Picnic Puddles

Beth and Ray Jones on picnic
Family picnic
Family picnic

At night when I lay down to sleep, often I’m wide awake and my mind buzzes with the best ideas. Last night was one of them, when I thought of a family picnic.

Earlier in the day, our daughter Leah and I went to the park to get some fresh air and to feel the warm sun on our faces, after spring cleaning our house. It was a beautiful day.

Tomorrow probably will be too, I mused. Perfect for a picnic. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese, pickles, devilled eggs, a sweet dessert.

As I drifted off to sleep, I heard the sound of distant thunder. This was the first sign.

This morning when I woke up, I looked out the front door window and saw that it’d rained last night (rain puddles on the street and in the yard) and the temp had dropped considerably. This was the second sign.

Ray went to get his haircut and to pick up a part for our car, while I got ready.

Everybody and their mother was in town; the traffic was thick. Yesterday’s deposit hadn’t cleared yet in our bank account so my debit/credit bank card was declined at the deli. Third sign. I felt my blood pressure beginning to rise.

I asked the deli employee to hold the chicken for me. I had to run back home to transfer money from another account and then drive back for our fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and mac-n-cheese.  It was the last batch of their fried chicken and nobody else was getting that chicken but our family! 

Ray had eaten all our pickles at home (Ray eats pickled everything: pickles, pickled okra, pickled asparagus, pickled peppers). We just would have to do without the pickles today. I didn’t want to wait to eat until the eggs had boiled to make the devilled eggs (a staple for picnics!), because the sky looked ominously like rain again. 

Thunder and lightning
Thunder and lightning

When I went home, Ray and Leah were still sitting on the couch in their pajamas, watching a sci-fi show. I transferred the money and then ordered, “GET DRESSED!” as I went out the door. Do I have to give instructions to everyone for a picnic? I thought as I raced to the grocery store before the rain started. Don’t you love the picture of our perfect family get-togethers and my Godly, patient lovingkindness?

I hurried back to the store and on the way home, the cars moved at a TURTLE pace. The PMS-like thought crossed my mind that I could easily crash into anyone who got into my way like at a demolition derby, without a second thought.

Just keepin’ it real.

Dear God, please help me not to cuss at everyone, I began to pray. This is Easter weekend. Don’t let me blow it. Your son Jesus died on the cross so I could be free from my mouth and my wrong thoughts.

We finally got to the park. By this time I was happy again. The shelter picnic tables were wet from last night’s rain. I’d brought a thick, powder blue sheet to lay on the table as our tablecloth, so I wiped down the seats and the table with it, then laid it on the table. Here’s a pic I snapped of our picnic “feast.” Notice the rain spot on the concrete in the background.

Picnic at park
Picnic at park

What is a picnic without delicious, crisp fried chicken? Ray and Leah are partial to drumsticks. They played “Rock, scissors, paper, Spock, lizard” to win the second drumstick…Leah won, but gave it to Ray anyway. (I think they made this game up because they are avid Star Trek fans and love Spock.) There was still another piece left for her and me, too.

Fried Chicken
Fried Chicken

What is fried chicken without mashed potatoes and gravy?

White Gravy and mashed potatoes
White Gravy and mashed potatoes

Leah likes mac-n-cheese.

Macaroni and cheese

Today there was no warm sunshine. Leah and Ray dislike the cold, but they’ve learned over the years to tolerate my spontaneous, crazy ideas like having a picnic in the lower 60’s.

As we ate, Ray made jokes like, “Feel that tingly feeling in your fingers? It’s called hypothermia,” or, “Leah, don’t fall into the water. There’s no life guard on duty.” (the big mud puddles) Leah giggled.

Yesterday the park was filled with laughing and running children. You’ll notice in the pic that Leah is wearing her purple sweater, Ray has on his jacket, and not anyone else is there. Leah dryly said that nobody goes to the park or has a picnic when it’s cold and rainy. From the looks on their faces, I think the title to this pic should be, Whatever keeps Beth happy.

 
Leah and Ray Jones on picnic
Leah and Ray Jones on picnic

 

Well, I had fun anyway! The food was good and we made a family memory – even if it’s a unique one.

Beth and Ray Jones on picnic
Beth and Ray Jones on picnic

For dessert, the three of us shared this cute Easter bunny, coconut-chocolate cupcake.

Easter bunny coconut-chocolate cupcake
Easter bunny coconut-chocolate cupcake

Hope you have a blessed Resurrection weekend. Make some special family memories. JESUS IS RISEN INDEED! HALLELUAH!!!

In Him I live and move and have my being. (Acts 17:28)

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” – John 11: 25-26

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