Here on the Homestead, we are a mixed bag when it comes to social needs. One of us effortlessly and effectively ambles through life interacting with those who interest him and avoiding those that don’t without causing offence or ill will. The rest of us simply look on with either admiration or discomfort, depending on our basic inclination, dividing as we do, neatly down the middle, into two definitive camps: those to whom a daily chit-chat is as essential as breathing, and the other two who…well, let’s just say they’re more than happy with their own company.
Our move to the country presented the chatty ones, the elder in particular, with a bit of a quandry. You see, this was the first Homestead move made without a preschooler, always the perfect entry-ticket to a new community with their music groups, play groups, library groups, gym, dance, sport etc. These are activities requiring an offsider happy to belt out a couple of rounds of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (complete with actions, though I’m not one to boast) at any given moment, take their turn hosting playgroup, oversee safe and fair trampoline play for all, sew on a sequin or two, or turn up early to put up the nets and flags, all for the payback of a cluster of folks who, nine times out of ten, are happy to stop for a quick chat when your paths cross at the local Four Square. Without the accompanying toddler, how she going to connect with this new community in which, like most rural ones, sport is definitely king. No, it wasn’t looking very positive.
Then came the wondrous day when, hidden among the baling contractors, Tennis Club AGM notices, and that week’s golf results in the local paper, she found the answer to her problem: Darfield Line Dancers.
As one who entered her teen years around the same time as a certain Mr Travolta started strutting his stuff to the falsetto tones of the brothers Gibb, she was no stranger to a Grape Vine, weave, or shuffle (both Brooklyn and Harlem). A bit of consultation with Mr Google showed that this form of dance wasn’t that removed from the local Scout’s fundraising disco circa 1977 and besides, the advertisement sported that wonderful phrase, “Beginners Welcome!” Go on, what are you waiting for? Call the number!
Her hesitation came down to a believe, a misconception as it turns out, regarding the soundtrack. You see, she’s never been a great fan of Country and Western music. In fact, her loathing of the genre is such that, when face to face with the surgeon lined up to do some pretty intricate work on her insides, she didn’t demand the hows, whys, and show me your qualifications most normal folk apparently do. She just wanted to ensure that, if he were the sort to listen to music while he worked (bearing in mind ER was the show back then), he wasn’t going to hamper her recovery by slipping a Jim Reeves CD into the sound system. He was one who preferred to work in silence as it turns out.
In the end, she made the call; in part to stop being hounding by the rest of The Homestead. She even managed to persuade The Goat Herd to accompany her which has turned out to be a double edged sword as she is something of a natural at it whilst The Milk Maid still struggles with distinguishing her left from right. Turns out the music is, for the most, pretty good; a great deal of it being so groovy and with-it that the rest of her YouTube music playlist (which reflects the fact that she still uses phrases like groovy and with-it) pales in comparison.
More importantly, though, she has found herself an eclectic bunch of local folk who are never hurrying so much that they can’t stop to snort over the latest multi-line pile-up (because left and right as a concept just don’t come natural to some), bewail the speed of instructor Jenny’s latest offering, or marvel at how quickly the young folk pick these things up (despite this, I’m still happy The Goat Herd comes along).
It’s all to do with finding your niche; who thought it would be Down at the (Darfield) Honky Tonk.