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Talking it over: Girlfriend time

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Normally on the first week of deer hunting, I escape with a couple of my friends and visit another friend in the Twin Cities area. We started this tradition several years ago and have come to look forward to it for weeks and months in advance.

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It is a fairly calm weekend. We usually go shopping, play games, watch movies, cook small meals and do a lot of visiting. Some years we have visited a spa or attended a play. When we first started the tradition, our younger children joined us and had a great time playing together while the moms spent time comparing notes and solving life's problems.

The weekend soon wound down to four of us and due to the arrival of some new grandkids, has been only three the last few years. This year was a different type of year for us and brought out what may become more challenging each year. Age and health issues are starting to affect our girlfriend time.

Our host this year has been struggling for weeks with painful bone spurs. Before traveling to her house, we made sure she wanted us to come and were assured that she needed someone to come and "take care of her."

That is exactly what we did this weekend. We took care of her and each other. It was a quieter weekend, made up of mostly card games and TV movies. However, it just felt right to get together and make the most of the traditional weekend. We weren't able to take away the pain our friend was dealing with but hopefully we were able to distract her a bit from thoughts of it.

I started to realize that we are getting older and life is going to throw us curve balls more often. We will have health problems, family situations and work dilemmas more and more as we age. It is going to get increasingly difficult to get away for those 'girlfriend days."

I hope my friends never decide to totally do away with our time together. It is a healing time in some ways. We can talk about most everything, some subjects our husbands would rather not discuss, share our concerns, solve world problems and simply blank out every day challenges for one weekend a year.

Even though we don't usually make big plans for the weekend, the few hours we spend together add up to some great memories. There have been times when we give each other funny little gifts and I find myself looking for these things all year long. Without knowing it, I am anticipating the weekend all year and am sad when it is over.

I don't think I could have as much fun or feel quite as comfortable doing this with just anyone. The four of us simply seem to click and everything we do together works for each of us, probably because we have been doing it for so many years.

Now the weekend is over and we can only look forward to, and hope that our girls weekend next year, will bring health, wealth and happiness for each of us. Perhaps we will have less problems and more good things to share. The best gatherings over the years have been the ones that have been uneventful. I will be hoping for that, and good health, for next year.

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