Enchanted Rock in Texas!
In the spring of 2014, I gathered with my dear Book Club friends at this table. I knew I was getting close to my goal of listing 60 picnic memories! And it was still a over a month from Mother's Day, when I hoped to reach the goal.
But this had nothing to do with goal setting. This group was doing what we have done for 15 years. We have discussed books... and laughed, joked, sung, shared stories, argued, yawned, squealed and even shed a tear or two, around many a food covered table. I will always remember this day fondly. The first time our book club hiked and picnicked together!
Don and I spent all of 30 minutes in Pleasanton. We were excited to find this park as we drove through town on our way towards San Francisco. We had picked up some hot pasties earlier and we were eager to wolf them down before they were cold.
The flaky meat pies we sank our teeth into came from a small pastie shop in an area where Cornish miners settled long ago. The miners used to carry these hearty pies in their lunch pails when they headed into the mines. It was fun to know the mining history behind our meal, but mostly we were enjoying a little family nostalgia. The only other pasties either of us had ever eaten were made by Don's mom!
Tulsa in Spring of 1993
This is a hard photo to decipher at a glance. Besides recognizing my own two kids and our sweet friends Nathalie and Jack, it's hard to tell where we are and what's going on.
I do recall the circus-like tent that provided shelter from a rainstorm during a symphony performance at the Tulsa zoo. I don't actually remember a picnic, but I see an apple in Scott's hand and I don't think Milissa and I (the moms) ever took our kids anywhere without food. I remember the coziness of our quilt and the rain on the tent and I remember the Mennonite family sitting nearby.
Webster Groves, Missouri in 1979
There is no writing on the back of this photo, but I can determine the date by Don's lack of facial hair. This must have been spring or summer of 1979, before we were married.
Don had a beard on our first date (December 1978) and he had a beard when we married in October of '79. I liked the beard and never complained. But one day a few months before our wedding, he pulled out an electric razor and went to work. "You should at least see what I look like." He insisted. "I'd never marry a woman who's face I'd never seen!"
As for this picnic? I don't remember it, but I'm sure it was just a beautiful day and we didn't want to be inside. I recognize that we were in Don's backyard and I must have borrowed Mom's picnic basket. This could have been our first picnic...but probably not.
Summer of 1967
In 1967, my family spent the summer in Kalamazoo. Here is a photo taken that summer, picnicking at a park with family friends, the Fricks.
I also see someone very familiar standing in the center, wearing shorts. His name was Bill Leach and the 4 kids in my family adored him. He was an actor who worked with my dad over the years, but he was also a very entertaining magician, guitar player, singer and piggyback ride giver. When I see this photo I am reminded of how often our family gathered with others at outdoor tables like this. I imagine at some point the marshmallows were pulled out... and I'm sure Bill's guitar came out as well!
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!