INKLINGS: A seven-year tradition
It was in 2006 that the women in my family began our first girls’ weekend in my sister Cynthia’s mountain home in the rolling hills of Virginia. This year we numbered eight, consisting of three generations: five each of mothers and daughters, four sisters, three grandmothers, two cousins and one each mother and daughter-in law. Our ages totaled 371 years.
The logistics of getting this sassy group together hark all the way back to Eden, if we remember that Eve was the first multi-tasker. First, a weekend in mid October is chosen months in advance and arrangements made about school and work. Hostess and family-proclaimed Exalted Tour Guide Cynthia, works up a suggested schedule and sends it out in updated versions along with maps and colorful booklets. By September we are all counting the days until departure.
Cynthia and I, along with Cathy and Amy, drove from Summerville to Charlotte to pick up Kathy. Mary Clare, Anna and Grace left from Lexington and we met up at an outdoor restaurant in the charming college town of Davidson, N.C. Afterwards we strolled up the street to give our shopping skills a test flight in a couple of enticing stores.
The carpool then left for a wine tasting and more gift shopping. After that we proceeded to Hillsville, picked up rotisserie chickens and salad makings for dinner and went to the house. The grands had made truffles for dessert and we put a tiny candle on one and celebrated Kathy’s birthday.
Saturday began with a trip to Mt. Airy, N.C., a Mecca for those looking to complete their Christmas lists early. After much successful shopping, we got on the Blue Ridge Parkway and headed up Groundhog Mountain and on to Rocky Knob Park for a picnic. The parkway blazed with reds and golds and it was like driving through an outdoor cathedral under arches of color. The park had a hiking trail which the younger ones enjoyed.
We picked up the cookie-cakes ordered for Grace’s surprise party and brought home pizzas as well. The “elders” watched movies both evenings. The grands spend most of their evenings practicing flutes and working on hand-made Christmas cards, a project cleverly created by Amy and Cathy. Everyone opted to get up early, attend Mass and get started downhill in time to be home for an early dinner. Cynthia and I, with the wisdom of age, plus the cunning of older women who planned to utilize the two bathrooms first, got up at 6 a.m., packed, dressed and ate a muffin. The lay-abouts arose about an hour before departure and it was a whirlwind 60 minutes, cleaning up and repacking cars. They had little time for breakfast.
We made it to church and then to brunch. We split up and headed home, with the Summerville area contingent getting in about 7 p.m.
This late return actually happens every year, but we have a new solution. We all enjoy this excursion so much that in 2013 we plan to leave Thursday afternoon, getting to the mountains about 8 p.m. and giving us two full days of shopping and enjoying the wonderful fall atmosphere in each other’s company.
Who knows what else we can get up to with an extra day!