Every other year I host a group of girlfriends for a night or few during the summer. Of course, this year, the year we moved, was that year.
In our former house, we could sleep ten guests. In this house, we will have two guest bedrooms…eventually. Currently one is set up as a bedroom, the other is filled with yet to be unpacked boxes. We left some of our furniture in the other house for staging purposes.
As it turned out we had no more than three overnight guests on any one night…not necessarily the same three, but three max, so we were good to go with the current bedroom, a comfy sofa, and a new deluxe air mattress.
Some of us have known each other twenty plus years so sharing a bed isn’t a problem. We’ve shared worse. A couple of the ladies stayed in a hotel. I think they had visions of sleeping on the floor which, fyi, would not have happened. We always could have used the two bedrooms we have staged at the other house, though it would have been difficult to have a house party when the locations are thirty minutes apart.
There was a time in my life when I would have been stressed because all the boxes weren’t unpacked, pictures hung, drapes up, etc. (We’ve hung NO pictures or drapes, by the way. Thankfully blinds came with the house.) At least all of the boxes were in one room so my friends didn’t have to dodge or sit on them.
This year, throughout the week, there were seven of us. Some years we’ve had more; few years have we had less. It’s not always the same group though there are four or five who are always here.
The seven of us this year spanned four decades in age and went to six different universities. We live in Tennessee, Mississippi (2), North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, and Canada. One might wonder how we even know each other, much less became such good friends. What’s special about this particular group of friends?
We’re sorority sisters. We know each other because we’ve all been volunteers for our college sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, since our graduation. A couple of us were actually on staff for a few years but that’s a different post. Our paths crossed because we worked together somewhere in the volunteer structure.
One example started with a collegiate chapter president, her chapter adviser (who had graduated from a different university) and their regional director (who graduated from a third school.) I was the regional director. The chapter had some challenges so the three of us talked…a lot. After the chapter president graduated, she maintained her relationship with her former adviser and with me. That was over twenty years ago.
None of us can remember when we actually started this every other summer gathering, but we have pictures going back at least ten years for the group, and I found a water bottle for a 2001 event.
The sorority holds a leadership conference in Nashville every other year, so we do it in conjunction with it. “The girls” are going to be here anyway, might as well tack a day or two on before or after for some intense sisterhood time.
Some of the things we’ve done in the past include spa days (at least twice), a salt cave, touristy things like the Nash Trash Tour, a tea party…and we’ve shopped, antiqued, and rescued stranded Canadians from the airport when their flights were grounded. We did have people sleeping on the floor that year!
Our tradition always includes a “happy” of some sort. One year it was a bejeweled crown and sunglasses. This year it was a framed photo from last year and a memory book from the last ten years. These are friends of a lifetime and for a lifetime. I’m happy they are some of mine.
I love my friends. Keep smiling…