In 2009, my eight brothers and sisters wanted to do something fun for my father who was turning 63 years old that year. We chose to spend the weekend in Sedona because we always did things that were active, like going to Magic Mountain.
The day we were to leave, we loaded up six Tahoe’s of luggage and people, jumped on the highway and headed to our destination. The wind blew through my hair as the sound of a whistle crept in from the window.
As we drove, the beautiful, deep canyons and high mountains surrounded us. Once we reached our final location we pulled into the parking area only to see a huge, two-story log cabin with greenery surrounding it. No one wanted to unpack until they saw the inside.
As we opened the door and walked in it felt like we were transformed to another world. The furniture was rustic, western and outdated, but there was a homey feeling to it. The rooms were large; the patio had leaves on it from the large trees that were wrapped around the house, and the smell of whicker filled the air.
Everyone loved it. As the men got the bags out of the trucks, the ladies got down to business making dinner, lighting the fireplace, getting games out for the kids to play and talking about how excited we were to finally take a peaceful family trip.
My sisters Terri and Dina wanted to explore, so we went outside and walked around the wooded area. It was about 8 p.m., and we have all seen the movies where someone was taken from the woods, but we were excited and ready for whatever lurked in the darkness. We walked down a dirt pathway and found a small area with hammocks in a grassy area. We ran and jumped on them, laying out looking at the glowing pearl in the sky. It seemed like only a minute went by when we heard our oldest sister Sakina yelling, “Come eat you guys.” We raced each other back to the cabin.
Everyone stayed up talking, drinking hot chocolate or drinking strawberry daiquiris and enjoying the family moment that we never had a chance to do before.
The next morning all the girls got up, made breakfast and took the kids to Slide Rock. The water was cold, the sun was shining, and we spent the whole morning enjoying time as a family. The guys stayed behind playing cards, listening to music and talking about sports.
Once we all got back together, we wanted to do something fun for our last night there so we stayed up until 3 a.m. playing games that the younger generation didn’t know about like charades — a game in which somebody provides a visual or acted clue for a word or phrase, often the title of a book, play or movie, for others to guess. We also played hangman, a game in which one player has to guess the letters of a word before the other player has drawn a person being hanged, with one line being added to the figure for every wrong guess.
The next morning we ate our last breakfast together in the cabin, packed our things, loaded the trucks and headed back to the busy, hustle-and-bustle lives we all had in Phoenix.