Some traditions are too important to break. Girl’s weekend falls in that category. Every first weekend in May and October is Girl’s Weekend for the Sidetracked Clan. Rules are Girls only- baby girls included (or breastfed baby boys).
I have no idea how long we’ve been doing this except it’s been a long time. I missed several trips when I was living in Colorado. I would actually feel melancholy on these dates and would pine for the Sidetracked crew. One year before I moved back, I flew in from Colorado just to drive to St. Charles for this special time.
What’s so weird is that the weekend revolves around the Kane County Fairgrounds Flea Market. I’ve always despised flea markets and really had nothing I needed to purchase at one but yet the call of “The Weekend”, like an ancient mating ritual, pulls me in.
We all drive down to St Charles, Illinois on Friday evening- 6 of us- the four sidetracked members and 2 daughters share one room. 3 to a bed most trips except this year a twin air mattress was added to expand the sleep experience.
We spend Saturday morning sleeping late, sharing breakfast, and heading into Geneva to hit the shops before we head to the Fairgrounds. I personally love the Geneva shopping almost as much as the Flea Market. This year I added an owl plaque that states “My Family is a Hoot”…I couldn’t have said it better.
Although in many ways, “Flea Market” is a misnomer. It is booth upon booth of wonderful treasures including stained glass, architectural artifacts, clothing, and creative stuff that simply can’t be found anywhere else at a better price. Over the years we’ve each added treasures to our gardens and our homes. My house now sports two decorative metal shutters that are one of a kind. My snail planter makes me smile and my bird plant stands made from welded pieces of junk always bring a comment or two. I have a full-length Woolrich coat that I snuggle into each winter and wonderful jewelry that my niece surprised me with one Christmas that was made over from antique jewelry all found at the flea market.
Saturday night and Sunday we hit more of the local shops including those that appeal to the “younger set”. Sunday late afternoon we pack up our treasures and head home. We have resembled a traveling band of gypsies some years with wicker furniture on the roof of the van and the inside of each vehicle packed full of plants, metal pieces, and more. I think you get the picture.
We also have the good fortune of sharing this time with other friends and family that have begun to join the fun and the semi-annual pilgrimage. Friends, family, unique shopping opportunities, shared dinners out and a time to be silly, creative, and just plain “us”….I have a feeling it will continue to draw me in for many years to come.
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