Once upon a time, a group of six women had a get-away to the mountains of Pennsylvania.  The vacation house was an item that two of the husbands had bid on at a silent auction several years ago.  When the two families failed to coordinate their schedules and find a time to use the house, we went to Plan B. 
 Book Club. 
Nobody had ever been to the house or could even remember what it looked like in the photos at the auction.
We were in for a huge surprise.  Too often, that line presages a great disappointment.  But in this case, quite the opposite.  The house was grand, recently built, and beautifully appointed, not full of cast-offs from the primary residence.  It was Architectural Digest-worthy. 
eagles mere exterio
eagles mere interio
eagles mere rocke
eagles mere kitche
During the drive up, all six of us in a mini-van heroically piloted by Kathleen (at right above, with Anne), we got started on the topic of colonoscopies.  As Katie Couric has taught the nation, these are a good thing.  Yet nobody really looks forward to the experience.
The bathroom theme continued at the vacation house, as we considered the oddities of our lodgings.  There were only 4 wine glasses in the kitchen, but there were six and half baths, all gorgeously designed with slate floors and pristine subway tile.  There were minimal closets and cupboards.  Were the owners, possibly, teetotaling hygiene freak nudists? Whatever.  They had great taste.
The place slept 20, and we all staked out our turf.
eagles mere loft vie
When the subject of colonoscopies was mentioned for the nth time, we decided to rent Ghost Town, in which Ricky Gervais undergoes exactly that procedure, except it goes terribly awry…causing him to be pestered by ghosts with unfinished business.
ghost town
We did a lot of talking and fire-building and sleeping.  We accomplished a 4-mile march in 7 degree weather.  One advantage:  when nature calls, at least you’re out in nature.  But it was cold enough to literally freeze your heinie off.  There was much hilarity as bathroom breaks were hastily undertaken in the middle of our own little Siberia.   The hiking continued.
family2010 098
After two miles, we summited.  If only we had had a Book Club flag to plant.
Group Worlds End
l-r:  Jennifer, Anne, Christie, Kathleen, Lisa, Jenny
Throughout the weekend, there were variations on our theme.   All long married, we are way past the broken heart stage.  So instead, we told stories of broken toilets, and intestinal emergencies in the worst possible places at the worst possible times.  There were countless tales of  bathroom mishaps and misadventures from our own lives, and those of people who shall remain nameless.  We were on a roll….of Charmin.  Mike Myers and Mr. Whipple would have been so proud.
We laughed about a line I heard on NPR in which a humorist pointed out that when you’re in the bathroom at a place not your own, and there’s a knock on the door, you frantically say  ”Someone’s in here!”  Never “I’m in here.”  As if distancing yourself from the base activity that is actually underway.  We laughed until we cried, and some of the stories must never be shared.  At least not on a blog.
summit vie
We may have been on top of the world, but our minds remained in the gutter.  And that made for a truly perfect weekend. 
When was the last time you laughed yourself silly, with tears streaming down your face?
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