"Stories didn't get told unless they had to. Stories were for remembering, and none of the women wanted to tell how they had gotten there. When they told their stories, they preferred to tell the ones about that faraway place. They preferred to tell ones they had patched together in their heads, hundreds of oral remnants whispered in dark slave cabins" (55).
There's a short time every year when the slave women get to feel like human beings. They're mistresses of their own homes, cooking and cleaning only for themselves and their men, dressing up for dinner, gossipping with their girlfriends, even taking occasional dips in the pond. It's not freedom, but it's the closest thing the women have ever known. For Lizzie, Sweet and Reenie, it's a chance to experience something that's not exactly happiness, but not quite the usual misery either.