I just got back from my sister & I’s third annual girls’ cabin weekend in Madison, New Hampshire. There’s always a lot of wine, a lot of gab, a lot of lounging by the woodstove, a lot of good food, a lot of laughs. This year was no different. We played Bird Bingo, met a group of baby boomers having their own girls’ weekend at Diana’s Baths, held our largest clothing swap ever (it was like Christmas morning!), and sang “Baby Beluga” to Meg’s seven-month old daughter, Cecelia.
Life happens really fast. With all the jobs and bills and worry and commutes and making meals for oneself, it’s a wonder that nearly fifteen of our girlfriends have made it to the cabin every year, bearing food & clothing swap items & new stories of how each one of us is finding our way in this world. Each year, there are new faces at our cabin weekend, nervously waving ‘hello’ on Friday night & Sunday warmly embracing everyone good-bye. Those who can’t be there that year are evoked in our memories & musings during the weekend, which makes everyone feel like no one is too far away or ever truly absent.
Sunday of girls’ cabin weekend always arrives too soon for everyone. We mill around the long, pine table sipping cooling mugs of coffee, nibbling cookies from the night before, eventually getting up to take another stab at the leftover pizza from Friday night’s raucous beginnings. And then it’s past noon, everyone still in their pajamas, all unbrushed hair and slippers. We start cleaning up, stripping the many beds, throwing towels in the wash, loading up the dishwasher, and divvying up the food. And slowly, we leave.
T and I are always last to go, double (triple!) checking that we’ve shut off the heat & hot water, and that the towels have made it into the dryer. We turn off the lights, chat until the house cools and the sun begins to tuck itself under the wiry pine tops. Only then do we close the wooden door behind us, feeling a bit lonely, a bit sad, kicking at the mica in the dirt until we give in, hug one another and drive away.