Saturday, January 26, 2008

Camp Big Sal

Abby says:
I am writing to you during my last night at camp. "Camp Big Sal" that is. It's a very special destination and it's not really a camp. In one of our early posts, we told you about our workout group -- a.k.a., Sheri's Gym. I am the group fitness trainer, and along with 5 other friends (including Sheri), we workout 3X per week at Sheri's House. Thus the name Sheri's Gym. We've been working out together for many years, and we've even developed gym attire with a logo to make us official.

The best part of this group is the friendships that have developed and evolved.

Sally, who is part of our group, is nicknamed "Big Sal" -- given to her lovingly by her husband. They own a wonderful getaway in Cave Creek, AZ and each January she graciously invites us all out for a lazy week of Lifetime movies, gossip and girl talk, Nordstrom outlet shopping, reading books and sipping margaritas. We've nicknamed our little haven "Camp Big Sal". It's the absolute best vacation anyone could ever want. We awaken and fall asleep to spectacular mountain views, crisp temperatures and the fresh aroma of vegetation found only in the Wild West.

We must all be getting old. Most days we were up at the crack of dawn building a fire at 5:30 am. At night we were typically in our pajamas no later than 5:30 pm -- ready to watch TV and claim our spots on the couch with Sally's two black labs. Our latest night out consisted of driving downtown to the Nordstrom outlet store and arriving home at 9:30 pm -- exhausted from our extraordinary finds -- which ranged from $1.97 must-have designer t-shirts to Coach tennis shoes for $39.97.

This year, however, was a bit sad. Sheri delivered a eulogy today for her mother-in-law, whom they buried in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Mickey planned and attended the memorial service for her father-in-law yesterday. Needless to say, they were not able to make the trip. We talked about them a lot, missed them much and proposed a toast to their families.

When I awaken early tomorrow, it's back to reality.

Sheri says:

It is back to reality and frankly, I'm hating reality at this moment. I'm annoyed and frustrated that I had to miss Camp Big Sal. (How selfish is that?) But, I was there in spirit and as usual, the girlfriends did not let a day go by without checking on me.

At Camp Big Sal, Abby and I are the first ones up. We light the candles and build the fire. We greet each other and then snuggle in our respective chairs with a book. We've all known each other a long time. This is our quiet time. No one feels the need to fill the quiet with mindless chatter.

Camp Big Sal is my refuge. It is a salve that soothes me. But my mother-in-law (who thought girlfriend trips were a bad idea) managed to die and circumvent this one. I don't blame her; I miss her. But, as usual, she got her way.


janis said...

How Blessed you are to have each other! I do believe that taking trips like this is the best gift you can give to yourself as well as those around you. When we take the time for R&R, and spend it with those you love, I think it does more than recharge you. It helps you to connect with who you are. My husband & I have always tried to give ourselves time like this. I love taking time out with him & my girls too. But I think it's so important to make time just for me too. It keeps me ... who I am. I am so glad I have girlfriends to do this with. I hope we will still be doing a yearly outing 30 years from now as well!

Anonymous said...

You and Mick were definitely missed, but we know you were with us in spirit even though you couldn't physically be there. We toasted you both many, many times and we hope you guys will have an opportunity to use your plane ticket for your "mini" Camp Big Sal.

Since you weren't able to be there, we kept the "bears" at bay, so perhaps they will return in 2009 ;o)

Love you all!