I got the invite from my Blue Heron friend Barry to attend one of his infamous Barn Dances. Some of you may know Barry as the mother-pluckin’ banjo player from the Tiger Maple String Band. So Saturday night, me, Camelia and Beth loaded up the Mini and headed north.

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Barry’s Barn dances channel the past and idyllically represent what a folk dance party might have been like a century ago. Hosted in a wooden barn with a traditional folk band, the anachronism and charm of these events is as inspiring as it is wholesome.

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The caller made sure to come prepared with a long list of line-dances to teach us, and while we were certainly greenhorns, dancing with all of the elders made it much easier to learn. It was actually much more challenging to pick up a line dance than I thought it would be, but then again, coordination never has been one of my strong skills.

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Even if it was in the middle of the winter, the barn was heated with propane furnaces and body heat, and it was perfectly comfortable. Located up in Union City, PA, the barn seemed to appear out of the middle of nowhere as we approached, and was a much needed retreat away from the city life I’ve been living the past few months. Spending a winter in the city has certainly given me some homesickness for the countryside, and the Barn Dance had plenty of Blue Heron folk, many I’ve never met before.

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I have to give a big thank you shout-out to the gentlemen that helped me push my Mini out after getting stuck in the middle of Barry’s access road. Turns out, a Mini with bald summer tires doesn’t perform very well on a snow-covered pathway. I know, I was surprised too…

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So, thanks for the invite, Barry! It was a grand ol’ time and I can’t wait to attend the next one. It was exactly the vacation I needed away from city life, and I had a complete blast!

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