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Waltzing Mildred

February 27, 2014
Cover of More Retro Aprons

Cover of More Retro Aprons

What are your earliest and fondest memories of dance?

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda,with me.”

Waltzing Matilda

Mildred was Grandmother Karn’s first name. She hated it and went by her middle name June. She was very old-fashioned. She wore a dress almost every day of her life. She also had a number of pinafore style aprons, the ones with the frilly bottoms, bibs, and shoulder straps (similar to the ones in the photo, only not as sexy). In my earliest memory of dancing I’m seven or eight years old. My sister is two years younger. We’re at our grandparent’s house. We’re in the large living room. It is late spring or early summer. The air is comfortably warm. The afternoon sun shines through the windows. I remember the scents I always associate with their house: lemon furniture polish, lavender, baked goods, and cinnamon. The carpet tickles my bare feet. I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt. We’ve just finished practicing our posture by walking with books balanced on our heads. Grandmother puts a Strauss record on the player. She switches it on, takes my hand, puts her arm around my waist and starts to teach me how to waltz.

“Step, step, step, glide. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.” She counts. “Turn and glide, turn and glide.”

I’m clumsy at first, my feet getting tangled up and going the wrong way.

“Just listen to the music and move with the rhythm. You should be graceful and flowing.” She instructs me.

My sister and I take turns dancing with her and with each other. We giggle and laugh at our mistakes. It is  wonderful fun. A couple of hours later we collapse exhausted, but by then we’re waltzing like pros. Even though it’s been years since I last waltzed, I still remember the steps I learned that day. Emily

In response to Daily Prompt: Let’s Dance.


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