Occupy Cottage 2011

This past weekend I attended Occupy Cottage 2011. This is NOT to be confused with the Occupy Edmonton, Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Vancouver, and the various other Occupy frolics that have been happening all over North America. I did not protest anything, I didn’t send Premier Redford a letter listing inane demands, nor did I spend the weekend in a tent with other anarchist. I feel no need to be an anarchist. Occupy Cottage 2011 is about filling the need for girlfriend support.

Occupy Cottage 2011 was two nights away from reality with a large dose of girl-talk. I belong to a group of scrapbookers who use to meet monthly, but life got in the way, one of us moved to Kelowna, and one of us went back to University, while the other 3 of us increased our already full life to abundantly extra full. Now we meet one weekend a year – typically in November. Our out-of-towner flew in for this event (thank goodness because we stay at her mom’s house cottage!) and we all met at the cottage Friday night. Notably absent was the Curler, who had a mani/pedi party previously booked. We understood. Good grooming is a must! Ironically, good grooming does not happen during the Occupy Weekend. Pit-stick and toothpaste is the extreme lengths we take to not odor-offend each other.

This mansion cottage use to be on the edge of the city. It felt like a country stay – hence the term cottage. The city has grown by leaps and bounds since we began, but we don’t care. We are not there to enjoy the great outdoors, or the weather. We are there to scrap, laugh, cry, rant and drink coffee – lots of it.

It began Friday night, I arrived late and was the last to arrive – as per usual. My motto of late had been, but at least I am coming!!!! We sat around the kitchen catching up on the nuts and bolts of our lives in the past year. I missed last years Occupy Cottage because I had pneumonia AND a giant paper to write and I wanted to live in a box under the stairs. I had been suffering from crappy life syndrome. Some people call it depression. Its hard to give of yourself when all you want to do is hide under the stairs in the dark. Somehow  – with the help of my health team and family and wonderbar friends, I climbed out of that dark place and became healthy and eager to give of myself once again. Occupy Cottage is about giving of yourself and you get abundance in return.

We discussed the wonders of our friendship. We can go literally EONS without talking to each other, just “facebooking” to keep up with little details. Yet we regroup one weekend a year and suddenly it is like no time has passed. The only way it is marked is from the pictures of our children. When I started with these ladies, my children were 5 and 7. BeachFrontGirl had no children. NO CHILDREN! Her babies are beautiful and great spellers now…time does seem to pass without us noticing.

We stay up late and get up early. We drink so much caffeine that even I, The Edmonton Tourist who is impervious to the wonders of caffeine, becomes affected. I vibrate, become dehydrated, survive on 8 hours sleep for an entire weekend. We eat chocolate, chips and cheese cake just like slumber parties of our youth, but our aging bodies demand fruit and vegetables too. We fight over music to listen to, share every bit of scrap supplies we own. Tease each other endlessly about our predictable natures and throw sarcasm around as if it is our first language.

We sit around the dinning room table and create. Creating is what we tell our families our purpose of the weekend, but we are liars. Our true purpose is to support each other. We listen without judgement. We cry without shame. We laugh with hysteria. I cried more this year than years past, so it must have been my turn. They know if I am hiding something or ask too many questions about them, that means I am in avoidance mode. By Saturday night, The Rock made me spill my guts. It was spread all over the table for all to see. Then she did the same. Our stories are all so vastly different, yet shows me everyone has a life that is less than perfect. You would think as an adult I would realize this or know it instinctually, but it takes reminders like this that underneath it all we are all the same.

Occupy Cottage 2011 was a smashing success. I missed them as soon as I drove away. I am already looking forward to next year, Occupy Cottage 2012. I Heart my girls more then they even realize.

Here is proof it is all about the creativity and not the friendship:



7 thoughts on “Occupy Cottage 2011

  1. Support is so vital to the soul ET! Everyone needs an Occupy Cottage weekend once and a while! 🙂 And without other woman supporting you, you might have a harder time “creating”. Just justified it in my book!

  2. I love this idea. My life has just gone from extra-busy to ultra-busy and is rocketing toward frenetic ceaseless productivity. It would be so awesome if my girlfriends and I could arrange something like this!

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