It’s 6:02pm in Greenfield Park, Montreal. An eruption of laughter is heard inside a dimly lit dining room. The smell of red wine surrounds a table of ten. Everyone seated shares the same blood.
Well, third cousin blood. And not everyone, I guess. But lets be honest, it doesn’t matter.
Meet the Hughes (pronounced “H-YOU-z-es”, not HUG-es). This group of incredibly humble human beings sprouted from my dad's side of the family. They grew up in Montreal, but have been visiting PEI every single summer since I can remember. And they all, coincidentally, had babies around the same time.
Meet The Sisterhood. The Sisterhood consist of seven female members (and several honorary male members). The ladies include my two sisters, Brittany and Katie, and two sets of third cousin sisters: Emily and Stephanie, and Lindsay and Kate. The equation can be seen as followed, for a deeper understanding:
(Brittany + Jessica + Katie) x (Emily + Stephanie) x (Lindsay + Kate) ÷ (Montreal x PEI) =
The Sisterhood contains a variety of ages, spanning more than ten years between the youngest and the oldest. Every summer the Hughes come to PEI for their vacation, and these are without a doubt the best two weeks of the season! Endless sleepovers, trips to the beach, bonfires with smores, kitchen parties, and 'Sandspit' excursions are only a few reason why we looked so forward to it.
Ringing in the New Year with the Hughes became a family tradition. Us Gallants would hop in a crowded car, say "sayonara" to Portage Road, and drive twelve hours in the snow to get to our Montreal destination. I was always stuck in the middle seat, because I was the "Middle Child", but the lack of foot space and numb legs always turned out to be worth it. Pulling into Norbert and Bernadette's driveway was like arriving at Disney World. Norbert and Bernadette are basically our third set of grandparents. These two never hesitated to let us bunk in their adorable Montreal home, complete with pull-out couch and VCR. The weekends consisted of multiple dance parties, delicious dinners, shopping on Sainte-Catherine street, and more laugh attacks than you could ever count with The Sisterhood and Hughes.
I could write about memories with The Sisterhood all day, so here are a select few that come to mind when I think of my crazy sisters:
☀︎ Singing the "Potter Puppet Pals: The Mysterious Ticking Noise" song all the way to Basin Head. We each had a character, I was Hermionie. Go watch it, now.
☀︎ Creating musicals in Emily and Stephanie's basement. The most memorable for me was "Peter Pan". Brittany played Captain Hook, and we choreographed a sword fight to the "Happy Days" theme song. Katie, Stephanie and Kate played "The Lost Girls", if I remember correctly.
☀︎Ten of my cousins wishing three year old Stephanie a "bonne nuit" in our old cottages, and her screaming back at us in french. We never had any idea what she was saying.
☀︎ Covering the windows of Brittany's bedroom with garbage bags, refusing to go to town for shopping and Cows ice cream, and staying up till three AM trying to solve the latest Nancy Drew computer game.
☀︎ Jumping off the warf at Basin Head all day, then going to Norbert and Bernadette's cottage for mussels. If we stayed the night, we would usually have a bonfire, fall asleep to a movie with sunburns and salt water bathing suits, and repeat the next day.
☀︎ Lindsay's La Ronde story. NEVER. GETS. OLD.
☀︎ Sing Star (on Playstation 2), particularily "Take A Chance on Me" by ABBA.
☀︎ Every dinner gathering we've ever had
☀︎ Dancing at Brittany and Jordan's wedding
☀︎ Begging our parents to bring us to 'Sandspit' (an amusement park on PEI), only to have Kevin (Lindsay's Dad) get puked on riding the Ferris Wheel.
☀︎ I'm thinking of a story right now and it's just too complex to explain. It ends with us dancing around a pile of sand chanting "Da Balls" repeatedly.
If you were to ask me what my favourite memory has been with The Sisterhood, I wouldn't know where to begin. I find that pretty spectacular. We have experienced, what seems like, a lifetime of memorable moments that flash through my head like a lightning storm. It's just crazy for me to think that we only see each other 14 days out of 365 (max), and the connection remains as strong as steel. Time is so precious, and when we're together we take advantage of every moment. Don't worry- this still hasn't changed. My trip to Montreal this week was just a reminder of how much I love these girls.
We all have to give it up to our parents. They have showed us what true friendship looks like and how precious family is. They have watched us grow up, and grow closer and closer as the years go by. I call the Hughes my aunts and uncles, when in reality they're my second cousins.
As I get older, I cherish this special this bond is between Emily, Stephanie, Lindsay, Kate, Brittany, Katie and I more and more. We have been together since we were in diapers, and that's never going to change. I love you girls so much!
A picture tells a thousand words. Here are a zillion photos of The Sisterhood and our family throughout the years.
My playlist writing this post:
▸ Parade (Manhattan Concert Productions)
- My boyfriend and many friends had the opportunity to perform at the Lincoln Centre in New York this week!! Jason Robert Brown (the composer of Parade) conducted, and they were part of incredibly star studded cast! Check out a video segment here!!
Do you have any hilarious memories with your cousins growing up? Maybe a best friend you've known since elementary school? When we get together, it's non-stop chatter around a dinner table, constant swimming at the beach, or playing our favourite computer games. What are your favourite things to do with your lifelong family or friends? I'd love to hear! Happy Thursday!
Lots of Love,
Hi! I'm Jessica. I love beaches, ice cream, onesies, and cuddles. I try to follow my instincts in all aspects of life. I love hearing peoples stories; How they got to the exact moment they're in. The glass is half full. I love the big dipper. The Secret changed my life. Love is w o n d e r f u l. August 24th is my favourite day (No, it's not my birthday). YOU. ARE. ENOUGH. Yolo-ing through life, but mostly singing.