Monday, September 9, 2013

Traveling with women

View from the porch
In September on the weekend after Labor Day, the annual meeting of the Hollywood Bridge convenes.  The society has been in existence since at least 1997 meeting at my friend Jeannette's house on the Potomac River in Hollywood, MD. The group started with 8 women who loved to play bridge.  It soon grew to 12 and the annual meetings became events that no one wants to miss. Being one of the founding members I have attended all but one meeting in the past 16 years.  I missed the meeting in 2007 because I moved to Texas. I refer to that year as "Black September," because I looked forward to those trips as a time for renewal.  Traveling with other women is so much fun, relaxing and rejuvenating.

Things I like about traveling with my girl friends:
1.   No one has to be reminded to empty the dishwasher.
2.   Cooking is a group activity.
3.   No body complains about the food. And everything tastes good.
4.   Sometimes we skip dinner and eat dessert only.
5.   Only one person needs to bring a hair dryer.
6.   The toilet seat is always down.
7.   If one person cries the whole group does.
8.   We laugh a lot.  And we're really funny.  Just ask us.
9.   If you don't want to hang out no one will make you.
10.  We shop together. And help each other spend too much money.
11.  Someone will always comment on your clothing, hair, jewelry, etc.
12.  We take care of each other.
13.  We know how to keep secrets.
14.  We may not see each other often but we can catch up in minutes.

I'm sure there are many more reasons, but these are enough to make my point.  If you want to be pampered, comforted and renewed you need to take a trip with some girlfriends.  My good friend Julie attended the Bridge weekend 2 years in a row incapacitated with her leg in a cast or post surgery.  But she was in good hands and didn't have to lift a finger the entire trip.  We kept her in drinks, food, and anything else she needed.  In fact we took such good care of her last year that she won the tournament!

Our group has changed many times through the years as some people move on or move away. We've supported each other through many life events.  We've celebrated marriages, struggled through divorces, anxiously awaited births of children & grandchildren, grieved for loved ones lost, supported many through illnesses, and accepted each other with unconditional love. Sometimes we disagree and not everyone always gets along, but we find ways to work through those bumps. Because we come together for three common purposes:  To play bridge, eat good food and reconnect with our friends.

The memories from the annual meetings of the Hollywood Bridge Society get me through the tough days. And I know we all have some very difficult days ahead.  But I know if ever I'm ever in trouble, need help or just want to laugh I could call any one of those women.  "Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do is call.  And I'll be there. . . " - Carole King

My view of the river.
1.  Wet on Wet with blues and yellows.
2.  More wet on wet with some more blues and burnt sienna
 3.  Establish a waterline and painted clear water where the river is and dropped in some blues and greens.
4.  Above the water I started with greens and blues then added some reds and browns.
5.  A city skylight appeared in the back ground so I defined it a little more with some pale blue.

Finished view and my photo inspiration.  Even though there wasn't a city skyline in the photo it appeared in my painting. So even though I live hundreds of miles away, my friends, and the river are there for me.



  1. Hi Karen,

    I've never traveled with a group of women - or even one woman, can you believe it?

    Oh no wait a minute, I have! When I lived in Africa, I went on a 3 week road trip in South Africa with 3 fellow teachers. It was fun. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

    Thanks for reminding me of happy times in Africa :-)

    Stay true to you,

  2. Yes, doing things with your girlfriends is invigorating! Thanks for sharing your experience at these meetings with us.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful group of people to associate with. I think traveling with a bunch of women would be TONS of fun! I miss friends I left behind in PA. and never made new friends here in MI. Talk about being starved for sisterly love. Ugh!

    1. Start a book or card group. Or take some classes at the community center. You'll meet some like minded people!

  4. Spending time with your girlfriends and traveling is the best!