I heartily agree with my co-worker; the drive over the hills to the resort simply takes your breathe away.  But I’d like to add another anticipation of mine in coming over that last hill and seeing the lodge on the horizon every morning.  Working in reservations, I hear stories, all kinds of stories.  For instance, “Oh, we spent our honeymoon at the lodge 30 years ago.”    Or, “I met my husband at the lodge when we both had come to spot eagles.”  Then there’s the woman who only gets to see her artist daughter once a year when she comes from New York to teach at the adult Art Institute session on modern art at the lodge. It’s, in fact, a pleasure to labor to make sure these memorable events continue to come together.

But we all have our day and my own memorable occasion at the Lodge came on December 20th.   Awkwardly and with lots of coaching, I shuffled through my first two-step dance at the annual “Bob Will’s Cowboy Ball with the Texas Playboys.” Having been raised in Texas and having lived for years in Georgia, this type of event – the music and the mode of dance  –  shouldn’t have been so extremely noteworthy.  But as my taste and training are more to modern jazz and rock, I found myself completely “out of step” in every way.

For one thing, my style of clothing was off.  While most women were wearing clothes that were lit up with freshly mined jewels, in my best eccentric frock, I looked like I was still suffering from a hangover I got at Woodstock!   Fortunately, the room was dark and I felt sure I could enjoy some anonymity, at least.  Immediately I entered the room, however, some people from my church hollered my name.  After making my “hellos,” my mother and I eagerly sought to sink into the background.  We were only there to observe after all.

As I watched the dancers sashaying around the room, I made a startling discovery.  They all knew the same dance.  Ah… so this was the Texas Two-Step.  I was glad I wasn’t in danger of having the chance to display my ignorance on the floor, hiding out as I was in the darkness.  Then suddenly a dashing old cowboy pointed at me with firm resolution to take me out on the floor.

Amiable though he was, he insisted that I learn the steps though I explained this wasn’t my style.  “1-2-3,” “1-2-3” he counted as we made our way around the dance floor.  If I started to do my own footwork, he just counted louder.  I finally said, “I can’t even hear the music so that I can move with it.”  He said, “You just follow my lead.”  On the last dance, I finally grabbed his hand and we danced an Irish jig for a moment, and we both died laughing.

While I was gathering my coat, I heard the announcer say, “We’ve seen a lot of different dances tonight,” and was proud that I’m sure we had danced one of those to which he referred.  I only left with one question.   If it’s called the Two-Step, what’s “3” about?