This photo, I'm guessing was taken in Alabama, when on a road trip 6 years ago. It's not the best photo of Driver Don and it's not the best spread of food.
But lately I've been thinking of all the times my family picnicked on travels, when I was a kid. Today we have so many fast food options, there's less need for travel picnics. I'm so glad Don is always game to make use of a public picnic table!
Florida to Michigan in 1973
I ran across old slides recently, so it's time for some picnic memories.
This image shows my dad and brother on the left side of the table. I sit with my sister on the other side. Our boxer, Folly, was posing with a dangling tongue. My younger bro seemed to be flexing his muscles.
Almost the Same
For a moment, I thought this photo was from the same picnic. We're sitting in the same spots. Mom is once again, behind the camera.
I'm not sure where these parks were, but I'm guessing they both were somewhere between Florida and Michigan. It is now clear that we were traveling to our new home in Ann Arbor... picnicking to save money, but also because we had a dog.
I have to laugh as I recall all of the picnics with my family, that also involved travel and pets. This journey, unlike a few others, involved no cats and kittens!
In early June, Don and I were inspired when we found some amazing marble picnic tables along Crystal River. Also, we were eager to use the vintage picnic basket we had picked up at an antique store, a week before.
The setting was glorious, with mountains, river and fresh spring growth. It was early morning and the marble benches were cold, but the sun warmed us. We didn't have much to eat, for our spontaneous morning picnic. But the scenery made our coffee, fruit and granola bars, extra yummy!
Tower Grove Park in St. Louis, MO
This year, I was in St. Louis on Mother's Day.
Even though I was by myself, I decided to celebrate the day with a picnic. I grabbed lunch from a deli and headed to one of my favorite parks. Most of the beautiful pavilions sat empty, because of the cold, drizzly weather.
Mom and Me
The sun peeked out as I headed towards an empty pavilion. I set out my tiny picnic and snapped a photo with the timer button. My photo shows that I was not a bit mopey about my solo picnic. I was glad to spend time thinking about Mom and my kids.
I didn't grow up in St. Louis, but Mom did. I ended up in St. Louis and both of my kids were born there. I remember many St. Louis picnic feasts... with Mom and my Grandma Daw and Heidi and Scott! I loved thinking about that, while I sipped my Fitz's Root Beer. Mom loved Fitz's, so I got an extra straw for her.
Wow! It's been 6 years since I started this blog on Mother's Day.
Happy Mother's Day again, to Mom and Me!
Blackburn Park in Webster Groves, Missouri
I recently went through old photos, that brought back memories of an amusing picnic. I remember this gathering, with my friends Karen and Mark in the early 1990's. I just didn't know there were pictures from that day!
Karen and I were young (and fashionable!) mothers. We were obviously good gym coaches as well!
The Cool Kids Watch
Eventually our kids must have tired of picnicking and hanging from trees. We colorfully dressed moms, were forced to create entertainment.
I have a vague memory of the game we invented, that involved uneaten picnic food... specifically, raw broccoli. Our enthused kids took to the game, wildly tossing and chasing after the little flowerets. The best part of the game, was that it attracted the attention of some cool, older boys. We used a Tom Sawyer approach... "What? You haven't heard of the Broccoli Game?" Before long the cool kids eagerly joined our game. I sure hope they later told their friends about the cool picnickers, that they met at the park.
I had fun studying these photos and remembering. I had more fun, sharing the pics with Karen and Mark, when I visited St. Louis last week. If it hadn't been raining, we could have had a picnic!
Turning 62 isn't all that exciting. But, the weather was lovely on April 9th and I celebrated the day, instead of the age!
First, Don and I picked up a most unhealthy lunch at Buc-ee's. (It's a Texas thing) Then, we headed to Hamilton pool, not far from Austin.
At the picnic table, Don pulled out a thermos of Mimosas and I was a happy picnicker! I wasn't a happy swimmer, because the natural pool was closed that day. Actually, that meant no crowds. A peaceful picnic works for me!
First Time in Vermont
I love entering a state that I've never visited. A picnic is a pretty good way to celebrate!
Our picnic, was honestly just a yummy ending to a fabulous tour of the Shelburne Farm, near Burlington.
We bought our "picnic" of grilled cheese sandwiches, from a cart. We found a table, just outside the barn where the cheese was made! Then we moved (along with a chicken) into the shade, to enjoy our feast with Jennifer and Kate... who have been in this picnic blog many times!
Yay for farms! Yay for Vermont cheese! Yay for picnics.
2-Day Drive from Texas to Missouri
This past April, I drove to Springfield, MO to help with my father's move. I'm used to road trips, but this time I was the driver. I'm used to crossing my legs in the passenger's seat, staring out the window and navigating.
But I suddenly learned, that it was pretty fun to stop whenever and wherever I wanted. I grabbed a little food at a rest stop, to supplement some fruit and snacks from the car. I know I can hardly call this a picnic, but I loved my little Oklahoma rest stop! Yay for my first Solo Picnic... sort of!
April 2018 in Sugar Land, TX
With no kids around for Easter, Don and I found a way to make the holiday festive.
We headed to Pecan Park at 8 am, with our coffee, donuts, mimosa fixings and breakfast tacos. I decorated with my little Steiff bunny, a tiny basket of jellybeans and a rose from our daughter's wedding a week before. We tried to get the Sunday New York Times but had to settle for the local paper. We chatted with other park visitors and even launched a few cheap toy boats, which we left behind for others to enjoy. Best of all, it was a lovely spring day!
Thoughts of Sonoma
A recent visit to Sonoma reminded me of this picnic memory. Sadly, at this moment, wildfires are destroying homes and habitats in Sonoma and Napa.
I remember little about this wine and food gathering, but the photo is peaceful. I love the lake and hazy hills, the wine bottles and smiles. I hope this very spot was spared.
Mom's Picnic List
In honor of my mother on the first Mother's Day since she has passed, I dedicate a new list... Mom's Picnic List!
Mom loved picnics and she raised her kids to appreciate the simple pleasures of food, family and friends in the great out of doors.
I will spend a year reflecting on as many past picnics as I can remember. But, I'll also
appreciate the here and now by creating new picnic experiences. My goal is to share at least 60 picnic memories, since that's how many years Mom was a mom!
Let the picnics begin!