Sisters of Grandmother Moon...or, the Long Story of the Sisters' First Gathering

so as you probably surmised, some of the loveliest dearest blog ladies in the whole wide world all gathered together in my neck of the woods this weekend.
being together, something so magical happened that i can hardly even express it:
a sisterhood was forged out of cold air and the moon and the trees,
and it makes everything feel connected to me: shipwrecks and mermaids and grandmothers,
herbs and mushrooms and moonlight, bread and babies and pretty dresses and blood and blessings.
like an ethereal little path that i walk upon with the spirits of these sisters.
does that sound weird? i know.... it is, but in a beautiful way...
it just feels like we were all destined to know each other and if takes a little technological boost to set that in motion, well then...thank you modern world for that!
we met up first on saturday in midtown sacramento for lunch and to descend upon nicole's shop with ebullience and delight.
crimson & clover is truly the perfect vintage shop, and nicole is absolutely the most generous and warm proprietess (sorry we did not get to meet her partner kara, i'm sure we will someday!)

there are a million things that this group of gals has in common, that's what makes it so unbelievably FUN to be together. and one of the first undeniable things we all share is a true and abiding love for vintage dresses.
check out this gorgeous lacy ruffled 50s frock that amber is admiring.

these first few pictures were overwhelmed by light and i am not sure why.
all i can gather is it must be a sign of the light that was flooding my heart as i first got to hang with these pure and beauteous new friends!

dying over all the shop's sweet treasures.

and then we hit the road up to placerville. we explored my town for awhile, perused the labyrinthian corridors of the bookshop where i work, and wandered main street, finally picking up take-out from the local taqueria and heading back to my house to get cozy for the eve.

all the girls came bearing gifts! the husbands were calling it "new christmas" and oh man was it fun!
we gathered in a circle in my bedroom and the little girls played dress up in new dresses while we each perused our goodies.

milla brought the little ladies beautiful mandala coloring books drawn by her boss,
and clover dove right in to the sticker book from mycie and amber.

a glimpse at my own beauties...they will definitely be frequently popping up in future photos!
i just felt so lucky and overwhelmed with this amazing generosity.

clover and mycelia were so unbelievably entertaining.
this was the first time they had physically met, although their clever mamas had been showing each daughter little videos of the other so they'd know what to expect. well all i can say is: SUCCESS. it was like they were cousins or longtime bffs, just grabbing each other's hands and running around the entire house together, watching out for "hot lava" and jumping on the bed. it was utterly heart warming to be around them.
we made them cozy beds and graham took the sweet papa's duty of bedtime stories. 

then some of my friends from placerville (joey, emily, stan, lesley, and christian) joined us adults for some late night beer drinking storytelling vocab-enhancing good old fashioned FUN.

us new besties went out a-howling at the moon (literally) and sharing the most delicious bottle of homemade raspberry wine milla brought from the island with the perfect moniker:
Our Lady of Misspent Youth,
singing under that glorious full moon and laughing and talking endlessly on and on, walking the hills of my neighborhood late at night rhapsodizing together
just like sisters do!

i cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see these little cozy scenes around MY OWN HOME:

(charlie and cream puff)

(the girls at breakfast)

(reading time, another joy we all deeply share)

(mycie in her new dress from milla jumping on my bed full of her sweet joy)

the next morning, after some of the adults had gotten up early and (with no help from me) figured out my kitchen well enough to craft an enormous delicious breakfast with fresh blackberry jelly made by charlie and milla, and copious amounts of coffee, we packed up and got ready to head to nevada city to visit amber's neck o the woods.

first milla and i drove up to pollock pines to pick up my sis.
driving up into the mountains, milla felt right at home amidst tall snowdrifts and a white landscape;
doesn't she fit right in? :)

here comes addie up the icy path, homebrewed bottles of beer in hand!

and then the three of us headed down into the canyon to meet up with the rest of the group who had stopped for some cultural history and scenery in coloma california where gold was first discovered in 1848.

we walked across the historic bridge that crosses the American river, careful to keep the little happy-go-lucky ramblers close by!

our first full group photo, taken in the heart of gold country.
from left to right we have (and i think you probably already know but just in case):
missa, lucas and clover in front, me, addie, charlie, milla, amber, and graham with mycie in front.

girls bonding:

down across the canyon, up through the woods, across highway 80 and north into the mountains again...
upon arrival in nevada city we all converged again at Ike's, (which i wrote about before) where addie's husband art works for a richly satisfying lunch after which we all agreed we never needed to eat again.

artie is employee of the month, woot woot.

another JOY = meeting suuzi. i felt like i already knew her from amber's blog, but getting to know her in person was seriously indescribably fun. she is quite a fresh, sassy, wise and wondrous woman.

mycie wanted to ride with milla, addie and i in our car. such fun to have a sweet little sister around!

we headed up the street to the cottage where everyone stayed in nevada city.
and look who met up with us in the afternoon?!
nicole and her AMAZING FAMILY.
aaannnnd my heart expands even further getting to know this inspiring family.

across the narrow street is this very old cemetery with headstones from gold rush days.
here mycie (in my gloves, aw) plays a little ghosty emerging from the graveyard :)

we hung around downtown nevada city, checking out some of the sights like the local vintage shop right as they were trying to close (oops!)
it's fun to shop with nicole and her daughter because they've got quite the eye for interesting and unique pieces.

then we headed over to the historic National Hotel where yet another adorable friend had come from afar to hang out with our ragtag crew: sadie! she came all the way from chico with her adorable son, who unfortunately got sick so they had to cut their visit short.

here addie and charlie check out some historic martini shakers in the hotel's lobby.
this place is packed full of old timey treasures

hanging out in the opulent lobby while sadie checks in: more talking, more laughing, more all around good feelings just soaking in this old-fashioned place and the spirit of friendship.

here addie had to say good-bye.

and the rest of us walked back into this picturesque nevada city sunset.

with a quick visit to the candyshop for hot cocoa for the walk home.
i like all the red-pink mother-daughter stuff going on here...

back at the cute little cottage, we did what we seem to do best, talk talk talk, laugh laugh laugh...
this is the only shot i got of sadie...i love her impish glee! 

amber and suuzi, probably enumerating the many values of Clan of the Cave Bear.

sipping on beer and honeymead, just blissing out on each other.
i think it is a rare thing to meet, hang out, and feel instantly at home and comfortable and happy.
it's weird...hard to explain...and just plain old FUN. 

here comes the sad part.
i can hardly bear was finally getting late and, having to work the next day it was time for me to head back across the canyon. i was surprised at how difficult it was to say my good-byes. it really felt like i was leaving family that i might not see for a while. my heart was overflowing with love.

sisters of my heart,
what a ramble we had.
i miss it so much as i write this my hands tingle, my heart aches, i am dizzy and a little teary eyed.

i thank you, if you are reading my blog, for bearing with my sentimentality and nostalgia.
the pure anne-of-green-gables exuberance of my heart shines through in moments like these,
and i so appreciate knowing ladies who embrace it! i feel utterly, heart-thumpingly LUCKY.


thetossnturn said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Violet Folklore said…
Teary eyed indeed.

(See ladies, I told you- double chin!)

Heather you put it so perfectly, I love your words. You're right about the pictures not doing it justice, but they do capture a certain exuberance and light and sense of connection.

Thanks so much for putting your beautiful words to this experience Heather, I feel like I don't want to comment too much or I'll say everything I want to say in my own post!

Definitely one of the best times of my life, deeply affecting, tendrils of love and laughter feeling their way out into the rest of our lives forever. Let's do it again very soon.

(That deleted comment was me accidentally signed in to Graham's account).
Amy Beatty said…
WOW!!! Look at you and all your new sisters!!! What fun. I love that adie is always with a kid when she has the chance - she is such a kid at heart. Those shops you went to looked amazing, full of goodies and treasures. My favorite picture has to be of ART though - so great :). You guys sure packed a ton in in one little weekend. And I love looking at pictures of your cozy home - it is always a little different each time. I also love that husbands came!! Love you xoxo
Violet Folklore said…
Okay I have to make some individual photo comments here:

Charlie in bed- amazing.

Milla cleaning Mycelia's face- precious (she told me yesterday that she liked Milla because she's warm).

Eddie on Broad St. looking at the sunset- epic.

Art- fantastic, so proud of him :-)
Violet Folklore said…
Okay one more. The moon howling night photo is my favorite! For the record, what is in my hand contained an herbal blend Milla brought, there was no reefer madness goin' down.
Claire said…
I was kinda worried that I was gonna feel all heartsick about this because I really, really wanted to be there with you guys, even if I haven't known you half as long as you have known each other. Somehow the sweet light and pure goodness of you guys makes me feel inspired and happy for you, instead. Women friends really do make the world go around.
Love, Love, Love,
Sadie Rose said…
my cup overflows! thank you for telling so many parts of the story, and i'm so glad i got to live it for a brief and delightful moment. cheers to you all - to the full moons - and to all that is to come.

i am humbled by the beauty & light in all of you.
ugh, i am at a total loss for words.

i wish i had had the time to spend the whole weekend with you all. i don't feel like i had the chance to speak to each of you enough. it was an inspiring and blessed evening, sitting round the table in that little nevada city cottage.

so when are we getting together again? seriously :) i propose an annual gathering rotating through one gal's town each year. and in the meantime, many many northern cali girls play dates. let's make it so.
Hollie May said…
OH EM GEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is too cute, deep, on for realz!
AdieSpringB said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
AdieSpringB said…
Bun, ladies, howling moon....

I love you all so dearly and though I was only there for a piece of this pure magic I feel so very blessed to have met eyes and locked hands and souls for that perfect Sunday! I felt as though I know you, I have always known you, and I WILL always know you. Is that just the bonds of good kindness and true love? I am not sure, but I am grateful! Even for brief moments at the cottage and in the Nash with Nicole and Sadie, I love you gals! I can feel the rest of the pure sisterhood and sparkling synchronicity by looking at these photos and hearing Heather describe the kindness! Oh to know that life has such fulfilling promise and kindred spiritness! I wish so much I could have started earlier and ended later and yet it is all just perfect the way it is!

What magic, serious sister/woman power. I am so priveleged to know you all and to have Bun as my born sis. Amber, I do love that howling moon photo SO much too! And the last one. I can see why Heather said she was tearing up in the end. Because of the beauty of life!

all my love
Anonymous said…
It's so strange and awesome to see you all together, honey. I'm so happy for you ladies!!
Anonymous said…
This post makes me want to make more effort to get together and meet in person with more bloggers.
Missa said…
Aw, Heather, your light shines so bright and I feel truly blessed to have had the pleasure of basking in it throughout our magical weekend!

It was interesting, when I was putting together your gifts how they were all golden-hued, most likely influenced by the image I had of you having a ray of sunshine personality and heart of gold... well, you turned out to be exactly as I imagined :)

Thank you so much for opening up your lovely heart and home to us! It was such a special weekend and you did a beautiful job of describing it and got some wonderful pics too, soooo fun to re-live it all through this post.

I have soooo many pictures. I don't know how I'm going to narrow them down into some sort of cohesive post, ugh.

Missing all you girls intensely, and I'm with Nicole... more meet-ups more playdates, more fun!
Andrea said…
I re-iterate what others have said.. at how amazing and cool it is to see you all together. It never ceases to amaze me at the good and the love that can pour out of people through friendship... but how cool is it when its from the crazy mixed up world of blogging?
Teenysparkles said…
Yay! I've been waiting for this post! You had me all teary eyed by the end you AnneofGreenGables mushy miss. Obviously you all had a magnificent time. So lovely.
anne said…
heather, this is exactly what i thought the meetup would be like! a magical experience! actually, it looks better than i imagined. you all didn't just spend an afternoon together, you spent a couple days! and had a sleepover! so dang cool!

thank you for sharing it all through your wonderful words and pictures. in the words of Anne you all are "kindred spirits" :D
Heidi Ann said…
Oh, man - that looks like so much fun! I wish I could meet all of you, too!
Where did you stay in Nevada City? That place looked familiar to me in the photo....
Nicky said…
So beautifully put Heather!!! Sounds like such a fun and cozy gathering- I'm sad to have missed it!!! What a great group of gals (and their guys) :D Gorgeous places you all visited too!!!
Milla said…
Okay, so many thoughts, ideas, memories.

First off, I just want to say that I've had a whole week (just a week!!?!? A week already!?!?!) to mull over what it all meant to me and how I might express it and I think you have done it much more eloquently than I ever could have.

The whole weekend from the first moment I spotted little Mycie through the window and when you breezed in with your blue dress and dream catcher's, I felt as though I was re-united with old friends. Sure it was an equal mix of "I have to pinch myself." And "I wonder if they're gonna think I'm cool." But mostly I just felt like we had always rolled together in a huge posse of kids and husbands and cats and dresses. Like it wasn't really the first time. Like I knew we were connected on a much deeper level, but didn't dare to really believe that we would click, and then we ended up being even more perfect for each other than I had dared to dream ;)

All week I've been suffused with light and love and sweetness.

As I write this, just fresh home from the Annual Women's Coffee House (wearing my dress from Nicole, a bullet from Sadie and The Four of Us-Pin from Amber) where you were as present to me as though you were sitting next to me, I realize that I probably just ought to write all this in an email, so just a few general notes of love.

Remember how you thought you had crazy hair all day? It's my bangs that are the crazy ones...I feel like I look weird in every photo 'cos I'm smiling so hard, but it only makes me happy. Weird looking or not, I'm with my sistahs!

Also, I LOVED going over to Addie's and realizing that we were both wearing kind of similar outfits, mocs and gunnes. Getting to ride with you and Addie and Mycie was a high point. I loved our little time together. Lots of love to you Addie, I felt so shy meeting you and so impressed and I can't wait to connect more with you.

I too love the moon howling picture of us! I can't at all put it to words, but you know what I mean She Who Walks In Little Slippers.

Thank you for snapping a picture of me and Sadie together. I'm so happy she came even for a little while.

And while I have 10000 more happy notes, so as not to appear entirely bonkers, I would just like to say that the pic of Eddie and Graham is too cool for school. All of our dudes rock. (I wish Darin could have come with us, I would have loved to connect with him more over movies and all, but there's always time for that this fall right?)

And one more thing: I agree with Nicole. Let's make it our annual shindig!

I miss you. So much.
Lucy (UK) said…
Wow! Greetings from the UK from a long-time reader and lover of the delights of small town California. Your post made me tearful with joy! What lucky people you are to live in such wondrous beauty and be able to share it with such wondrous beauties. I love reading your posts, but this one is a favourite, for sure. I don't think I'm following all of these lovely ladies' blogs - could you maybe remind me which one is which? xxx
hi Lucy,
thank you so much, and i must agree! so lucky to have met and get to know these wonderful women.
here is the list of the ladies who were here over that weekend:
my sister adrienne:

hope that helps! thanks sooo much for reading this little old log and for appreciating the joys of nature and small towns and friendship. much love to you!
Lucy (UK) said…
Perfect, this is great. Thank you so much and happy weekend! x
Anonymous said…
what a lovely, lovely group of sisters

and an exquisite weekend. i find myself

only slightly jealous.
so much love,
Cel said…
I've been catching up on my blogs (weeks and weeks behind) and I've finally been reading all the accounts of this get together. I have to admit (even if it's a little silly) that the happiness flowing from all of you actually almost brought ME to tears. It's so wonderful to see such amazing, bright, loving souls filled with joy.

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