Post Picnic

Our sixth annual family picnic day was more than beautiful. It was perfect with enormous panoramas of clouds billowing across blue skies and an autumn coolness under bright sun. By 11:00 a.m., the two picnic tables were secured and in place under that wonderful grove of pines and madrona trees. Thanks to John and Steve for lugging that very heavy second picnic table.
By noon the plastic Day of the Dead cut outs from San Antonio and the Chinese parasols from Harwin Drive hung from the tree branches and the kites were ready to be flown.
I had three hours before folks began to arrive. Thought I'd read a book, but found it was simply better to sit at a picnic table and survey the passing scene. A photographer set up three photo shoots on the hills with three different families; a couple set their blanket down within yards of our tables. I walked over to tell them that a barrage of kids would soon arrive - just so they'd know before they became too settled. One woman passed by and asked if there was to be a wedding. Another asked about the occasion and then spoke of her own family reunions. Lots of curiosity.
Mary B arrived from Portland about 1:00 with salads and we had time for a leisurely visit.  I quite liked those several pre-picnic hours at this site overlooking Elliott Bay. I'll make sure I replicate those hours next summer.
Family and friends began arriving by 3:00. And they brought lots to eat and drink. More salads, dips, pigs in blankets, deviled eggs, beef brisket, roast chickens, sangria and beer. 
The dessert table was loaded with Kate's blackberry cobbler, my gluten free black berry peach cobbler, Mary's key lime pie and Caroline's flourless chocolate torte. 
Dad arrived with Catie and then we had four generations - from four months to 96 1/2 years - all together to share a sunny afternoon. This year, we even remembered to take a family photo, thanks to James Hughes behind the lens. 
The McGrady's came directly from Kelan's football jamboree and team 'weigh-in.' He is a strapping healthy boy nine year old boy and just about perfect. And he wanted to stay with his original team, so he's been eating healthy salads and fruit for weeks to stay in their weight category. It paid off. He's not moving upwards to a team with 10 and 11 year olds.
Since Kelan was just the right weight for his age group and team, he was more than thrilled to celebrate with black berry cobbler and far too much whipped cream. He may have used the whole can?
Both Charlie and Kelan are old enough and skilled enough to fly kites by themselves this year without snarling the strings, so they were off and running.
The little girls ran with kites too. Everyone 'got' kite flying this year without great parental guidance. Hurray! The girls also found and claimed their 'tent' which they called a clubhouse this year.
We'd scheduled the picnic for 3:00 p.m. so we could stay on to enjoy that late afternoon sunlight. And see what we were rewarded with at 6:00 p.m. An impromptu parasol dance performance blew us away with its brilliant colors and shadows.
There were those of us who kept lingering, even as John took down the Day of the Dead garlands and tidied the picnic tables. The light was turning golden and it's simply a shame not to watch afternoon drift into long late summer shadows. We finally pulled up camp just before 7:00. It was a very fine picnic. Thanks so all who came and made it so very fine.
Surely everyone had their own experience of this sixth picnic. Suffice it to say, the photos show my take. Heather and Caroline, I know you have photos - share if you like and we'll add to the mix. Again,   thanks to all. Looking forward to next summer in this very special place.

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