Is sure of a treat today.
There's lots of marvelous things to eat
And wonderful games to play.
Beneath the trees where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
'Cause that's the way the
Teddy Bears have their picnic.
from: The Teddy Bear’s Picnic
by Jimmy Kennedy and illustrated by Michael Hague
Picnics are not my favorite way to eat a meal. Camping is not my favorite way to spend time. It’s all the prep and planning and dragging and dragging back and unpacking that gets me. But, I like the being outside part.
I don’t mind bugs. I like them. Once, I ordered a pint of ladybugs to release in my garden. They didn’t know they were supposed to stay in my yard to control an aphid infestation. Another time I bought praying mantis eggs. I wish they had hatched. Now I'm content to watch the bugs that choose to live near me.
It’s the bugs crawling in my food that I mind. Food tastes better eaten inside.
When I was about seven or eight, my dad announced he had made arrangements with a co-worker to borrow a pop-up camping trailer. We were going on a new adventure: an overnight in the woods. The next weekend. I think my sister didn’t want to go the most, but I had serious reservations, too.
Packing was an ordeal. I had to choose clothes that would keep me warm enough but not take up too much room. Plenty of underwear. We even brought our own toilet tissue! And of course all of our food. We’d be having three picnics a day!
The first meal was lunch. I'm sure it was something like peanut butter sandwiches and apples.
Dinner was more rustic. My little brother and I were sent out to fetch wood. We learned the difference between tinder and kindling and made a good haul for our campfire. I don’t remember the menu, probably hotdogs.
Dad brought the Coleman stove so he could cook our breakfast. The pop-up didn’t go up as easily as my dad was lead to believe, but it did go up. Although he and my mom assured us that it was sturdy, I chose not to believe that and took a looong time falling asleep. I don’t remember all the sleeping arrangements, but I bunked up on the top with my mom.
I didn’t like being on the top bunk, but morning finally came and brought a beautiful sunrise. We camped until it was time to un-pop the pop-up, re-pack all our stuff, and head for home.
August is National Picnic Month. I’m not celebrating.