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Stories from the Road: A Friday Night Dance

The husband and wife, both who appear in their late 20s, are both clad in plaid shirts. He is in a dark ballcap, the bill with that perfect curve in the front. His jaw line sports what looks to be a weeklong growth of a beard. Her shoulder-blade length hair is wrapped into a braid; the face has the hint of makeup, but nothing pretentious.

It's Friday night in the small town of Floyd, Virginia. Locals and visitors have gathered at Floyd Country Store for the weekly Friday Night Jamboree. A bluegrass instrumental band is on the stage striking up tune after tune, and old men and young children and couples take to the floor to step and clog and, in general, move or gyrate or hop to the beat.

On the fourth selection, a waltz - a slow dance, if you will - is played and couples now fill the space. The married couple mentioned above have brought three children to the dance, two daughters that appear to be preschool/ kindergarten age, and a toddler boy.

The young lad appears to be exhausted from - who knows - the day or perhaps the week. First, the mother slings the boy over her shoulder and then the father takes on the task of corralling dead weight, all the whole taking the lead during the dance.

Yet, the dance has an awkward feel. It is a waltz, yet the couple is trying to dance a duple step - and it's not going well. But, there's not a care in the world between those two.

With the son in tow over dad's shoulder, they laugh at their attempts to keep up with the music. Their eyes show that nothing else mattered at  that moment. The woman's eyes gaze at her man and beams a melting smile. His eyes is all about his wife and her enjoyment, and the air about him is one of contentment.

In that scene on a small dance floor, it is a marvelous reflection of what a marriage should be. Although they may be out of step, although the weight of the world may be on them, it's a partnership that looks to each other for all they need. And there is much laughter.

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