Sometimes during early autumn after the Saturday chores, Dad and my brother (once he became old enough) would build a bonfire, and Mom and I would gather items for an impromptu hot dog roast. Sometimes my aunt and uncle and the cousins would join. Sometimes it would be just my family. Food is tastier when eaten outdoors, when the air is just a bit crisp, when the sunlight is just waning, when the fire crackles and the wind blows the smoke away from our faces, when there’s marshmallows waiting to be roasted.
When my best friend had a birthday, I packed a picnic of rotisserie chicken, string cheese, bottles of lemonade and strawberries. We drove to the gardens and found a spot by a little water fountain to lay our spread.
My friend and her husband whisked me away one perfect spring day to the gardens. They packed blankets and pillows and spread them upon the grass by the roses. I brought books; she packed sandwiches. We lay under a sweeping tree and talked and talked.
I invited a friend over to watch Anna and the King. We both had seen it before and loved the story, the setting, the costumes. I made bacon club sandwiches. We had chips and cookies, and ate them on the floor in front of the television.
A picnic need not be limited to the outdoors. A picnic should be wherever and whenever one wishes. It’s getting to enjoy food away from the usual setting.
One afternoon I cleared my living room and spread out a cloth. I brought along my latest read, my journal and a pen. The curtains were open, and I could see the trees outside, their leaves barely moving. Meanwhile the ceiling fan circulated a nice breeze coupled with the AC. I reheated a pizza I ordered the night before, tossed a quick salad and hosted my own indoor picnic. This was not planned. The idea just popped inside my head like how most good ideas usually do.
For a few moments I enjoyed sitting cross legged on my living room floor, eating pizza and reading.
All images ©2012 Sriprae P. McDonald