Sisters' Weekend

I am typing this for a delayed posting, since I am off to Michigan for colors and sisters.  Judy and I are in Chicago, Marie and Jennifer are in Detroit.   We will meet in New Buffalo (not halfway, but a tradition) this weekend for our annual get together.  We failed to merge last Autumn, so we set this weekend in stone last June, and woe be to she who gets the flu,  or any other excuse.  Judy is shaving it close, with her daughter's 13th birthday on Sunday.  It is costing her a girlfriends-style party for Emma, with manicures and such.  I would suspect that Emma will get a few bonus gifts as well, from her Aunties.  The Joliat sisters are not to be denied.   There is always the sister-in-law dilemna.  We love both S-I-Ls, but this is a tradition.  Marietta, Paul's wife, has 5 sisters herself, and they have get-togethers that do not reach across to my sister Marie.( married to her brother) She is really like a sister, since she has been a Joliat for 27 years, and Mom counted her as a daughter.  But she does not have to like us, so we would have to behave. The sisters can get away with sniping and such- after all, what can you do, excommunicate yourself from the family?  Mike's wife, Colleen is off this weekend to see her daughter Kate play soccer at U of Miami, so she would be out anyhow. She probably saw more of us than she dreamed of in her worst nightmare during Mike's surgical sojourn.  In all likelihood, both women would probably find us tiresome.  We tend to try to solve the problems of the world and of the family.  We fail, and drink wine and eat too much.  Once Mike came for the weekend, and we dragged him to Saugatuck to shop.  He was a good sport, but I guess Paul has harassed him for a decade about being a "sister".  Since his wife is away, and with the cardiac rehab, we extended an invite.  Remembering our wretched excesses, and the gazillion stairs, second floor beds and bath- he demurred.  I believe Paul's scorn is the real reason. Yes- I guess we ARE tiresome.  

This year's caloric traps are chicken and shrimp salad a la Costco, with croissants and rolls, M & M peanuts, in homage to our Mom, molasses cookies and assorted breakfast breads. And wine, of course.  It looks like we can justify a fire.  We will eat all dinners out. One meal will be at Stray Dog.  We will undertake a craft project involving beading, go to the outlet malls and buy nothing we need, and take as many pictures as we can cajole strangers (and waiters) into snapping.  I am going to trick the girls into Stop 50 Wood Fired Pizza.  They will thank me FOREVER.  And Chris, the owner would make sure we were well photographed, perhaps with his woodfired s'mores.  Yum.
I have made commemorative sweatshirts to honor the occasion- I will reveal them upon my return Sunday so as to suprise the girls.  I made extras for the brothers, and I tried not to go too "chick." My son gave a thumbs up; that is a relief.
Next year maybe I will try to assemble a family weekend.  There is a swell hotel at the end of the street, and we could all congregate with spouses.  I think I will aim for September, and barring any emergency bypass surgeries, we could pull it off.  Of course, that would be in addition to- not instead of- sisters' weekend.  I will start contemplating the commemorative clothing now. 
What do you do on Family weekends?  Sisters' weekends?  How do you balance the sister-sister- in- law situation?  I know we have a great time, I just want to keep it fresh and fun.  I will be back with pictures on Monday.  I than you for your indulgence.  I am just that excited. 
 

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  • Sounds like alot of fun. Memories no doubt are being made every time you gather. We do a family gathering in Shipshewana IN. We have always scheduled the outing at the time the Live Nativity pagaent was performed; however this year the pagaent is not being presented. We will continue our tradition despite the lack of the performance. The attendees will include myself, my 2 daughters, ages 24 and 17; middle sister, her daughters, ages 19 and 12, and youngest sister and her 5 and 8 year old sons. We stay at a beautiful Amish style hotel that is right in town. The hotel has a great indoor recreation area that includes pool, hot tub, basketball court, ping pong tables, kids play area, and beautiful gathering areas with comfortable furnishings and fireplaces. We do all the shopping we are able to get in before closing time. The stores in town close pretty early. One stop we are sure to make is JoJo's pretzels to indulge in the freshly twisted homemade pretzels with tasty mustard dipping sauce. Several are transported both back to the hotel for late night snacking and back home to share with others. We swim, play basketball, ping pong then back to the rooms to gather our supplies for what we like to call, "reindeer games". All gather in front of one of the fireplaces;the kids, (and at least one sister)in their nightwear, all loaded down with games, snacks and libations. We play an assortment of games including UNO, It's a Wonderful Life, Man Bites Dog. Everyone gets along, the boys are allowed to make up rules for the games as we go along. And then they win! Snacks are always shared and gobbled up. If snow should begin to fall while there, it is the best! The area is so peaceful and calmimg. After we start scattering into our rooms, noone is ever where they will be sleeping, adults and kids traveling back and forth from room to room. The highlight of the evening is the trip to Wal Mart. So way into the late night hours we hand the keys to my oldest daughter and off we go! As many that will fit into the SUV travel to the 24hour store to find out of town Wal Mart gifts! When gifts are opened on Christmas the recipient of the special out of town Wal Mart gifts are always reminded of their origin. That's a special treat, to be gifted one of those late night finds! There's travel, food, shopping, swimming, games and best of all family together having a wonderful life! We can't ask for anything beter!

  • Hope you had a wonderful time Janet. Wine, southwest Michigan, and sisters...of course it was a hit! For now, our long trips are always family-style. That can go up to 23 people, with kids ranging 10 to 23. Lately these trips have been combined with the guys annual fishing trip to Wisconsin, as we all try to squeeze everything in with kids activities and less spending money. But never fear, we are all pretty resourceful women, and we will gladly spend the day on the pontoon (especially if the bar on the lake serves take out pitchers of Bloody Mary's!), play just about any card game (to win, of course!), fish for hours and catch nothing, or explore the shops of the local towns. We mix and mach the kids by which activity they prefer - and thankfully we are all comfortable 'parenting' each other's children :) For now, our 'sister' time is limited to brief outings, usually revolving around craft shows of some type, and appearing at as many of te kids' activites as possible. It helps that 3 sisters and 1 brother live in a 10 mile radius, and the 4th sister doesn't mind the 6 hour drive, as long as her 4 girls don't have softball, gymnastics, basketball or church functions. And we ALWAYS invite the sister-in-law! She knows that she married the whole family when she married our brother, and although she makes fun of us mercilessly, we know she loves us. I can't wait until our kids are older, and we have more flexibility to enjoy our longest and best friendships.

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