Friday, November 14, 2008

I Like WW

About thirty-plus years ago, when my friends and I were married and starting families, our husbands started an annual tradition: the Memorial Day Weekend canoe trip. The first trip was a simple overnight excursion down a local river, but it did not take long for the trips to get longer, the rivers wilder, and the weekends expanded.

It also did not take long for the wives to demand something equitable. Since many of us had nursing babies, our options were somewhat limited, but we started with what could be called Women's Afternoon Off. Eventually, we added an overnight (nursing babies were allowed, but no other children), and finally we settled into a semi-annual Friday-night-to-Sunday-afternoon arrangement that included staying at a cabin where there was no telephone (this was pre-cell phone days).

The membership of this group has fluctuated a bit over the years, and not everyone can make it everytime, but we have stuck with it, even when the price paid by absenting ourselves from our families sometimes was not balanced by the rewards.

Although the men believe otherwise, we rarely discuss them. Most conversation revolves around our children (and now grandchildren and aging parents). We used to drink a lot (wine and coffee) smoke a lot (cigarettes!) and eat a lot and chocolate a lot and watch R-rated movies and play cards and Trivial Pursuit. Now we eat less, drink less, smoke less (some of us have quit). We still play cards, but less ferociously, still watch movies, but fewer each time. Last spring we spent an inordinate amount of time solving New York Times crossword puzzles as a group. I know - sounds like a wild time!

I thought it would be easier to schedule our getaways once the kids were grown, but now we have to work around graduations, weddings, births of grandchildren, volunteer commitments, surgery, and even a kidney donation. So far, with only one exception I can think of, we have pulled it off, twice a year, for thirty (30!) years.

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