Let’s Plan a Date

Let’s Date-Week 8

How about a challenge to plan a date this week for your spouse? Here are a few ideas for you.

  • A romantic dinner for two at home with your best China dishes and candles.
  • Make your spouse’s favorite dinner. 
  • A drive in the countryside, taking a back road
  • Watch Your spouse’s favorite movie together
  • Afternoon Cake and Coffee at a quaint coffee shop
  • Antiquing together
  • Exercising together-like a bike ride, hike, or ballroom dancing
  • Take your camp stove to a state park and have breakfast together
  • Learn something new together-a class at Kirkwood Continuing Education
  • Take turns planning or make it a surprise
  • Make each other breakfast in bed
  • Take a vacation that you can unplug for a week

Unplugged in Wyoming-2020

Battlefields and Botanical Gardens

Let’s Date-Part Seven

Many times when Dan and I go on a vacation together, a battlefield or a public garden is part of our trip.  

Dan is a history buff and loves to research his ancestors that fought in a war.  He writes books on their journey and adventures of fighting for our country.  I have spent more than one spring break with Dan on a battlefield.  I am sure another battlefield is soon to be visited. 

I love flowers.  I enjoy researching flowers and learning more about what selections to put into my yard. We go on dates to botanical gardens, garden walks, and wildflower meadows.  Because of my new sun-filled yard, I now study prairie and native flowers.  

We both like to say that we earn points if we go with the other to their desired place of interest.  We earn battlefield or garden points.  I am far behind with battlefield points. : 0

We have activities we do together, like ballroom dancing, but we also have activities that the other spouse is really not into.  It is important that we support and encourage each other’s hobbies and interests.  Yes, that means more battlefields, reenactments, and revolutionary war sites for me.  For Dan that means visiting more botanical gardens, garden walks, or sitting in a wildflower meadow.  

Think about what your spouse enjoys doing; a hobby or activity.  Then you can plan a date around the other spouses’ interests.  You will earn brownie points for sure! 

Port Hudson Battlefield-2013
Afton Villa Gardens-2013

Why Don’t We Just Dance

Let’s Date-Week Two

My parents met at a ballroom dance.  Back in the day, the Col-Ballroom in the Quad Cities was a great way to meet others and try out your dance moves.  Many times live bands would play for the crowd. For my dad, it was a time to get out of his farming clothes and dress up for the girls.   Technology did not keep a person at home.  Times have changed.

We are thankful that there are some area venues for Dan and I to try out the steps we have practiced.  Here are just a few of the dances we have attended:

Congenial 100-Dan and I are part of a ballroom dance club that started 90 years ago here in Cedar Rapids.  We go once a month, 8 months out of the year.  It is time to dress up!  We enjoy a catered dinner with dessert and live music. We have met many congenial friends. 

USA Dance-This is a nationwide organization that offers ballroom dancing and a one-hour group dance lesson.  Our local chapter meets once a month at the Old Brick in Iowa City.  Dan and I have learned many new dance moves by attending USA dances.  

The Barn Dance- A horse arena turned into a dance venue.  We dress up for this once-a-month dance that has a huge dance floor.  This is quite the venue.  Snacks and beverages are provided.  

Dubuque Fairgrounds-A big band would be the highlight of this New Year’s Eve event.  Everyone would dress up for this dance.   We would ring in the New Year with champagne, party favors, and a midnight buffet. 

Walford Ponderosa-Rod Pierson Big Band would be the highlight of this formal Valentine’s ballroom dance. 

Many of the ballroom dance events are in danger of no longer continuing.  We attend and invite others, so we can continue our dancing.

Dating keeps you closer as a couple and with others!

Let’s Date

Let’s Date-Part One

For me, one of the best benefits of ballroom dancing is that you have a scheduled date together.  When Dan and I began ballroom dancing, we did not realize that we had local ballroom dances that we could attend together.  Before Covid began, we had at least one dance a week that we would go to on a date.  We would often say we wanted to go on a date, but unless we had it on our schedule, it never seemed to happen.  Ballroom dancing made date nights easier.

Ballroom dance dates are a time we can dress up, get away from technology, meet others and get away from our regular routine.  It’s a great activity to do in the winter when life slows down a bit.  

Ballroom Dancing also has the added bonus of being a physical activity that keeps you moving and active.  Because of the fun and laughter while dancing, it is also great for your mental health.  The fun and laughter part is up to you.  

Let’s face it, we can all get busy and not spend quality together time.  Too busy=danger in a marriage. 

We need face-to-face time with our spouses and you get plenty of that when dancing together.   Dan and I have other activities that we do together, but it does not give us the important face-to-face time that we need.  

Who or what has your attention?  Dating will have your spouse’s!

God’s Word-1 Corinthians 13:13

 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)


In the last few months, Dan and I have had the privilege to travel to the Great Smoky Mountains and to the Pacific Northwest.  Both trips were a great getaway for the two of us.  

We decided not to bring the whole world’s problems on our vacation.  Yes, we unplugged from the news.  I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to get away from the bad news.  I felt it made me happier and in a better mood.  It may have been the mountains, the beach, the hiking trails, being with Dan, but I am thinking it was from being unplugged.  

If you think about it, we now have the whole world sitting in our pockets and purses with our cell phones.  We also have the whole world’s problems.  How dreadful.

Do you ask yourself, why am I in a bad mood?  Why am I not happy?  Maybe, some unplugged time might help you with a breath of fresh air.  Maybe.. we need to limit our time and be more selective with our news feeds. 

It is good to be informed but not inundated.  

Negativity affects all our relationships.  

Unplugged-try it for a happier you! 

A Valentine’s Dance

A favorite Valentine’s Dance memory was attending the Rod Pierson Big Band dance at Walford.   Dan and I would dress up for the occasion.  Many times we would have dinner with friends.  We would invite our Dance with Me Ministries class to join us for the evening.  For many of them, this was the first time out on a crowded dance floor.  What an experience to dance with the music of a live big band.  The music was amazing. ‘ In the Mood’ by the Glenn Miller Band was always a crowd favorite.  

It was a date. It was a time to get away from technology.  It was a time to enjoy the company of friends.  It was so nice to see what joy it brought to those attending. 

Here we are in 2022, with no dance to attend.  Ballroom dancing has definitely been a casualty of Covid.  Many of the dances we have attended in the past, no longer exist.  Some are hanging on by a thread.  Many dance instructors are no longer in business.  People are afraid to be with people.  Is this healthy?  We now have even another reason to be more sedentary and non-social.  All the things that are horrible for a person.  

With all the benefits of ballroom dancing, it would be a tragedy if it no longer exists.  I think of what it has done in my own marriage.  Dan and I have an activity we do together.  It’s a planned date. It brings us laughter and joy.  Dancing keeps us moving.  We have met amazing friends through our social contacts of dancing.   

In my dreams, ballroom dancing would become an activity that married couples would want to do together on a regular basis.  It would bring couples closer to each other and with friends.  We all could use a little more closeness right now. 

I don’t know if Ballroom dancing can survive this Covid epidemic.  Praying it will!

Valentines Dance 2009

Barn Dance

  • Delicious Food
  • Wonderful Friends
  • Barn Venue
  • Harvest Moon
  • Camp Fire
  • Date Night
  • Romantic Music

What’s there not to like about a night out dancing with our spouse at a beautiful barn venue? Then you have sweet friends to share it with over delicious homemade food.  How about a fun night out?  

With Covid we have become more homebodies.  Less social than ever. We have forgotten how important an in person social event is for our health.   Get out, have fun and do it for your well-being. 

We need each other!

God’s Word- Hebrews 10:24-25   24 and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, 25 not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Fall Dating


Summer Dating

Part 5

Don’t forget to take time for each other! A few summer dating ideas!

  • Bicycling

Ely Try Dan and Debbies Creamery. https://dananddebbies.com/, Cedar Valley Nature Trail, Heritage Trail in Dubuque

  • Hiking
  • Botanical Gardens

Dubuque Arboretum-https://dubuquearboretum.net/(be sure to check out the Ace Hardware near the entrance of the arboretum)https://stevesace.com/ 

Bickelhop Aboretum in Clinton, Iowa https://www.eicc.edu/about-eicc/colleges-and-centers/bickelhaupt/

Morgan Creek Park in Cedar Rapids-Aboretum https://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Linn/Park/Morgan-Creek-Park.aspx

  • Summer Outdoor Dancing
Dubuque Aboretum

Spring Dating

Happy Spring! Ideas for Spring dating!

  • Fishing (I have to take Dan along for this one so he can put my worm on my hook) : 0-Pleasant Creek State Recreational Area, Lake McBride State Park
My catch at Pleasant Creek
  • Hiking-Indian Creek, Kent Park, Lake McBride and Wapsipinicon
Spring hiking at Kent Park

God’s Word-Psalm 89:11
The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours;
The world and all it contains, You have founded them.