Take Time Out for a Picnic

Picnic with Ivy and StellieSummer is speeding by – one reason for a picnic. It’s August 23rd already. Like lightning, July and August days have flashed by for me, so much that I took a hiatus from blogging. But that didn’t stop this Grandmother Grummy from fun creativity, summer picnic with the grands included. Inspirational hospitality ideas pop up sometimes from the most unexpected ways – like planning an impromptu picnic indoors on a hot, humid day. More about picnic food later. But for the moment, let me assure you that if life has interrupted your blogging routine, there is hope to get back on board.

You know how it is when interruptions happen. They aren’t planned. You have to deal with them one way or another. Reasons vary for taking a hiatus (another reason for a picnic) from normal routines. The reason for mine is a move. I thought I could continue to blog. If you follow my blog, you know there has been a gap lately. I was wrong. Blogging was impossible.

My Attic Mystery

Ever read Annie’s Attic Mysteries? The stories are about Annie Dawson who travels from Texas to Maine and inherited her grandmother’s Victorian home.

I can relate and have my own attic stories called Angie’s Attic Mysteries. My mother was an interior decorator and decorated her home in the Victorian decor. My husband and I stored things in my parents’ attic when we began a nine-year RV lifestyle.

There is a limited amount of storage in an RV. Over-storing is not a good idea when you are constantly on the road, pulling an RV.

My dad passed away last November, and my mother died in 2008. They had built a home in the country in the state of Texas – and I mean country. Like tall pine trees. Electrical storms that cause the electricity to go out, and you use hurricane lanterns. Little or no cell phone coverage.

Since July, my brothers and I have divided our parents’ treasures, furniture, kitchen gadgets, pots, pans, dishes, etc. In addition to moving things to the house that my husband and I are moving into, I needed to get all of our things out of my parents’ attic. That was an amazing task.

Have you ever stored things you thought you couldn’t live without in an attic? Attic mysteries sound exciting, don’t they? Attic stories remind me of the books my daughter used to read. Imagine the treasures you can discover. Yeah! Especially after 20-something years. Now I have my own discovered-attic-treasure stories.

Now I have my own discovered-attic-treasure stories. After moving things I kept of my mom’s and dad’s, I dreaded the chore of dragging down those boxes from the attic, so much that I dreamed about it.

A couple of guys that work for my cousin agreed to help us move (there are 3 of us siblings, so there were 3 moves in one day). They also came back another day to help get things down from the attic. But only one guy returned. Let me tell you, I learned how big of a job it is to move several years’ of stored boxes down the ladder from an attic.

Since the one guy couldn’t possibly complete the attic job, my oldest brother agreed to help me get the rest of the boxes down. I asked him how many were left. He said, “At least a dozen.” Uh-oh. Not encouraging. That night, I dreamed about the dreadful task of going up to the attic the next morning.

I had been up in the attic many times in the past years. However, I’m older and not as slim as I used to be (working on that, though). Furthermore, the bottom part of the ladder was broken some time ago, and a stepladder has to be used along with the attic ladder.

The dream was amazing. I loved it so much that I just might use it in a future book.

In the dream, I was so afraid while going up the ladder. But when I reached the top, other family members greeted me and introduced me to a newly-invented attic cart track. All I had to do was hop on a cart (smaller than a golf cart, larger than a go-cart) and race around the track to the spots where my boxes were stored. When I got to my storage areas, I only had to stop the cart, place the boxes on it, and race around to the other storage areas for the rest of my items. Of course, it took a few trips unloading near the ladder and down to the garage, back up for more loads, and down the ladder again until I had completed the job. The attic cart track was quite fascinating, and I woke up in a ready-to-tackle-the-attic mood.

Unfortunately, there was no cart track waiting to surprise me. Rather, I was faced with ducking through a tunnel, finding a multitude of stored treasures in boxes and bags (some which had somewhat disintegrated), and sore muscles.

Then, I had the responsibility of:

  • going through all those boxes
  • hauling boxes to my house (in the same country neighborhood)
  • unpacking boxes at my house
  • finding a place to put all the things I managed to live without that I think I want to keep
  • throwing away a mountain of not-worth-keeping “treasures”

After all five of those attic treasure box responsibilities, I needed to take time out for a picnic.

Kitchen Hospitality Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Chicken Salad Sandwich Deluxe

My aunt who helped me a great deal with my move packed a picnic lunch of chicken salad sandwiches (my mother’s favorite sandwich) and chips. We managed to find an empty spot to take a picnic break in the middle of all the boxes.

Back to the City

The move my husband and I are making is somewhat complicated. It’s not just from one house to another in the same neighborhood. It involves also moving things from our other house, a desert cabin.

Plenty of people divide their time between two or more houses. It makes sense. Getaway cottages and cabins in the mountains or on the lake make life more tolerable for families who have to keep working rat-race city jobs. But for us, it makes better sense to choose country living.

In the midst of all my trips to the country house, I’ve traveled back and forth to Houston where one of our daughters and her husband live with their two little girls.

On one occasion, I was taking care of my little grands. The day was hot and humid. Not a good day for going outdoors. The thought suddenly occurred to me that we could enjoy a fun picnic in spite of the humidity – inside. Imagine the girls’ excitement when I suggested a picnic.

Food for a picnic doesn’t have to be extravagant. My little grands and I had strawberries, crackers, and milk. They loved it! The girls looked so cute in their little seating arrangement, a circular pillow, and an upside down chair (it’s so funny when the one-year-old turns the chair upside down to sit in).

Having grandchildren is a very important reason to plan picnics. Little girls love it when their grandmother has a picnic with them.

If it isn’t feasible for you to enjoy the ideal picnic in a basket spread on a blanket on a sunny day, create the kind that fits your day. I’ve included four reasons already for taking picnics. Here are the four plus a few more:

  1. Summer – Summer and picnics are two things that simply go together. Plan at least one summer picnic, even if you live alone. Invite a friend, and bring the food. The friend is sure to appreciate such an outing.
  2. Taking a hiatus – Definitely, you need to include a picnic if you need a hiatus. It will take your mind off of an everyday rat race busy life.
  3. Getting boxes out of a hot attic – Make your attic treasure digging more pleasurable by taking time out for a picnic. It helps.
  4. Grandchildren – The more picnics you have with your grandchildren, the more they will cherish the memories with you.
  5. Vacations – Find a grocery store or a farmers market on your vacation, and plan a picnic. It means more fun on your trip!
  6. Weekends – You’ve worked hard all week, and your children have gone back to school. Schedule a picnic to look forward to.
  7. No special reason – Have a picnic just because you can.

One of the funniest picnics I remember was in Arkansas mountains on a very windy day. It was my husband, our youngest daughter, our friends (family of four), and me. It was so funny because the wind about blew all of our food off of the picnic table. I don’t recall any of the food but will always fondly think of how we held onto our paper plates and tried to keep everything from blowing away.

Got a fun story of a picnic? I’d love to hear about it!

Start Planning Your Next Picnic



1 Comment

  1. I remember once that my parents and I went on a picnic and it suddenly started to rain. Instead of going home, we crawled into the bed of my father’s pickup truck (it had a shell on it). We ate dinner there and played a card game. It is still one of my favorite memories from my childhood.

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