Q. I’ve been asked to join some women acquaintances on a long weekend excursion. The participants are widows (like me) or divorced. What do you think?
I’m all for it. In fact, I’ve been doing something similar for several years. The “all girls” trip has become an annual highlight. In my case, the idea took hold after my husband, an attorney, died. One of his biggest clients was a business trade organization, which held a convention and large meetings two or three times a year. I tagged along with my husband, as did the wives of many of the organization’s members, when the location was an interesting place like Washington, D.C., or a warm spot in winter, such as Arizona or Florida. We women “played” while our spouses worked. Although we lived in different parts of the country (and in tiny towns, as well as major cities), practiced different religions, and were politically diverse, we found plenty of common ground and shared great times together,
After my husband died, we lamented the loss of our get-togethers — and decided to try an “all girls” trip somewhere in the U.S. By that time, another husband had died, and we were six or seven women (widows, wives, and partners). Our first destination was Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is not only Dolly Parton country, but second only to Las Vegas for quickie weddings. We stayed in a lovely bed-and-breakfast for five nights and toured the surrounding areas in a rented van. We hiked, and found good restaurants and appealing shops. Depending on the year, the group has included as many as 10 or 11 of us. We’re from New York, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Tampa, North Carolina, Georgia, Chicago, and elsewhere.
What do we do? We visit art and history museums, explore historic houses and landmarks, and take day trips to areas of interest. We shop, eat (90-minute breakfasts are routine), and catch up. We laugh and find community. This is our eighth year, and we wouldn’t miss it for the world. We’ve been to Jackson, Mississippi; Asheville, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Savannah, Georgia; St. Louis, Missouri; and Portland, Maine. People often say to us, “You’re going where?” Yet each destination has been unique and enriching in its own way. We return refreshed, energized, and nourished. We’ve seen each other through joys, illness, and tragedy.
Why not give the long weekend a try? Who knows? It may be the start of a valued tradition. Caveat: One of our secrets is to polish our listening skills and avoid talking politics.
If you have a question for Florence, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florence Isaacs is a freelance journalist,author — and a widow herself. Her books include My Deepest Sympathies, When the Man You Love Is Ill,What Do You Say When and Just a Note to Say...The Perfect Words for Every Occasion.