EXCERPT 2: WORD COUNT: 319
When we thought about the phases of our lives at each juncture of change: our own departure from home, our first real job, our marriages, the birth of our children, all of the big phases of change held out something new for us. This change was shaping up very differently. This change was loss – complete dissolution of the fundamental family structure forever and that was all. We had to plan. We needed to be proactive. The alternative was to be left standing frozen in time, in a life that had moved on without us, and to become observers and visitors in our kids’ lives. Not acceptable. So, we set our imaginations loose.
We considered our location. Now that we knew we were leaving – where could we go?
“Angkor Wat,” I said.
“Wat what?” Nancy asked.
“It’s the largest temple in the world, built in 1125.”
“Where is it?”
“Uh, huh. Deborah, I was thinking more along the lines of a bucolic vineyard in Tuscany. You know, stroll along the hills, sample the fruit of the vine, nectar of the gods?”
“Oh. Okay, how would you feel about a camel trek in Morocco?”
“Probably sore, smelly, and hot. And I understand camels are mean and they spit. They spit, Deborah. What about a civilized boat ride down the Rhine River in Germany? They have castles and I know how you like castles.”
“I do like castles, but don’t you think we should go more exotic?”
“This is our first trip together. I’d like to steer clear of nations at war, places we’d need to wear a burka, or can’t speak the language, or ride on an angry animal. Surely we can agree on somewhere.”
“I’ve always wanted to see where grandma’s family came from.”
“With a little research and a rental car we can see the entire island in a couple of weeks.”
“Perfect. Ireland it is!”
What was the inspiration for your story?
I have three children and my sister has two. We both sent our last child to college the same week. As the excitement of their new lives at college grew, our feelings of loss also grew. It’s painful to kiss your kids good-bye and so we decided to run away from home. Our husbands raised their eyebrows when we announced we were taking a sister road trip through Ireland. We really needed to get away, open our horizons, see new things. We took off on what turned out to be a very poorly organized, but really hilarious long pub crawl around the emerald island. We knew sharing this story, and our successful antidote for empty nest, was something we wanted to do and the book was born.
What kept you going throughout the writing process?
It is so great to have a co-author (whom you love). We sent pages back and forth. It was genuinely enjoyable to relive the funny and the distressing moments of the trip with each other. We had not traveled together as sisters since we were little girls in the backseat of our dad’s car. It was new, and it was old, and it was revelatory. We encouraged each other as we wrote.
Who is your most meaningful character and why?
Our most meaningful character was Memory. Throughout the story, we juxtaposed this funny mom adventure tale with reminiscences of raising our children, and of our own childhood together. It was a way of gaining distance and perspective. These memories are a character in our book and they thread their way through the narrative connecting the humor with a sentimental poignancy that is easily relatable to our readers.
Can we expect to hear more from these characters in the near future?
We would love to take another trip together. 2 BROADS ABROAD: Moms On the Run, Park II. We are hoping to get some suggestions from readers on where they’d like to see us travel? For those who’ve read the book, and get to know us a bit, they know how differently my sister and I see traveling and therein lies much of the humor. Please jump onto our Facebook page and send a suggestion.
How has this story touched your life?
This trip and the book that ensued were profoundly meaningful for us. We needed to break free of our overwhelming roles as hands-on moms, and although the trip was impulsive, I can’t imagine a more successful method of transition into that next phase of our lives. Once everyone is grown we are rarely, if ever, alone with our best friend or sister away from home. To be together talking about how our lives had gone and remembering the little girls we had been together was a time we will never forget.
- A $50 Amazon Gift Card
Ends July 31st at 11:59 PM EDT.