Picnics can be fun -- and disastrous!
We all know too well that life’s not always a picnic. Yet we still pack the basket, backpack, cooler or Publix bag and head out with kids, food and high hopes.
Often they turn out well. I have good memories of meeting my husband for lunch at the Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum along North Shore Drive after picking up the little ones from preschool across the street. Of course, there was that one time one of them found a condom in the bushes, but at least she had already eaten her PB&J.
A couple years ago, after admonishing ourselves for not taking more advantage of living 25 minutes from beautiful sunsets, we headed out to the beach with cheese, crackers, lime chips, grapes, prosciuto and Thin Mints. We spread out a hand-made quilt and settled in for an ideal evening.
As soon as the food was spread out on paper plates, I felt like a movie star. Not Grace Kelly sharing lunch with Cary Grant along the Riviera in To Catch A Thief. Instead I was suddenly Tippi Hedren being savagely attacked in The Birds. The seagulls weren’t just circling. They were crash diving like Kamikaze pilots into U.S. aircraft carriers. Our kids were crying, screaming and ducking for cover. But still holding onto their plates.
“Throw your food. Throw your food. As far away as you can,” my husband and I ordered. The lucky seagulls attacked the flying feast. Those that weren’t fast enough came back to the quilt looking for more. I got a hard peck on my thumb that actually drew blood. We threw the rest of the food back in the grocery bag, grabbed the quilt and our shoes and ran for the safety of the car. We came home and ate cereal for dinner.
I'd love to hear about your best -- and worst -- picnic memory. Maybe you were proposed to during a romantic picnic. Maybe the ants took over another. Whatever the memory, please share. And I promise, if you throw your food, the birds won't attack.
Katherine Snow Smith, Go Momma magazine editor