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Two to Tango

A honeymoon story from The Elmwood Heritage Inn

Early one evening in late September we had a power outage just before sundown. Not knowing how long it might last we set up emergency lighting and hurricane lamps and candles to guide guests through the house to their rooms. Since there was no one back from dinner yet and we had nothing else we could do in the growing dark, we sat on the porch steps talking softly.

A car drove up our lane with a newlywed couple from Tennessee returning from dinner. They had been staying with us for a week for their honeymoon and were leaving the next morning. They arrived the week before, tired and a bit shy, not knowing how to respond to this sort of atmosphere. Were we hotel managers who did their bidding or were we impersonal staff or would we intrude on their privacy as they took this week to be together as husband and wife for the first time? They were about 21 and certainly not used to the five star atmosphere we provide.

But in that week they had opened up and shared some as they followed our suggestions for day trips, romantic restaurants and empty beaches to walk. This last evening as dusk was gathering they came up to us and we told them of the power outage and invited them to sit a while. They looked at each other and a small nod passed and he said, "You two have become sort of like Mom and Dad to us this week. We'd like to show you what we did at our wedding. We don't really know how to dance except for shuffling our feet back and forth and we didn't want to look foolish at that "First Dance" requirement during the reception. So, secretly, we drove to the city every week for six months and took dance lessons. We practiced and practiced one routine to have as a surprise. When the first dance was announced, everyone turned to watch us shuffle and sway and then the band started a Tango! Everyone laughed. Until we reached out for each other, struck a pose and did the Tango! After five or six steps the laughter stopped and the hooting and hollering of surprise started up and continued through our whole dance. We kept to the beat, dipped and swayed, twirled and strutted and ended in a passionate romantic dip which we held for seconds".

"Would you like to see it?" "Of course," we said.

And then they turned and hand-in-hand walked to the centre of the driveway. They put up their arms in remembered positions and silently listening to a song we couldn't hear, they started to dance the tango they had just described. They kept their eyes locked on each other, seeing their past, their commitment to the dance and living out that commitment to each other step by step. We sat entranced and amazed to be permitted to see this intimate dance. We always hope that the quiet elegance of our Inn and our heartfelt hospitality will be remembered by our guests as a highpoint in their travels, but this young couple shared a special moment in their life with us, and created a memory we will never forget.