Monday, September 19, 2011

The Tenth One

We were gathered around the kitchen island, each of our six hands holding a glass of red wine, ready to toast to our annual girls' weekend.

"To the weekend!" I said.  "How many is this?  Eight?  Nine?"

"TEN!" said the group, and I literally could not believe it, though the notes we've jotted down don't lie, and they tell a story of a group of six college friends who gathered in Kentucky in the fall of 2001 to drink Bloody Marys at the horse races, sit in the hot tub, eat chess pie, and stay up way too late at night talking and laughing.  The last one of us had just been married and we'd realized that, with no more weddings in our future, we'd have to travel to see each other for the sole purpose of being together.

Since then, we've stayed up way too late at night annually in lots of cities and states.  We've white-water rafted in West Virginia, shopped in Chicago, spent the day at the beach, hiked in the mountains and the dunes, gone to the spa, eaten fabulous meals out and cooked giant meals in, eaten our weight in addictive cereal mixes, and told a million and one stories.  We're about to welcome the sixteenth child of this group into the world (Annie was the first) and have spent hours talking about baby names, nursing, discipline, laundry, childbirth, time-outs, sleep deprivation, pregnancy, and raising kids.  (I think it's fair to say a good portion of our weekends are currently spent talking about The Children:  How Cute and Hilarious They Are, and The Children:  How They Are Trying to Kill Us.)  And then, because the point of the weekend is partially about escaping the family-focused world we live in every day, we talk about work, exercise, food, wine, make-up, fashion trends, design, books, television, travel, Target, marriage, memories, magazines, how to keep our hair from looking gray, how to get dinner on the table, how to make the big decisions in life.

This year, we kept it pretty low-key.  We stayed at Connie's cottage, took a long walk down the beach on Saturday morning, shopped in Pentwater for the afternoon, and ate a big, late dinner on Saturday night.  There was goat cheese and cherry ice cream, pumpkin butter cake, dill havarti, marcona almonds, bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, salad, guacamole, wine, lambic, coffee, tarts, focaccia, granola, olives, apples, and - of course - the addictive cereal mix that is a requirement every year.  There was one particularly good story told by Gina, one baby name to be discussed, one round of talking about people we used to know in college and Facebook-stalking them.  There was lunch at Brewery Vivant and bookstore browsing and pedicures before heading up north, and there were hugs and promises before going our separate ways yesterday.

There was one spectacular sunset.

There were a lot of fruit flies trying to swim in our wine.

There was a candlelit table with six chairs around it.

And there are six people going about their days today - driving carpool, making phone calls, cooking dinner, seeing patients, kissing children, writing checks - who are just a bit better for the time they spent at this, the tenth weekend.


  1. Looks like so much fun. You all look gorgeous!

  2. Is it weird if I'm a little teary-eyed? How lucky are we to have these reunions. I will never stop realizing that. So glad yours was wonderful!