I'm still hanging on to those big threads of peace that I picked up last weekend at the annual Chick Cabin Weekend in the SoCal mountains. Clinging with my greedy little hands before the rhythm of daily life drumbeats it right out of my memory.
Just the day before yesterday, I lay buck-ass nekked on a big granite rock, enjoying the perfect hot sunny day and the light, cool breeze. The warmth and roughness of the rock and the sound of wind through pine needles were my only concerns. Okay, maybe red ants too - yeah, definitely concerned about those. Anyway, it was sheer bliss. I kept thinking about these women I've collected - how beautiful and brilliant, how loving and generous, how smart and hilarious - and it lifts me up. Many of them I do not see more than this weekend but they are with me always. Cheesy but true.
The day before, me and nearly a dozen of my best girlfriends, threw a ladies tea party to honor my mother, who kindly lets us use the family cabin every year, despite her better judgement. She took her grandmother's vintage blue velvet and plumed hat (circa 1800s) and made the drive from Long Beach - about 2 hours.
Lisa G., pictured with mom here, did most of the food. Man-o-man, she created a delectable and slightly evil menu of pastries - shortbread, iced banana bread, carrot cake, pineapple upside down cake, white chocolate scones - on and on. Later that evening, she couldn't stop herself and made Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake and an elegant last-minute fruit pie. I hope to marry her someday.
Evidently, Lisa G. had stayed up until 3:30 a.m. baking in the cabin's tiny kitchen while dancing to her iPod and reading paranormal erotica. All the while using crude pots and pans and not disturbing the slumber of 10 other women who were all sleeping in a tiny space. Her powerful Zen powers keep her always somehow floating around us like some smiling Martha Stewart hovercraft. Very comforting and kinda trippy.
Then there's Kim, pictured here in satin and pearls (which she continued to wear while hiking down an ash-covered mountain side). She'd actually been living in the cabin since last Wednesday - "It's a surprise," she said.
I walked in on Friday morning and the place was immaculate and the long-neglected patio room had been fastidiously arranged, organized and rearranged using all the family's vintage props and furniture. Full decorations - balloons, streamers, Chinese lanterns - it was a glorious makeover. Kim had smeared love all over the place - it looked notably less forgotten. Y'see, "Airman Fraser" has always been something of a house decor artist, not to mention one of the funniest people I know.
But we were incomplete without one member who we were missing, a gal who could not make due to an urgent family illness. Debbie has - as she likes to point out - a "perfect attendance" record to CCW and usually plays shuttle driver to yours truly. The bottom bunk - which is practically in the kitchen itself - is unquestionably hers. No one dare suggest any other body occupy this space - which is a perfect arrangement since she is a mother of four who can sleep through anything.
So, there we were, getting funky on Prince's often overlooked classic, "Housequake", when the front door opens around midnight on Saturday. "Hey, is there a party going on here?" It was Debbie - she'd driven there in the middle of the night after her family had wisely enforced the idea; she needed a break for herself. It wasn't long after she sat down on HER bunk that the tears came and a dozen women encircled her in some giant mama bird wingspan hug and handed her tissues. Then, we do what friends do best. We listened.
Such are the riches of friendship - I feel like the wealthiest woman alive. All these women amaze me. Can't wait until next year.