If you were to pack a basket for a picnic lunch, what would be in your basket?
I have the fondest memories of our Sunday family picnics in a little park beside the beach in Port Elgin. There were always various aunts and uncles and cousins from my dad’s side of the family, the heady scent of cedar in the hot sun, and picnic tables that the men would round up until there were enough to seat everyone. There were paper table cloths and paper plates, plastic cups and cutlery, wasps, ants, screeching sea gulls, and so much food we always ended up having to decide who would take what home with them. Because how boring to take what you brought and how fun to exchange things. And fight over Aunt Marie’s brownies topped with melted marshmallows and chocolate icing. Well, maybe that never happened because I can’t imagine there being any of those left.
Something that did happen every picnic day without fail was having the adults warn their children that swimming was absolutely forbidden until two hours after eating. Because to do so meant you would probably get cramps and die. And the adults would have their after meal chat time seriously reduced too. That bit would be equally tragic.
I do not remember ever having much to do with the picnic food prep, which likely explains my picnic nostalgia. White bread sandwiches cut in little triangles and jello salads and potato salads and desserts all just magically appeared. And there was always Freshie. That’s a Canadian thing from the 1950’s and beyond, an add-your-own-sugar drink mix, in kid flavours called orange, yellow, purple and red. Purple was the best.
At this point in my life I have a hard time figuring out what the point of a picnic is when it’s just so much easier to stay home where there is less pollen and fewer bugs. But if I was forced at gun point to pack for one, I’d fill the basket with potato salad and plastic forks. And hope somebody else remembers to bring the Freshie.
On a vacation what do you require in any place that you sleep?
A decent mattress, clean sheets, air conditioning, a great shower, towels larger than postage stamps and internet access. As far as I know there are none of these things in a tent. Oh, and lots of body lotion. Some places are very chintzy with the body lotion. I bring my own, but still, you know, free stuff.
If you were to buy a new house/apartment what are the top three items on your wish list?
Funny you should ask because I have been watching design challenges and home purchasing shows and small home documentaries. It is completely bizarre to me how much space some people think they need. One woman wanted an extra room just to store her shoes. Think about why you need such a ridiculous amount of storage space and then get rid of half your crap. Plus, seriously, if you are one person with four bathrooms, what is going on in that little head of yours? And more importantly, who is keeping them all clean while you’re out working your ass off to pay your mortgage?
Top three items on my list: two bedrooms, big shower, no stairs. The rest of the list? Kitchen with stools and a counter you can eat at, open to living area, a little patio or balcony, no grass to cut. A den or office area would be a nice bonus for books and art paraphernalia but if that stuff can fit in the bedrooms, even better. Something small and easy to keep clean. If I want to entertain I will rent a hall. Or take you out to a restaurant. If you get really drunk and can’t drive home, you can sleep on my floor.
What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?
Last summer it would often take me a couple of days to cut the grass, doing the back one day and the front the next. I’ve done it twice now, front and back easily in a morning, no problem. So I guess those 15 minute senior workouts are doing their magic. I also found a video that takes you on a mile long walk (1.609 km in Canada) without leaving your home. So, great for rainy, heavy pollen, or crazy hot days. The ‘walk’ incorporates side to side and back and forth steps, arm and knee raises, kicks, twists, and generally a lot of antics that if you did them out and about in your neighbourhood would draw a lot of attention to yourself.
After all these hot days, last night we had our first real thunder-storm of the season. It was short but lovely. There’s something about the delightful smell of a rain storm that always makes me smile. That, plus the fact that if you had a picnic planned you’d have to call it off and eat at your kitchen counter instead.