions to clear the den (which has been operating as a temporary bedroom for daughters while my aunt is visiting) and to clear the living room/dining room area of major furniture and line the walls with chairs and benches. With that done, some games were started in the den, and we had the square dance-one square (or group) at a time in the living room/dining room area with many onlookers. It was tight quarters so I cautioned everyone (especially the young gentlemen) to be especially gentle in their swinging. I'd call a couple dances and then the couples would switch out with others. Surprisingly it worked wonderfully. We were very worried about bad weather because our place is pretty small. By the end of the day some 70 souls had been in and out.
The dances (not in this order-due to the weather situation:
1. “Gal from Arkansas”- Orange Blossom Special
2. “Patty Cake Polka”- Buffalo Gals
3. “Take a Peek”- Cannonball Rag
4. “Shoot the Owl”- Avalanche
5. “Couple Dance” Sailing to Hawaii
6. “Texas Star”- One Dime Blues
7. “Red River Valley” – Red River Valley
8. “Virginia Reel” – Irish Washerwoman
9. “Wabash Cannonball” – Wabash Cannonball
After dinner, the weather had cleared so we held the Virginia Reel with one group of about 20+ couples. (I stopped calling for a moment to sashay and reel with Mrs. Curley.) Later we had a few more dances outside and then some boys built a fire.
It was a great day-I think most had fun. I didn't get to do much visiting with friends, cause I was busy calling the dances, but still I got the feeling it was success.
But what really made it a success was that it was a family gathering. Folks of all ages from a baby not even 6 months old to several men and women of much wisdom and experience (i.e. older than I). This was not a gathering or a dance exclusively for the teens (although that had been one of the original motivations), it was a family event. Sure, more of the dancing was done by the younger folks, but many joined in throughout the day. Families prayed together, danced, ate, and (hopefully) had fun. Yes, friends of like ages separated a bit and talked and played games with each other, as did the adults, but we came together at times too.
As a child and as a teen, it is good to see your parents interact with their friends and with your friends. As a parent, it is good to see your children interact with their friends and with your friends. Both sometimes see each other in new lights.
We are fortunate to have the opportunity for gatherings like this with good people fairly frequently-this weekend was not unique-only the particulars were unique.
A lot of people made Saturday a success-God bless them!
Oremus pro invicem!