Every spring, a special female contingent gathers in the woods. We kiss our husbands and lovers goodbye, hug our little ones, close the laptops and put most of modern life on hold to share a small space at 7,200 feet. It is here that the hair comes down, the beer and chips come out and we are silly Girls once again.
Specifically, we meet at Chez Clisby, my family's humble cabin in Green Valley Lake. This year, we busted open the weathered front door only to be greeted by three dead mice, a million angry fire ants and an exploding toilet. Ah, home at last!
There are but three rules for Chick Cabin Weekend:
-No men (Exceptions: Local handymen who inevitably come to fix things and the AAA dudes who help Debbie with her car dramas, every single year)
And this year, we've added a new one:
All cell phone calls are to be made outside the cabin. (The intrusion of technology in a rustic place with no phone or TV is sacrilegious not to mention, annoying.)
For a few days, we eat, drink, hike and discuss our lives down to the last detail. If something is held back, I can't possibly imagine what it would be. We've dealt with marriages, divorces, child-rearing, political differences, religion, financial independence, parental mortality, infidelity, health issues, pop culture, celebrity love lives, spiritual crisis, body image, real estate, cooking, female relationships, education and, of course, sex. Now that we are all gradually passing over the 40+ mark, we now discuss the breakdown of our bodies and how a little plastic surgery never hurt anyone, except at the very beginning when it stings like a motherfucker.
This past weekend marks the eighth year in a row we have met and for many of us, it is the only time we see one another. As our lives become more focused on our families, relationships and careers, CCW marks the only time we screech to a halt and say, "Enough! I'll be having a beer and a chocolate donut for breakfast, dammit, don't try to stop me. Not only that, I may even take a nap without anyone demanding anything from me and do some backwoods disco dancing before the evening Feast." It is a holiday deliberately squeezed between Mother's Day and Memorial Day and it has become one long session of doing whatever the hell we want, whenever we want.
To close the weekend, we hike to a boulder perch overlooking Lake Arrowhead and hold Blessing on the Rocks, where we offer encouragement to those who are setting off a great adventures or taking big risks. It began with Heidi last year, who was going on a summer road trip to her newly purchased cabin in Nova Scotia. It turned out to be such a magical experience, she's repeating the trek again this summer.
This year, three of us were singled out for upcoming changes in our lives: Sharon, four months pregnant with Elliott, is preparing to raise a son on her own. Andrea, who has finally learned to never say "Never!" will re-marry in June, after finding love with an old friend. And me, for moving to Denver to build a new life with Man, the truest, bluest angel I have ever met.
All these brave acts come with risks but with the blessing and love of our sisters, we will never have to truly face them alone.