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Perfect Moment Monday: Hoe down

We moved from the east coast to Colorado between my 3rd and 4th grade years. Of my early school life in New Jersey, I remember just a few things:

  • that our principal’s name was Mr. Schank (but he was really nice in spite of his unfortunate moniker).
  • that all the other kids went to either Catechism or Hebrew School and I was left out (I am still surprised that Protestantism isn’t considered a minority religion in this country, based on my early template).
  • that Dad helped me bring up a low grade in “shows initiative” by doing an extra assignment that involved soaking a chicken bone in vinegar to make it rubbery.
  • that we used to square dance in gym class.

I loved square dancing in gym class. It was the only thing I loved about gym class. After we moved to a school district that didn’t have square dancing in its curriculum, I didn’t square dance for 40+ more years (except for one of the first dates Roger and I had — a wedding reception for his British friend who married a Kentucky girl and that included high tea and square dancing).

This month our CSA closed its inaugural season with a harvest festival. My sister Tami and I took our kids to pick up our last share of veggies and to take part in the kids crafts and farm tour.

Little did I know I was in for live music, a Caller, and………..square dancing!

Fall square dancing

Son, Nephew, Daughter and I do-si-doing

As the bluegrass band started pickin’, the Caller rallied dancers of all ages. Not many grownups took him up on the offer, but I sprang right up from my hay bale as soon as I realized I was going to have the chance to re-create fond memories from my early childhood — with my children.

The Caller did not disappoint. He went on for more than an hour and covered a broad repertoire. Early on, I realized I was having a moment and mouthed “PERFECT MOMENT” to Tami, still with her baby daughter and husband on the hay bale, who, through sister shorthand, knew exactly what I wanted her to do.

Snap pictures.

I learned anew how to honor my partner, promenade, right-hand star, allemande left, do the Virginia Reel and Cumberland Reel, do-si-do and circle left.

In the still-warm early fall air and the soft pre-dusk light, there with my past and my future, I had a moment of perfectly square-shaped bliss.


Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  • Follow Write Mind Open Heart.
  • Write up your own Perfect Moment and post for September.
  • Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or blog name), the URL of your Perfect Moment post, and a thumbnail image if desired.
  • Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.

The next Perfect Moment Monday event will begin November 26.

(Cross-posted on BlogHer.)

13 Responses

  1. I can’t believe they don’t do square dancing anymore! How are people supposed to understand cultural references if people stop doing things?!?

    Looks like a lot of fun!

  2. What fun photos! Nostalgia and merging the past with the present was also the theme of our perfect moment – must be something in the air! I love that you got in there with the kids even if it wasn’t so easy to get through the arches! The Kentucky/British wedding sounds awesome – can’t think of a better way to merge those two cultures than with a high tea hoedown. Thank you for sharing these perfect moments – they are such a lovely way to close one month and start another!

  3. Oh what fun! I have a few happy childhood memories of square dancing, the most vivid as a teenager during staff training at a residential summer camp that I worked at in Michigan. One of the last night of our week long training they brought in a caller and I we all dressed the part and had a blast. Thank you for sharing your perfect moment this month, I love that your sister knows you so well and snapped the pictures you wanted. I also think that Kentucky/British wedding sounds awesome! I am working on typing up one of my perfect moments from this month and will be linking up soon! 🙂

  4. How awesome!! One of my favorite memories of spending summers with my dad is all the folk and square dancing events we’d go to. I haven’t promenaded in close to 20 years now. Thank you for sharing this, and reminding me of something I loved!

  5. I love love love square dancing and have so many fond memories of elementary school gym class and square dancing. Though I have ample opportunities to do it here… and don’t actually do it. Perhaps I should. I can still recite whole square dancing records — “all join hands go forward and back… right hand around your own…” “do an allemande left, do an allemande right, promenade the outside ring get all the way around to where the roosters sing when you get all the way around until you get back home… do an allemande left, do an allemande right.”

  6. I’ve square danced before and it was a lot of fun. AND it’s a great work out too.

    Looks like you all had a ton of fun!!

  7. We had square dancing too. But it was another reason why I disliked gym class. I just remember having to hold hands with boys. It wasn’t that they were boys so much but the fact that their hands were filthy.

  8. What fun–to re-create fond memories from your early childhood for your children. I had to laugh. My friend that I hadn’t seen in awhile came over to see me on Saturday. She was telling me the new class she was taking–square dancing. I told her I would come and watch, but count me out for taking the class with her :). We settled on the seeing high school plays together.

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