Thrilling Guest Tuesday: Karen O’ Connor

 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! (Psalm 150:4 ESV)

A little surprise for you today. I would like to introduce a special guest and friend of Lynn D. Morrissey. Karen likes to dance, too. Enjoy her story. Please feel free to leave her a comment.

           

Karen O’Connor is an award-winning author of 75+ books for children and adults, a popular speaker, and writing mentor for the Christian Writers Guild. Karen was named Writer of the Year for 1997 by the San Diego Christian Writers Guild, in 2002 she received the Special Recognition Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference for writing and mentoring, and in 2004 she accepted the International Reading Association Award for her article for children in Highlights magazine on Kurdish refugees.

A Time to Dance!

Karen O’Connor

The year I turned seventy I was determined to do one thing—if nothing else that entire year. Dance! So one night as my husband Charles and I watched a televised musical tribute to the great Ella Fitzgerald I suddenly felt young and carefree again. 

“How High the Moon,” “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” and “The Man I Love,” sung by such notables as Nancy Wilson and Natalie Cole, took me back to the 1950s when I was in high school and college and a devoted fan of jazz.

Right then I wanted to hold the man I love, dream a little dream with him, and gaze out the window at the moon high above. But it didn’t seem to be the right time for such romantic activities. There I sat without make-up and dressed in my old sweats, hair askew, and eyes squinting through glasses that needed a good cleaning. I’d restored my house that day after weekend guests had gone—but I hadn’t yet pulled myself together.

Meanwhile, Charles was in the kitchen putting away food and dishes from dinner, scrubbing pots and pans, and commenting here and there on the music and the memories they evoked. “That was a great era. They don’t write love songs like those anymore,” he said.

Suddenly I knew it was time––a time to dance.

I looked at Charles and smiled. “Dance with me?”

“Now?” 

“Mmm.” I held out my arms and swayed to the music.

“But I’m in the middle of––”

“I’m in the middle of something, too—of a longing––to dance.”

“Okay.” He walked out from behind the half-wall that divided the kitchen from the living room and took me in his arms, a sopping dishtowel over one shoulder, and an apron around his waist.

I put my left arm on his shoulder––the one without the wet towel––and fit my right hand into his left one. He pulled me close, sweatshirt-to-sweatshirt, and danced me all over our new hardwood floor, just made for dancing. The faux flames in the faux fireplace licked the faux logs as we whirled and twirled in front of them, I in my Ugg boots and Charles in his. 

In my mind, however, I was wearing silver strap stilettos and a close-fitting black dress with pearls around my neck, and Charles was clad in a navy blue suit with a white shirt and cuff links, black Ferragamo loafers and a smashing red and blue striped Robert Talbot silk tie.

“We won’t forget this night,” I teased. “When one of us is gone the other will remember the time when we danced the night away just the way we were, and didn’t care a hoot about it––as long as we were holding each other close.”

He nodded in agreement and smiled behind eyes wet with tears. I realized that for Charles too, it was a time for dancing. He just hadn’t realized it until I held out my arms. And so we danced and danced––the year I turned seventy.

 Dance is the hidden language of the soul.

Martha Graham

 

Excerpted from The Upside of Downsizing: 50 Ways to Create A Cozy Life by Karen O’Connor (Permission from Harvest House Publishers 2011).

Visit Karen on her website: www.karenoconnor.com

 

 

 

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