Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Barn Dance

Sorry it took me so long to write about the barn dance the other evening. It was at the McMurrays, who live just outside town. This means, of course, that nearly everybody in town went, plus most of us from the surrounding countryside. Their barn was packed. And it was 80 degrees that evening, in March.

A lot of folks don't hold with "dancing," and I'll just say right up front that I am one of those folks. Moving around on a ballroom floor (yes, I've been to the Governor's Ball in Sacramento) back and forth--going nowhere fast--is not my idea of a fun-filled evening. Worse . . . at those kinds of fancy dances, you have to dance with a gentlemen. Thanks, but no thanks! I tried to hide at the Governor's Ball (when I couldn't get out of going), and wished I could hang out at the punch bowl, but no such luck! I had to be polite and dance with a number of ridiculous, young strangers! My traitor brothers were off dancing with other ladies. I was mad at them for a week, especially when they promised to look out for me. Oh, and worse, I had to get all dressed up (you can't go to the Governor's Ball in your everyday clothes). 

Teaching Emily a dance step
But I stray from my story. That unpleasant memory from last winter is far behind me. A barn dance is nothing like the Governor's Ball, and if all dances were barn dances, I would like them more. A barn dance is loads of fun! For one thing, I didn't have to get dressed up . . . much. I couldn't wear overalls, but I could wear a play dress. A nice dark one that wouldn't show the stain when I spilled the punch (which I did). All my friends were there, and the adults, and practically the entire town. It's a community affair, and all ages come--mostly to get together and visit. The old ladies joined in some of the slower dances, but mostly they sat around and gossiped.

A dance step. Girls in a circle inside; boys on the outside.

The nice thing about a barn dance is that everybody dances with everybody. The fiddler (Mr. John McMurray for this dance) stood on a barrel to play! Yikes! I was sure he would fall off when he really got going. You really don't have partners too much. Well, that's not entirely true. You change around a lot, but usually end up with the partner you began the dance with.

The barn dance was a lot of fun. Yes, I even danced with Jack, but it took a whole hour for him to get up the nerve to ask me to join him for a round. That's the round where we were flying so fast that my hand slipped out of Jack's and crash! I sailed into the table with the punch bowl. Thankfully, the bowl itself only rocked and splashed punch on my dress but didn't spill over.

My friend Cory was there too, and he was my partner too. Everybody took turns being partners with everybody else. Now, that is the kind of dance I like. Chad broke down and took me around for a few steps. Usually, he and I don't get along too well at these dances--especially the kind where you have the same partner for the entire dance. He takes the opportunity to ride me about something I've done, and I can't run off--not without being rude. But at a barn dance, it's even fun to dance with your brothers. Or your friends. I taught little Emily a few steps of a dance she hadn't seen before. I even took Cory's little sisters around. What fun! Here is a picture of some of the attendees.
McMurrays' barn is the only barn in town with a real floor. They did it on purpose, so they can host the dances!
I tried to pick out some of the people I recognized, but this photo is not very clear. I picked out Chad, of course, even if I couldn't see his face. Who wouldn't recognize the easy, carefree way he's leaning against the post? Cory, of course, had to be head and shoulders over everybody else, and I even picked out our schoolmaster, Mr. Foster. Standing so proper, with his hands in front, and skinny as a rail. Jack looks younger and shorter than he really is. The camera must be playing tricks. When he saw this photo, he tried to snatch it out of my hands so he could tear the side (with him) away. Ha! That won't happen! I buried myself in the back and slouched, so you can't see me.



  1. Hi, Andi!
    Thanks for the post. I have done a barn dance at a tourist attraction at a village that does it back in the day of Anne of Green Gables. It IS fun!
    I wish we had those kinds of parties now a days!!!
    Have you ever seen Felicity Livingston after you got Taffy back in the first book?
    Do you get in a lot of trouble in the times betweeen the books?

    1. YIKES! Felicity. You WOULD bring her up. LOL Oh, yes, good ol' Felicity. I need to write about her in my Journal some day. It was quite a shock! I'll have to write about it some time. But . . . take a ticket, my friend . . . I have other questions to answer before that one. It will give you something to look forward to.

  2. Hi, Andi

    I love your blog and its new lay-out! Thank you SO much for keeping it up, I really appreciate it!

    I know you have a long list of questions, so I'll be patient and wait, but I have another question for you: Does Melinda have a beau and go courting? What would a young lady living in the 1800s do when going out with her beau, how did young people get to know each other? Are there any young ladies your brothers fancy?

    Ok, I know that was more than one question, but I'm a very curios person! :) Looking forward to your answer!


    1. Yes, Lizzy, that is a real "shopping list" of questions you have! But I wrote them down and put them with the others so eventually you may have an entertaining read, when I finally am able to answer them. :-)

  3. Once I went to a square dance, which is REALLY fun. My friend invited me because it was sister's 16th birthday. I knew a lot of people there from church and co-ops. Stuff like that. My friends and I tried to be partners, until the caller separated us and paired us with guys. I knew most of the people I danced with. During one dance I was paired with my friend's older brother, which made me feel better since I actually know more than just his name and siblings. Anyway, it was fun!

    1. That does sound fun! It sounds just like Andi's experience. I think square dances are a fun way to get the "community" together and also get to know new people in a fun-filled, wholesome setting.

  4. Can you post a list of things that you are going to post about?

  5. Sure! Stay tuned! I'll do it right now.

  6. Replies
    1. Emily is the little girl who I climbed a tree to catch a Monarch butterfly for in book 2, Dangerous Decision. She's a little older now. :-)

  7. Oh yeah I remember now:)

  8. Hey Andi How old are you? 12, 13, or 14?

  9. This is the first time I have read this! So funny!


Let Andi know what you think!