These days is people want to dance, they go to a bar. Yes, most people want to drink, but not everyone wants to go to a bar to do it. When my parents were dating, they often double dated with her sister, my Aunt Evelyn and brother-in-law, my Uncle George. They loved to go dancing. Back then there were several balls that were held, such as the Military Ball or the Fireman’s Ball.

They had the opportunity to dress up in uniforms and ball gowns, or dress suits and ball gowns, and go out and enjoy a long night if dancing and socializing. I know that my parents enjoyed these dances, because they continued to go when we were kids growing up. I remember them even after we were old enough to stay alone. Ballroom dancing seems to be a thing of the past now, although I’m sure there are places where the still hold balls and dance those old and very beautiful dances, but they are becoming fewer and fewer.

I also know, from my cousin Shirley that her parents, my dad’s sister, Ruth and brother-in-law, Jim enjoyed going with them to those Firemen’s Balls and other dances as well, sometimes the kids even got to go along. A rare but exciting event. We, who had the opportunity to go along, will always remember how very cool it was.

There are other dances that people go to that are a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong. Square dances, and bar room dances are all great, but the elegance of ballroom dancing is all but gone from our society and our dance style. Even at proms and other school dances, while the gowns are elegant, the dancing is formless, with free style steps. Anyone can create their own dance…or just move around and no one thinks anything of it, but looking back in time, I can see something others might not…elegance lost.

When you first meet your daughter’s boyfriend, you feel uneasy. You don’t know what kind of a person he is, if he will treat your daughter like the princess you know she is, and ultimately, if he will break her heart in the end. It is real easy to just wish she was a little girl again, so you wouldn’t have to go through all this, but dating and marriage are a part of the growing up process, even if it is a hard part of it for parents.

When Corrie met Kevin, it was our first time in dealing with the whole dating thing, and I just wasn’t too sure about it all. Kevin seemed so much more a grown up than Corrie did, even though they were only a little less than 4 years different in age, but the Lord knew what He was doing when He brought these two kids together. I get to call them kids, even though they have kids of their own now, because that is a mother’s privilege.

Kevin is such a blessing to our family. He is loving and caring, and kind to people, but is able to pull off a joke with a straight face…something his boys inherited. I often find myself wondering if he is serious or not, and of course, once he reaches that point of knowing that he got me, he laughs and I know I’ve been had. I’m sure he takes great pleasure in getting the better of me, but it’s all in good fun. Kevin is just pulling off another good joke.

It isn’t all about jokes with Kevin though. He is a deep thinker. He works things out in his head…plans ways to make their lives better. He is great with design and creates beautiful rooms in their home, making the rooms unique and yet useful. Of course, Corrie helps too, but a lot of the design comes from Kevin’s artistic mind. When they have finished something, we get a call, wanting us to come and see. I always know it will look fantastic.

Kevin is also a hopeless romantic. He works very hard to find romantic gifts for Corrie…yes, I guess he does treat her like a princess. When he finds a gift that particularly excites him, and he can’t stand it any longer, he calls me up and says, “You have to see what I bought for Corrie.” It’s always something very special, from a very special guy…a hopeless romantic. That’s my son-in-law. Happy birthday Kevin!!

When my parents were dating, they sometimes double dated with my mom’s sister, Evelyn, and her husband, George. They would go to formal affairs, such as the military ball, but more often they went to movies. Family was important to all of them, and sometimes the best double date is your family.

One night, Mom, Dad, Aunt Evelyn and Uncle George went to the movies. The had a great time and were enjoying their visit on the way home. My dad had driven that night, and so he and my mom were taking Aunt Evelyn and Uncle George to their Mills home, before he would take my mom home.

It was a beautiful moonless night. They drive past The Wagon Wheel skating rink, and around the corner to the railroad track. At that time, there was no signal light or gate. As they started to cross the track, something caught Uncle George’s eye. Thankfully for all of them, he knew what it was. He yelled, “Train!” My Dad instinctively turned the wheel in the same direction as the train was going, and the car was dragged along beside the train until the train was able to stop.

My dad was normally a very calm man, but this was no normal situation. Dad got out of the car and threw down the popcorn he had been holding in his lap. He went up to the engineer, and started yelling at him. You see, the engineer didn’t have the headlight turned on in the engine, and remember that it was a moonless night with limited lighting in the area.

The engineer insisted that it wasn’t his fault. The police were called, and a representative from the railroad showed up. They argued the matter back and forth, but even with the 4 people in my dad’s car insisting that the engine had no headlight on, the railroad wouldn’t step up and do the right thing. The accident was deemed my dad’s fault.

So, after a very frustrating investigation, the couples were cleared to go. They got back into the car, which was thankfully, ok to drive, and my dad started looking around. He searched for several minutes, and them my mom asked, “What are you looking for?” To which my dad answered, “My popcorn!!” They all began to laugh then and told him that he had thrown it on the ground when he got out of the car, because he was so mad at the engineer. You can imagine Dad’s surprise.  He simply didn’t remember throwing the popcorn down, because of the shock of the whole situation. It would be the one thing they could laugh about when they thought back on the train wreck.

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