Wind and Blue Skies
Today there is snow on the ground in Lake Tahoe. Two days ago Don and I heard predictions and had a spontaneous picnic with burgers from the very retro and popular "Snowflake Drive-In". I might say the burger was not great. The garlic fries were cold. But the pumpkin milkshake was excellent! The "timer photo" is not the best. My hair is in the face and Don forgot to smile. But it was a great view and we got to sit on a nice little wall...instead of today's slush!
Sunset Symphony in Tulsa - 1993
Pictured: Heidi and her crayons...her small picnic basket nearby... her doll and bears with their own plates of food...all resting on a special quilt once given to me by a dear farmer friend.
What is Not in the Picture: The threatening skies and the lawn covered in blankets and chairs. The Tulsa symphony warming up, despite predictions. The thermos of rum punch that Don and I enjoyed while our family of 4 nibbled bread, cheese, fruit and cookies. The rain that drenched the quilt while we huddled under a golf umbrella. And best of all, the bright rainbow that filled the sky when the short storm passed... and then the smiles, when the symphony performed a spontaneous Somewhere Over the Rainbow!
I love this picnic image with the Route 66 table cloth, cluttered with wine glasses, cutting board, lantern, cooking spoon and a gift bag. And of course the best part of this picnic memory is the fact that my kids were seated at the table, helping me celebrate my birthday. It was such a beautiful setting with the tall pines and lush growth. I'm so grateful to have this photo because only a few years later most of the "Lost Pines" in the Bastrop area were burnt to the ground in a month long forest fire. I'm glad we didn't' know the future when we enjoyed our meal that evening.
Freshman Theatre Conservatory Students of Webster College
After 8 months of conservatory, our group, known as the Green Group had become like family. It was an unusual chemistry that bonded this small group. Even though we spent hours daily involved in voice, movement and acting exercises, we still chose to gather outside of class. I remember perfect balmy weather and fried chicken and Frisbee. I also remember visiting the nearby zoo, lingering and wandering and observing as if we needed to be nowhere else...ever. I also remember playing Capture the Flag and Keep Away in the grass and even starting up a little spontaneous folk dance. These were friends who saw you in your sweat pants and supported you when your monologue flopped and cheered you on when you nailed an improv. Oddly enough I always felt at home with these fellow students...never in competition. Wish I could pull these friends back together for another picnic!
Fast Food and Fall Colors
Fast Food is a pretty lame excuse for a picnic, but I say it counts on my list, if you've got some nice fall colors...and the fast food is Steak-N-Shake!...and you're with your Mom and sister! This spontaneous burger and milk shake feast was in November of 2003. Jenni, Mom and I were spending a few days celebrating Mom's 75th birthday as well as helping Mom with a number of chores that had piled up at Mom's house. But Mom taught Jenni and me well. We have always been good at taking on big tasks when we are able to do it as a team, with a little humor and a few proper rewards along the way! Having a picnic of our favorite junk food, on a crisp fall day was a perfect reward to keep us going!
Brazos State Park - South of Houston
Road-Stop Picnics should hardly get mentioned on my picnic list. These rest stop meals aren't about the food or scenery. You usually just stumble out of your car and wolf down a quick sandwich before hitting the road again. But last week when Don and I stopped on the way home from Galveston it was pretty amazing 20 minutes watching the Spanish moss sway as we nibbled on whatever crackers, cheese and peanut butter we had left after our week stay. We didn't have a picnic basket or cloth, but we did have an alligator sighting and some pretty exotic bird sounds surrounding us. Cheers to the road side picnic!
Mom and Daw
This is not the most elegant picnic photo I've shared. My mom and grandmother, Daw look a bit weary. I'm guessing it was on the hot side and maybe it wasn't the grandest of feasts. I'm pretty sure it was one of those spontaneous outings. Mom and Daw both loved picnics and Mom often took Daw on a spur of the moment picnic to cheer her up. She kept "just in case" folding chairs in her car, but she obviously grabbed the styrofoam cooler, thermos and blanket this time. The image of my dear Daw with her dress and earrings, stockings and pumps... her 4-pronged cane resting nearby. I so loved picnicking with these two. Even when it was hot.
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!