Last Saturday afternoon Ray put on his jeans and I put on my new square dance dress. It was time for the annual fall barn dance.
I usually borrow a dress from the hostess. She has collected–and her daughters have made–dozens through the years. They have big girl dresses and little girl dresses and dozens of crinolines. This year I was determined to have my own dress. I didn’t have time to make one, but e-Bay came to my rescue. I had to expand it a couple of inches . . . but, hey, ya’ll don’t have to know all my secrets!
Our friends who own the barn and pasture across the road are amazing examples of hospitality. They are hospitable in their home on the other side of the river–and in their barn on this side, too.
When the guests arrived, everything was perfect, as always. However, living across the road, we saw the months and months of work this family put into making the barn loft a showcase several years ago. We saw the cars parked in the front of the barn while it was cleaned and scrubbed in the days before this dance. We’ve seen our friends’ children weed eating the fence. We know a little of the sacrifice the family makes to give us an unforgettable experience each year, and we appreciate it.
The weather was perfect on that October night. We walked, making us feel even more like we were stepping back in time. Ray had packed our cheese biscuits for the potluck in a farm basket, which made us look even more like folks from yesteryear. As we got to the road, we waved at friends arriving on wheels. We passed through the open gate and when we got down the long drive to the barn, we greeted more friends who had come from an hour away. We know many of the homeschooling families who have been coming for years, but our hosts are always inviting new folks.
Now the barn dances are even more fun, because we get to see the wonder of the evening through the eyes of grandchildren.
At the barn dance, we talk and eat and watch the children play, but we also dance. Our daughter Mev and our friend Jennifer call the English country dances. Our hostess calls square and line dances. Many of the families are part of the English country dance group that has been part of our lives for many years. I love the moment each year when we stop our eating and talking and dancing to gather around the dance floor to watch the special performances by our hostess’ clogging students. Boy, their feet can fly!
At the end of the evening last Saturday, Ray and I had the privilege of walking back home in the dark — a perfect end to an evening that felt like a page from a history book.
Thank you, dear friends, for your hospitality. What a precious gift you give to your family, friends, and neighbors year after year. Thank you for helping us remember that there is more going on in the world than what we hear in the news. There is good. There are people who love God. There is wonder in the eyes of children. There are people who love their neighbors.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love;
give preference to one another in honor . . .
contributing to the needs of the saints,
Romans 12:10, 13