Georgia On My Mind

The last time I had attended a pajama party, Johnny Mathis was probably crooning on the radio and I had skinny thighs beneath my oh-so-cute baby-doll pajamas.   Johnny still survives, but the baby-dolls are long gone…and those skinny thighs?  (sigh)  Don’t even ask.

Three years ago  my e-mail group and I decided to meet in person.   We had formed this unlikely laptop alliance over time when the only one who knew the other three sent occasional inclusive e-mails and we’d responded without paying attention to who else might be on the address line.  We still hit  Reply to All without reading  who “ALL”  might be and besieged husbands or people we don’t know eventually reply, begging to be excluded.  The four of us, however,  had  become bonded by keyboard and were curious to see how we’d get along if we actually met.

Our first meeting (not that simple since we live in different states)  in western North Carolina confirmed it:  genuine friends.

The second year we met in Alabama where we re-learned canasta and tried our hand at knitting, laughed and talked until after midnight, then e-mailed each other from our rooms early the next morning to see who was awake so that we start it all again.

This time we met at Beanie’s house in her small town near the Tugaloo River in north Georgia.  She had warned us of its remoteness so we decided to tweak her a little and showed up at her door in bib overalls and John Deere caps.  Our overalls sported an inspired patch of a woman on a tractor and gave us our irreverent theme for this year’s meeting:
Haulin' ass to Georgia.
Haulin' ass to Georgia.
The baby doll pajamas and skinny thighs may have been missing, but girlish silliness bubbled up in no time.

What we packed for this Pajama Party Redux was a revelation.  When sixty-ish women go on an outing together, we don’t simply toss in a toothbrush and a change of underwear.   One in the group goes nowhere without her egg crate mattress topper, another had what looked to be a 30-lb. bag of health and skincare  products,  and I came returning the  16 Elizabeth Peters mysteries I never read.   Laptops,  knitting projects,  coolers, binoculars, cameras, and games nestled amid calcium tablets, fiber pills,  Fossamax, or whatever the prescription of the week might be.

Clothes?  Yeah, but with no clothes horses in the group,  “Loose and comfy” was the designated attire.  In fact, we even checked our bras at the door.  One of the group arrived to find she’d forgotten her suitcase, left  at home by the front door,  and had to go to the general store (that would be Wal-mart) for underwear.    Three days of bib overalls hid bralessness so well they may see the light of day back at home.

This year Rummikub turned out to be our game of choice–nothing that required concentration because talking was what we did best.   We sat on the porch drinking wine, Diet Coke,  or beer and sent raccous peals of laughter into the quiet Georgia night.

Porches don't get any better than this!
Porches don't get any better than this!

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Perhaps  the P in AARP stands for Peculiar, because we are indeed set in our ways, even in our choice of breakfast drinks.   We each brought along our own preferences:    Diet Coke for one,  tea for another,  while the third drinks some Starbuckish concoction for which she brings her own equipment and soy milk.   I drink coffee…not normal,  brewed coffee, but  those little Maxwell House or Folger’s tea bag-looking things  that I can dunk in boiling water to scald my gullet and steam away the morning fuzzies in my brain.

We sat around the kitchen table with our laptops and  morning drinks and began our birdwatching for the day–meaning whatever bird came to the feeders hanging outside the large windows while we lazed in our pajamas.    Cardinal–check.  Woodpecker–check.  Bluejay–check.
One morning we did try  these exotic teas which one had brought from New York City:
The tea looks like a little turd, but put into a glass with boiling water and voila!  Flower tea!

Our knitting projects were  only slightly more advanced than our birdwatching.  We like doing it; we just aren’t particularly good at it.   Although we continuously swear off  knitting blogs with their parade of actual finished projects far beyond our skill levels, we still cruised them at the breakfast table, forwarding pictures and patterns to each other.

Our areas of expertise lie in other areas:  ice cream, for instance, handmixed and brought by cooler from the mountains.    We each had our own pint:  chocolate with crushed brownie and almond, raspberry with peppermint, peach with crushed almonds, and chocolate with peppermint.   We ate it right from the cartons, trying to stretch it to last.  (Whoever said that red wine and ice cream don’t go together?!)

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On departure day, there were packages of Mary Janes for me, which the other two travelers had stopped and bought  because they remembered I like them, Peeps for another who actually eats those squishy things,  and bouquets of orange flowers in pretty green lidded vases which Beanie had placed in each of our rooms.

Hugs, directions for getting out of town, and as usual, a final directive:  E-mail when you get home.


4 thoughts on “Georgia On My Mind

  1. Mary Lee, this is the kind of fun we crave. When the gals get together and let themselves go!

    I had to laugh:

    In fact, we even checked our bras at the door.

    Yep. That’s me, too :o)

    Sounds like a perfect getaway with great friends.


  2. That was a marvelous read! How nice…to meet the way you all met and to then finally get together and have a blast! That’s truly, truly special and fun times with special and fun friends!

  3. Pingback: Here’s To You, Cupcake! « Merrilymarylee's Weblog

  4. Pingback: Another Curling Yarn « Merrilymarylee's Weblog

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