(Original photo stolen from JAM1978 on Flickr)
We take so much for granted these days. It's easy to think of the obvious -- television, Tivo, computers, even electricity. But what about how to spend your occasional unfettered Saturday nights? We THINK we could get along with a strong candle and a good book, but really? Could we do without a Miles Davis or Grateful Dead disc playing in the background while we read? Or a scented pomegranate candle, maybe? And who among us would be jonesing for a Starbucks coffee or (like Yours Truly) a big balloon of Trader Joe's Two-Buck Chuck diesel red?
Now read this account, and ask yourself if you really long for those days of simpler pleasures. You still may.
The first winter we were on the ranch at Camp Grant my mother discovered that we were, by custom, supposed to hold dances now and then at our house. This because we had a big living room and a large dining room that had good floors for dancing if well-smeared with candle wax ahead of time. Mom didn't mind the wax, but she adamantly refused having a bale of hay to work in the wax; she said that shoes will soon do the job.
Midnight supper, consisting of box lunches and coffee, also became my mother's job. It was no small task, for she never knew how many to prepare, and the nearest store was miles away. I got to stay up way past my bedtime for I could help Mom, and besides, who could sleep with an accordion and violin being played very loudly so dancers in both rooms could hear?
(Original photo stolen from this guy)
After I'd finished my little jobs one winter night, I sidled into the dining room to watch, and was quite thrilled with it all. Then along came Jinx Hall, a young man of about twenty, who asked me why I wasn't dancing. I answered most seriously and truthfully, "Jinx, I don't know how."
"Well, we'll fix that," he said. "Come on."
So we went whirling about with my toes touching the floor only now and then. We must have made an odd-looking couple because my nine-year-old frame only reached to his top vest button. But it was heaven for me and, after that dance number was over, he gravely thanked me and brought me back to my corner.
You can bet I rushed into the kitchen calling, "Mama, Mama, I danced! I danced with Jinx Hall. He asked me and he thanked me too! Isn't he beautiful?"
"Yes, he's a nice-looking young man," said my mother, "And it was kind of him to ask a little girl to dance."
"Oh," I said, "I'll never, never forget this night."
"But now," said Mama, "Come down to earth and help me wrap the sandwiches."
I've loved to dance ever since that evening.
p.s. As an adult I still thought Jinx Hall was a most handsome man.