Thursday, June 4, 2009

Remembering Picnics

Do people actually go on
picnics anymore?

You never hear about picnics.

Cookouts and tailgaters
and barbecues- yes.
But old fashioned picnics?

(Except maybe in romantic stories
and old movies
and bug cartoons).

Once upon a time,
picnics were the ultimate activity
for my family.
We couldn't wait to go somewhere
beyond the confines of our neighborhood-
eat like crazy-
and play all day with cousins
and siblings and friends.

Grandma C. always packed the best
chicken and dumplins' and
the crispest cucumbers in vinegar.
We'd go down to Giant City Park-
grab a big shelter with lots of tables-
and grill out hamburgers and hot dogs.

It was so awesome!

Everything was shady and green
and smelled like summertime.
There were chips and dip and
blackberry cobbler -
and more food than we ever saw in a week!

One time my sister Linda and I
just happened to go exploring
after our picnic meal
and found a little stream that
trickled down a hill of smooth rock.

We found that if we climbed to the top,
we could slide all the way down to the bottom
(like a water slide).
And soon we became obsessed with
slipping and skating and flipping
across the slicky slide of rocks.

After about an hour of fun,
we realized that our butts felt
suddenly cooler.

We had worn holes through our jean shorts!

The friction of the rocks
had weathered our denim cutoffs
into thin fragile threads
that exposed our bottoms.

Of course, we didn't think to
pack spare clothing.
Who knew?

So, I think we tied sweatshirts
or something around our waist
and sat out the rest of the picnic
hanging out with Mom.

And even though we suffered
huge embarrassment that day-
it was so worth it
for the huge memory!

It was a time of fun and family
and freedom.
Of laughter and food
and sharing.

Why don't you try one?