Friday, September 5, 2008

Dancing in the Rain

Labor Day weekend 2008.

After church on Sunday my husband and I headed over to the Orchard at Charlie Clark’s. This is the oldest restaurant in the White Mountains, housed in a fantastic historic building. The outdoors Orchard is only open in the summer – usually Memorial Day to Labor Day. It is an outdoor area set amongst over two acres of evergreens and apple trees, complete with bar converted from an old barn, dance floor, outdoor heating oven, and horseshoe pits.

This was the last weekend, the last hurrah of the summer before all of our “Flatlander” visitors left the White Mountains to return home to Phoenix until skiing season.

Labor Day weekend at the Orchard features a craft fair, with vendors of arts and crafts and foods and such set up all around, and live music.

My husband and I had to go. After all, it was the last hurrah.

It had been raining all morning – a sullen, gray, wet day but cleared up a bit by the time the church service was over. For the most part, the weather reflected my mood. Dear husband and I have been going through some tough times this summer and it hasn’t exactly helped the state of our marriage. We had to save money and hadn’t been doing much for entertainment throughout the summer. Going to Charlie Clark’s on Labor Day Sunday was a much-needed respite from real life. For a few hours we forgot about money issues, lack of work opportunities, the high price of gas and groceries, and paying bills.

We frequented the outdoor bar – a comfortable place with “windows” that open to the fresh air via wooden planks and rows of bar stools along two sides. A collection of beer bottle caps line the bar’s wooden countertop and a profusion of signs, the likes of which proclaim Only Cowboys Served Here add a homey decorative touch.

We drank beer. We shopped. We made an extravagant purchase of a beautiful lamp – so unlike us for so long. It was a heady feeling.

Not long afterward it started to rain again. The darkening clouds knit together into a dense blanket overhead and a gentle shower began.

“Let’s dance.” My husband turned to me beneath our flimsy shelter of pine boughs. The rain came down harder.

When was the last time we’d danced? Nearly a year earlier, I quickly figured in my head, ticking off the months while drops danced on the brim of my red felt cowboy hat.

“But it’s raining,” I protested, watching puddles form on the dance floor and vendors pull tarps over the front of their canopies.


So, indeed. I surely wouldn’t melt.

I took a big gulp of my beer and shrugged. “Sure. Let’s dance.”

And so we did. We danced in the rain. We splashed through puddles. We danced when no one else was brave enough to weather the gentle storm. We applauded the one-man band who was giving his all, singing such classic tunes as New York, New York. We danced to slow tunes, and to two-steps.

Peeking out from the brim of a black cowboy hat, I gazed into beautiful blue-green eyes, as stormy and intense as the sky overhead, as I was twirled about the rustic dance floor, the eyes of all spectators watching our moves.

And I was reminded of why I’d fallen in love with and married this man.

Because he will dance with me. In the rain.


  1. Sometimes life sure can seem to get in the way of happiness. Moments like the ones you describe here are gifts to remind us that if God brings us to it, he'll bring us through it. Your perseverance and hard work will definitely pay off. I got all goose pimply and starry eyed reading about your rain dance :)

  2. I'm so glad you were touched by my post, Dana. Sometimes life is about the little things which make us happy for just a few moments - and we need to cherish them.