Friday, June 02, 2006

Memorial Day, 2006

Last Monday was Memorial Day and we celebrated in the time-honored way—a picnic.

  • A Book of Verses: check. Ernie has a nasty habit of regaling innocent bystanders at picnics with unintelligible verses from Rudyard Kipling, but thankfully he left the book at home this time. There was other literature in abundance.

  • the Bough: check. You can’t tell from this photo, but Windmill Pointe Park, where we held our festivities, has plenty of trees.

  • a Jug of Wine: check. Bottles, actually, red and white.

  • a Loaf of Bread: check. If you count corn chips.

  • and Thou: check. Plenty of Thous.

Omar Khayyam’s list is evocative of bohemian romanticism, but woefully incomplete for family gatherings.

The wine is useless without a bottle opener. Some folks prefer beer. Then there’s the non-alcoholic beer, the Coke, the Sprite and the bottled water. The little guys need juice boxes and sippy cups. We pack a large flask of coffee, which requires half and half and sugar. There’s styrofoam cups and plastic wine glasses, paper cups for the beer and all purpose cups, which I must have bought for something.

My big basket contains table cloths, paper plates (two sizes), plastic knives, forks and spoons, serving spoons, pepper and salt, maybe mustard and ketchup, napkins and a roll of paper towel.

The temperature on Monday was 92°, so we brought along swim suits and towels, swimmy diapers and regular diapers and wipes, hats and sun block. We had blankets to sit on, and folding chairs . . . and that’s before we even start talking about food!

We tend not to cook at the park. There may not be a grill available and it means schlepping down a bag of charcoal. But pre-cooked items require coolers to keep the cold food cold (no salmonella for us) and insulated bags to keep the hot food hot.

The first picnic of the year is always fun and I hope we have many more this summer. There will, inevitably, come a time when we are discussing what to do with a guest, and Ernie will say, “Make it easy on yourself. Let’s have a picnic.”

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