In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Monday, July 23, 2007

I’m a Big Square (or, Going Back Part 1)

I like to think of myself of an urbanite. I now dwell in a metropolitan area. I like being in the city. However, I still enjoy the weekends at home with my parents. Their house has become a sort of retreat center for me. I grew up 15 miles from the nearest town, and five miles from the nearest phone line. Our location is great for things like picking blueberries that grow wild on a rock ridge, or in some recent logging activity.

Of course, there is another aspect of small town life. Our town hosts a district fair. It’s not quite the county fair, but it’s a pretty big deal. During my weekend at my parents, it was the fair weekend. I haven’t been to the fair since I was in high school. The fair is something that takes a bit of commitment from everyone in the community. My father drove in his ’55 Ford Crown Victoria for display on Saturday. My parents also did square dancing demonstrations. I remember my parents doing square dancing when I was a kid. We would go to the nursing home. My parents would square dance and us kids would try to amuse ourselves. As we got a little older, we were invited to be a part of the square dancing. Now, probably more than 20 years later, I watched my parents do some more square dancing in a barn on the fair grounds.

Eventually, my parents decided that I could remember enough to join in. Of course, I wasn’t dressed like the rest of the square dancers. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. All the other men were wearing jeans and country shirts, usually matching their wives. I was probably 25 years younger than the next youngest dance (which I believe was my mother). I can remember your basic moves, like your do-si-do and your allemande left. But sometimes there was some move that I hadn’t ever heard of, or I couldn’t pull it out of my long term memory fast enough to execute the move.

The other dancers didn’t seem to mind much at all. They all asked me if I would be joining the local square dancing club. When I informed them that I didn’t like in our small town anymore, they told me that I could probably find a club in Minneapolis. I didn’t quite have the heart to say that it would probably be several more years before I attempted to try square dancing again.

After the dancing was over, my parents had signed up for a shift working at the church food booth. The booth was more of a mini-restaurant, with a very limited menu. When they got there, they discovered how short-staffed they were. I ended up volunteering for the rest of the evening. After picking blueberries all morning (in a hunched over position), I spent the afternoon hunched over a counter, taking food orders.

Whoever said that you can’t go back obviously never came from a small town. It was as if I hadn’t left. Of course, I don’t want to move back to our small town. But it was nice to visit my childhood days again (without all the awkwardness of puberty!).


Blogger LoieJ said...

Back in the day, as my kids would say in a phrase I hate, we did lots of square dancing in grade school and at a Lutheran Camp. It was really great fun. Apparently square dancing was "square" enough to be acceptable because even the Lutheran didn't allow other types of dancing in those days.

But really, what other type of dancing could you have to involve all age groups at a summer camp? My kids would probably die before they would try it, but they have no clue (as I don't about some of their activities.)

I'll be visiting my offspring, who you know, next week.

11:05 AM  

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