I can still see the two of them, hands held tight, gliding around the dance floor. My grandparents used to love heading to the Senior’s club every Saturday night. Grap would always have a shot of rum before calling the cab. The rum helped ease the pain in his tired legs, and after the pain was gone, he and gram would spend the rest of the night dancing.
It was so romantic watching them dance. A couple who had been married over seventy years, they knew the steps perfectly. They did what we call the ‘Newfie Two Step’ here in Newfoundland, the rest of the world referred to the dance as the Box Step. Whatever it was called, they danced like pure silk, those partners in life, partners in dance, partners in love.
There were others on the dance floor on this night, but as they held each other so tightly, in their minds it was only them who glided across the well worn hardwood.
Dad recalls back when he was a teenager, and my grandparents first learned to dance. “They pulled all the old furniture out of the living room and stacked it tightly against the wall in the hallway. Gram put together a huge meal for all their friends, invited anyone in the community who played any kind of instrument, and made sure that the old wood stove was put out, as to not cook the guests!”
My dad went on to explain how when everyone arrived and had their meal of Jiggs Dinner, homemade pie and tea, a few of the guests got out their accordions and fiddles and commenced to play a few waltzes. A few of the guests were great dancers, and with patience and love, they taught the others how to do the dances. My dad added that from that moment on, every Saturday night, my grandmother had people over, and they danced from dusk til dawn. It was a way of breaking up a week of hard work on the farm and the daily challenges of raising eleven children.
Dad’s best memory of his parents is one of them dancing hand in hand, the look of love in their eyes, as they danced through over seventy years of wedded bliss.
They are both gone now, my grandfather in ’04, and Grandmother just this fall, but I know that somewhere they are dancing again, arm in arm, hand in hand, two hearts together once again