Girls Weekend – June 26, 1999 Mom, my sister and her daughter, and I spent the weekend in Saugatuck, Michigan. Away from the stresses of home, work, and the responsibilities of caring for others, we relaxed in each other’s company. We hit the local shops, swam in the motel pool, and took turns reading aloud from the book Like the Lilies, by Lucinda Tracy Perry, my Dad’s grandmother.
This week, as I prepared for Girls Weekend 2019, I came across the above info as well as some notes on previous Girls Weekends. Wow! We’ve been doing this – mostly regularly – for 20 years. I’d like to say I’ve kept good records, but the truth is, I’ve kept some records. I’m a better record keeper than some, not as good as others. In fact, I came across the date because we’ve been trying to keep better records. This weekend, I’m taking with me the notes we have kept so far, and I hope to fill in some details from prior years using our collective memories.
Our ‘Girls’ refer to my mom’s daughters, daughters-in-law, and granddaughters. Sometimes we have a big crew, sometimes a small core. My mom was included, of course, from 1999 through 2011. Her last Girls Weekend, held at her house in Stockbridge, included games, Italian food, a four generation photo op, and lots of love. My least favorite Girls Weekends were one she skipped in 2009 and the first one without her in 2012.
‘What do you do on Girls Weekend?’ people often ask. Well, there is usually shopping, often a movie, and always games. We talk and laugh and share. There have been fun times and moments of hurt feelings. We have different priorities and different tolerance levels for the length of shopping trips. Sometimes we miss out on activities because nobody wants to be the decision maker. We’ve been each other’s advocates and therapists during rough times. We’ve laughed until we cried. My eldest niece announced her pregnancy and the impending arrival of the next generation of our family on a Girls Weekend.
We started out staying in shared motel rooms, advanced to hotel suites and eventually to rented houses. Thank goodness for VRBO! We’ve been pampered by houses with lavish accommodations; my nieces once sharing a bedroom LABELED the Goddess Room. We’ve faced accommodations that didn’t sleep as many people as advertised. My niece and I shared a sofa bed that rolled us both toward the center. My sister has slept on two chairs pushed together, under a blanket she luckily had in the trunk of her car.
Every year has been a new locale with the exception of Canadian Lakes, Michigan. Apparently we had such a great time there in 2007 that we decided to go back in 2009. Our second trip proffered different results. Aside from the fact that our rental house was clearly haunted, it was decorated with literally hundreds of hands. Numerous figurines of hands in prayer, refrigerator magnets shaped like hands, a lamp in which the entwined hands held the lightbulb, and a hand in the bathroom holding the… wait for it… hand towel. It was like sharing a house with the Addams family’s Thing.
Girls Weekend – October 11, 2019 Rented a beach house on Superior Street in South Haven, MI. The weather was chilly, but the company was cozy. We hit the shops, walked down to the beach, and played Funglish. We missed the sunset, ate pizza and salad, and watched The Greatest Showman.
What simply cannot be expressed in a journal entry is how much the relationship with these women means to me. Can you complete a journey in a weekend? Most assuredly not. But a journey can be made up of many weekends. And I wouldn’t want to be on this journey with anybody else.