Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Memories of Summer Picnics

Picnics remind me of happy times. I can't ever remember a bad picnic. Is there such a thing? I remember picnics with boyfriends, company picnics with various employers, picnics at Camp Dearborn with my family, my and my kids' end-of-school picnics with our elementary school classmates, picnics at Half Moon Lake at the end of a day of water skiing, backyard (and poolside) picnics with my family and friends, roadside picnics when we were traveling on vacation, picnics on Belle Isle with my grad school classmates, picnics up north at my girlfriend's cottage, picnics celebrating my mother's July birthday, and Fourth of July picnics with friends.

That's a lot of picnicking. And you know, I don't remember the food served at any of them. It wasn't about the food, it was about enjoying the outdoors on a nice summer day with family and friends, co-workers, and classmates. I know that sometimes we grilled burgers or hot dogs and roasted marshmallows for dessert. Other times we brought food in a cooler that was already cooked and assembled at home. Sometimes it was nothing more than a brown bag lunch. The joy of eating outdoors on a perfect summer day with the sun shining, the birds singing, people laughing, and dogs sniffing around for table scraps is what I remember.

I remember squirt gun fights and water balloon fights. I remember summer tunes playing on the portable radio and chasing fireflies after the sun went down. I remember having ice cubes from the cooler slipped down my tank top and screaming over the extreme cold on my sun-heated skin. I remember the ice cream truck stopping by and thinking long and hard over what to choose only to end up having a red Popsicle as always. I remember Slo-Poke suckers that lasted most of the day. I remember the mosquitoes that always annoyed us and the smell of seaweed and fish when we were near a lake. I remember sitting around campfires with a bottle of wine and bags of munchies long after dark (the nighttime version of picnicking). So many happy times.

I'll leave you with a photo of me and my grad school classmates taken at our graduation-celebration picnic on Belle Isle. I'll let you guess which one is me ;-)