She wasn’t supposed to be there.
We weren’t supposed to be there.
But, as it happened, she was and we were and I’m really not sure who was more shocked.
My granddaughter or her grandfather and me.
It all started out with a simple invitation to a dinner and dance from a couple of our friends.
Would we like to go?
Of course! Who turns down an invitation for a night out, a Friday night none-the-less, when cooking supper seemed even less appealing than usual?
And so we donned our best duds and climbed into our friend’s vehicle on one of the most snowy, horrible nights of the year to drive to the big city. I sank back into the soft leather luxury of the back seat, thankful not be driving, thankful our friend had a four-wheel-drive and thankful not to be cooking.
Overall, I was pretty darn thankful.
It was all good and I thought only briefly of the familiar comfort of being in a prone position, snug and warm on my couch wearing those cozy slipper socks my daughter gave me for my birthday.
We arrived almost on time thanks to our friends, the teachers, who do not indulge in the shameful practice of tardiness, unlike some other people such as myself.
The dinner was comprised of a pleasing assortment of salads and vegetables and roast beef slathered in gravy. It was the kind of meal that made one forget about counting calories (who could count that high) and think only of enjoying each morsel, one delicious forkful at a time.
As it turned out, the dinner and dance we were attending was being put on by local high schools that were also providing the music courtesy of their individual school bands.
Apparently old folks such as ourselves were invited to the gala event to share in the great food, enjoy the amazing music and, no doubt, to help raise the ticket sales.
I settled in to do full justice to an evening of delicious cuisine, great company and incredible music.
“This is as good as it gets,” I thought to myself.
Well, apparently I thought wrong because the evening, proceeding along quite excellently on the well-greased wheels of good food, great conversation and live music suddenly, without warning, got better.
I didn’t have my glasses on, but I did notice this group of beautiful young girls come through the door, bringing a blast of cold air with them.
I peered nearsightedly at them, trying not to noticeably stare, but it was hard not to.
They all looked so lovely. So young, so fresh and so very pretty.
One girl in particular caught my eye. She was particularly lovely and she had this dazzling smile that lit up the room sort of like instant sunshine and, on top of all that, she was wearing this dress I instantly recognized.
It was my daughter’s dress.
I looked again, thinking I should really get my glasses! Oh my goodness, no wonder I thought that girl with the dazzling smile was so extraordinarily beautiful.
She was our girl!
Our beloved granddaughter.
I tugged at my husband’s arm and pointed. I was practically speechless which was good because he had already lost one of his hearing aides. Then before I knew it, I was engulfed in a pair of strong, young arms.
“Grandma, what are you doing here?” said the girl with the dazzling smile.
“Just checking on you,” I said, mischievously. She laughed, quickly hugged her grandpa and disappeared into the weaving group of dancers who had taken over the dance floor.
It truly was a night to remember for grandpa and me and, no doubt, none-the-less so, for our teenaged granddaughter who never in a million years thought her grandparents would show up at the same place she was.
It just goes to show you never can tell.
Any night, any occasion for that matter, can suddenly without warning, just get better.
Believe me, I know because that’s what happened.
It just got better!
Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review.