‘I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors,’ said George.”

Although it is only a bit after 10, I have already had a busy morning in contrast to yesterday’s day of sloth. I woke up at 6:30 to the sound of raindrops, came downstairs, went to get the papers then read both of them. When I was finished, I went upstairs and  changed my bed. As I unfurled the bottom sheet, a sock flew out of the corner, the missing sock to one of the few pairs I have without holes. I never throw socks away. I always figure the shoe hides the holes. I then finished the bed, got dressed and left for my 9 o’clock library board meeting. Our biggest agenda item was choosing between plastic or wood for planting tubs and between Alberta Spruce and some other bush with a Japanese sounding name. We went wooden and the bush with a Japanese sounding name. I tried to Google the name of the bush and put into Google Odd Bush with Japanese sounding name, but George W. kept appearing. That gave me a bit of a chuckle. My next stops were the post office and the pharmacy. My last stop was voting in the town election. The big race is for selectman, three running for two spots. There were also two requests for tax overrides and a non-binding question as to whether the nuclear plant in Plymouth should be closed. People are a bit edgy that the evacuation route means driving by the plant. While I was driving all over town doing errands, the sun came out and the sky turned a light blue. It is, however, still a bit cold, only in the low 50’s. My heat came on this morning.

When I was a kid, we never went on a picnic just for the sake of a picnic. We’d eat outside sitting on the back steps which is, I suppose, a cousin to the picnic; however, I do remember stopping at rest areas and eating at picnic benches but only on long rides, usually to somewhere for vacation. We ate at the beach, but it was the water and the sand which drew us, not a picnic. My mother had a picnic basket and a red Tartan jug. She made great sandwiches, and there were usually chips and Oreos.

When I was in Ghana, we went on picnics just for the fun of a picnic. We’d bring the small charcoal burner, some hot dogs from a can or from the meat factory that used to be in Bolga, bread, chopped tomatoes and onions and probably something for dessert though I don’t remember what. I’m leaning toward the sweet donuts or the toasted coconut balls. We’d load up then ride our motorcycles a bit into the bush. Once I remember being near Tonga and another time paying guys to haul our bikes across a small pond. We’d sit on a blanket, enjoy our lunch and watch Ghana. I loved those picnics.

Here on the cape we used to have picnics on a hill overlooking the Grist Mill. We’d climb and complain about it as we carried the basket of goodies and the drinks. I remember being so glad to reach the top and hurrying to spread out the blanket so I could collapse. We’d stay for hours.

We’d bring picnics to Sunday night band concerts every week. We all took turns bringing the appetizer, the dinner or the dessert and then we’d share. Another time we had a picnic before a town meeting. Lots of people did. We all sat about the baseball field or the bleachers enjoying dinner from a basket. The meeting was with both towns about the school budget and was on the high school football field. The chairs were under a tent and I thought it had a bit of the circus about it. A group of musicians played before the meeting and the snack bar was open. That was a long time ago.

I think it’s time to bring back picnics and Tartan jugs.

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6 Comments on “‘I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors,’ said George.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Wow, you were busy today. So far I have watered the front and back yard grass seeds and removed the laundry from the dryer.

    We never had picnics just for the sake of picnicking either. I was going to make an exception for Girl Scouts but that would not be correct. My GS troop leader always had a learning experience planned for picnics. It was generally something homemakerish like sewing a Sit-upon, or burning hot dogs on the camp fire. My Sit-upon left much to be desired as a cushion against the hard ground. But I had a lot of practice burning hot dogs over the gas flame on the kitchen stove so I did very well in that activity. 🙂
    Family picnics were always in conjunction with family outings to the beach, the mountains or the lake. They were accompanied by the obligatory picnic blanket and the Tartan jug. Our Tartan jug was just plain green and aluminum but I know the type you mean; a largish squat thing with a wide top, a bail handle and a spigot. Ours contained homemade lemonade on family outings. However, when my mother trouped us all over to my Aunt’s house on summer mornings, the jug contained Zarex. We’d spend the morning playing with the cousins, drinking Zarex and eating peanut butter on Saltines. I suppose those were picnics of a sort.
    Nowadays, I stop at Starbucks, get coffee and sandwich and take it back to the lake for lunch. My version of a picnic. 🙂
    Sunny and cool up here, too. It was windy earlier but not so much now.
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I just got back from Agway so we can add that to the list. Gracie was hungry, and when I looked, no dog food so I had to get dressed in my outside clothes again and go. My clothes are still in the dryer-tomorrow is slated for the day to remove them!

      We never did too much outside stuff in my troop though we’d do a weekend or two at camp every year. No picnics there either.

      Ours was red tartan and was filled with bug juice as my dad called it. Usually it was orange Zarex. I don’t think we were lemonade drinkers.

      Your version of a picnic is a picnic in my mind. I do the same at Buckies only I get their avocado, cheddar, bacon and horseradish panini and ice coffee. I drive to the beach and sit watching the waves to have my sandwich. I am addicted to that sandwich!

      Cool here now too.

      Have the best evening!!

  2. olof1 Says:

    We never had picnics just because we wanted to have a picnic either, Not even my best friends family did that strangely enough. That came later when I was older, I loved sailing away in my boat to a small island somewhere just to have a picnic and then sail home again.

    I do like to walk to the big stone in the cow pasture every spring and have a small picnic there but never came around to do it this spring, well it isn’t over yet so I might do it this weekend if I remember it 🙂

    It’s been cold and rainy here today but the evening is rather sunny but perhaps not especially warm. I really should start a fire in the stove but I’ll soon go to bed and then it’s no use really 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      That’s funny as we didn’t have them until we were older either. The first picnic for the sake of it was on that hill.

      It is colder here now. The sun is gone and the clouds are back. Gracie and I just came back from the dog food store, one of her favorite spots because she gets to come in with me. She got her canned food and her treats. Right now she’s outside barking. My guess is someone is walking by on the street.

      Sleep well!

  3. Bob Says:

    I never enjoyed picnicking. I am never comfortable sitting on the ground and I don’t really enjoy sharing my meal with the ground vermin. Moving the food to a picnic table is better because I can sit comfortably and the ground vermin have further to go to get to my food before I do, but little can be done about the flying variety. The wind usually blows my napkin and my food off the plate. If I am not eating next to a pool, where I can jump in after eating, I don’t really enjoy eating while sweating. Eating at the beach is even worse because the sand gets into everything. Nothing looks better on TV than a New England clam bake on the beach. I would rather eat it a beach front restaurant.

    Picnicking for me is like camping out, not my cup of tea. I still think that roughing it is Motel Six 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Having a picnic doesn’t always mean on the ground. A picnic table counts. I would suggest you choose a windless day for a picnic. I haven’t had a problem with plates and napkins flying in the wind when we eat on the deck which is two or three times every week all summer. I didn’t understand your comment about eating and sweating.

      I agree about the sand and the beach. When we were little kids, we went to the beach just about every Sunday. My food was always gritty once I opened the sandwich. The basket kept it safe before that.

      A real clambake is just wonderful. I love watching them dig the hole, start burning the wood then adding the seaweed and the food. The restaurant is nice but I’d choose a clambake on the beach if I were having the same food I would have ordered at the restaurant: corn, clams, a lobster and sausage.

      I don’t camp now but I did when I was younger.

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