Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fourth Annual Four Generation Picnic

Yes, our four generation family picnic was grand. The day was at first chilly, windy and gray and I feared rain, but around 2:00 when folks began to arrive at that big hill overlooking Puget Sound, the skies cleared and the sun appeared.
My brother John flew in for the weekend and true to form, he helped set up our picnic spot on the hill. He and Laura's boyfriend Scott dragged that second wooden picnic table over from the little church yard and then he and I hung Day of the Dead plastic paper cut streamers from the trees. (BTW, those streamers are from San Antonio.) Jeanne, Kelan and Lauren arrived at 1:30 with a serving table, jambalaya and the brisket, which, on Saturday, cooked in her oven at 200 degrees for 8 or 9 hours and which was sliced by John  early Saturday morning.
I love to see the family and friends gather. We missed Chris and Heather and Mary B, but Dan's mom Ann came with Tom and brought a pecan pie, Caroline's friend Jessica arrived with her two kids, plus more friends from Green Lake Elementary, plus Jeanne's friend Heike and daughter.
Dad who was all smiles and has been talking about this picnic since April. He loves to watch his great grandchildren play on that hill.
When I visited Dad this morning he said, "Those great grandchildren are all smart," he said. "They have good blood." Wish John's grand daughters Peyton and Anna were part of this picnic crowd. I'd love for Dad to see all six of his great grandchildren at one time.

We flew kites and played bocce. The little boys tossed a football with Steve and Scott and John and the little girls gathered grasses and leaves and pine cones in baskets. We all ate Kate's blackberry cobbler and Caroline's  gluten free peach and blueberry cobbler - in addition to Ann's pecan pie. It was a very good day.
The late afternoon light was just beginning to color the hillside when folks began to leave and John began to take down the streamers from the trees. I lamented that we always stopped the picnic before we got to see the sun set. I fantasized about sitting in a canvas chair watching the kids back lit by the western sun, their hair shining, their faces in silhouette.
"Best time of day for light, " I said to no one in particular.
"Well, then, start the picnic at 4:00 next year and we will see the light change," said Caroline.
"Right," I said. "We'll start the picnic at 4:00 next year."
Decision made. We packed the car and left our spot on the hill just as the sky turned its most brilliant and the light became golden.
Mary Margaret, it's not all about the light. It's about those loved ones and friends gathered on this hill. Actually, for me it's about both.
Thanks to all who brought great food, lots of balls to throw and catch, thanks to all who helped clean up and carried stuff back to the cars and parking lot. Thanks for inviting friends. What a beautiful day.

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