We did something over the weekend that we have not done in a really long time. Well several things actually, now that I think about it. All of them, Very Fun! Yay!
First of all, it was Minock Day. Always a great day! The plan was to meet at Bok Gardens. I've written about Bok Gardens a few years ago so I'll just give you a quick synopsis. It's in Lake Wales (which does in fact have an actual lake), an adorable little town in it's own right. There are beautiful gardens, a huge tower that was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge, Carillion bells, a wonderful old house and wonderful winding trails with beautiful things to see around every corner. It's an amazing place to spend some time and (the thing we haven't done in the longest time) have a picnic!
My goodness, it had been so long since we've been on a picnic that I cannot honestly remember for sure when the last time was! Backyard picnics don't count. Those are more like barbeques and cookouts. A real picnic involves being somewhere else, somewhere that is not home. There are containers of food involved - very specific picnic-type food, eating outside, talking, laughing, enjoying fresh air and sunshine, a few ants for sure, and well, it was absolutely lovely. We definitely should be doing more picnic-ing.
Food tastes better outside. I eat in a far more relaxed fashion outside and I think the meal is a more complex culmination of sensations. I will try to explain that. I remember most meals in my adult life as me bolting food as quickly as possible. Either because I was eating between tasks at work, and while babies and toddlers needed or wanted me, between or during housey tasks and like that. The entire time I'm stuffing whatever food it is I'm trying to eat into my gullet, I'm already moving on to the next thing. (or actually in the process of doing the next thing) Even restaurant meals I feel rushed because I know that there are other people who are waiting to be seated.
Then there is the air. Sitting under trees, feeling the sun and the breeze, listening to the quiet environment and delightful conversation, smelling the flowers and earth and green growing things makes a simple turkey sandwich a feast beyond imagining. As opposed to a loud restaurant trying to have a conversation over the noise of musak, mechanicals, wait staff, the clankityclank of glasses and dishes and flatware and the voices of everyone else in the room. Or if you are eating outside the competing sound and smells of passersby and traffic.
As a kid, we often picnic-ed. Whenever we travelled (which was often) we didn't eat in restaurants! In the first place, there weren't nearly as many on the highways as there are now. There were no (or at least very few) travel plaza's with Mc Donalds, Dunkin' Donuts, and S'barro every few miles. Nope. My mom packed our cooler, which as I recall she got with S&H green stamps(!) with goodies from either home or markets we found along the way. At meal times, my dad would pull over in a green spot along the road and we would have our meal on either the picnic tables provided or on a blanket on the grass. Everyone relaxed a bit. My sister and I would run around like goofballs getting our yaya's out after being confined in a car for hours. And my dad would enjoy stretching out on that blanket in the sun for a little bit before resuming his task of getting us to our destination safely. It is a series of terrific moments in my memory.
But as an adult? I just don't remember any picnics. Perhaps there were some and I've just forgotten? A shame because it was wonderful. Minocks brought stuff for sandwiches, we brought sandwiches. They brought chips and raw veggies, we brought chips and home made potato salad. We both brought fruit and some, who shall remain nameless, brought cookies. We shared and traded and talked and relaxed and talked and laughed and once in awhile listened to the beautiful quiet around us. We need to do a whole lot more of that.
Meanwhile, here are some photos that I took of the Gardens. (You knew you weren't getting away without some photos, right?)
Wonderful old house:
Add in the picnic and a day spent with our dearest friends and well, it just doesn't get much better than that.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.