noun: a social gathering at which lively folk dancing takes place.
We wanted to do something big and fun to celebrate my 40th; we hit on the idea of a barndance several months ago and have been planning it ever since. The first item needed was a barn - but barns in Timaru tend to be used as barns, with animals and feed and equipment. So, we simplified and held it in our school hall. The next big need was a caller for the barndance. These are like hens teeth - I chased down every avenue I could think of and came up with as many dead ends. Nick graciously stepped in (this is how I know that he REALLY loves me); we bought a manual complete with an instructional DVD and music, and gathered a group of friends the week before to have a practice, for the benefit of the dancers and the caller. The rest was easier by comparison - invitations sent, outfits planned and made, food bought, and the hall made up to look like a farm yard. Liz and Graham were brilliant in setting it up, finding an amazing array of old stuff around their section which fitted into a trailer. Matt de Beer loaned us several bales of hay, and the boys' scarecrow was set in place. Let the hoedown begin, y'all!
After sausages in bread and finger foods, we warmed the crowd up with a few activities. Tug'o'war was first, with ladies competing first and then a kids' attempt.
Gum boot tossing is a must for any western gathering;
then we had a showdown in which contestants had to single-handedly unwrap a chewy lolly and swallow it as quickly as possible.
Horse race relays followed - teams had to shuffle back and forth with a miniature horse tucked between their knees and a toy gun in hand.
We had also been running an ongoing quiz activity; since no one at the party has known us for longer than four years and a few months we thought we'd give them a little look into our history by way of photos ranging 40 years.
And finally, it was time to pull out the moves - do-si-do, swing your partner, 1-2-3-stamp, walk the highway all started making sense.
It was a jolly, lively evening and I suppose we might already be looking forward to the next event - since we have a professional caller now and all :)
I was blessed with beautiful gifts which I got to open on Sunday night at the Bothas - one really can't sit in a corner by oneself to unwrap a pile of presents!
Thanks again to everyone who helped with settting up, clearing away, catering, planning, and those who came and participated and dressed up and had fun. We are privileged to belong to such a marvellous family through our Lord Jesus Christ!