Reviving the Art of…..the Picnic

The short period of time between the end of school and the beginning of camp is a mixed blessing in our house. No set schedule and ample opportunity to sleep in is always welcomed but the need to constantly entertain my children, leaves me exhausted and just a pinch irritable by the end of the day. My little ones are still at the stage where they expect mommy or daddy to join in on all the ‘fun’ (like the rousing and somewhat extended game of ‘Musical Chairs’ we enjoyed at 8:00am this morning or the marathon finger painting art lesson that lasted for three and a half hours yesterday!).

Luckily for me, I have marvelously brilliant friends like Coryanne Etienne from Housewife Bliss who reminded me this morning that July is National Picnic Month.
Before you knew it, I had packed a picnic basket with a delightful lunch and off we were to the nearest park! My children were fed and entertained in the warm, fresh air and my husband and I didn’t get up off the picnic blanket once, a true success!
To say that I adore picnics is an understatement. When I was a child, whenever the weather was favorable, my parents would surprise us with a family picnic. A good meal, great weather and time spent with my family always made for a wonderful day and living in a country with a short and finicky summer season, we enjoyed every minute of it!
Later when my husband and I were first dating and then married without children, we enjoyed picnics all the time. We would alternate who would pack the lunch and relished in trying to surprise the other one with what we had packed. Our picnic lunches were always a romantic touch to our otherwise terribly busy weeks.

Fast forward a few years (and babies!) later and you could say a smidgen of laziness had gotten the best of me. Packing a light lunch, refreshments and a gingham blanket is one thing but packing diapers, baby bottles, strollers and the required toys along with everything else, is definitely another! Had I lost my love for the picnic? Well, no, not quite but as any mother of babies or toddlers will attest to, it just wasn’t worth the hassle. My trusty picnic basket laid in wait gathering dust for a couple of years and I truly missed the simple pleasure of the picnic.

Last fall, just after the first week of school, my husband surprised me by coming home at lunch, the old picnic basket packed and ready to go. That afternoon spent enjoying a delicious lunch and a little vino was absolute bliss! How could I have gone so long without the pleasure of the picnic? A simple way to enjoy the fine weather and each other’s company all while taking a deep breath and slowing down, if just for a couple of hours. I made a promise to myself not to let the dust gather again but as is life in Canada, before you knew it the chill of autumn had set in and the picnic basket went back into hibernation.
This morning’s reminder and the wonderful time we enjoyed afterwards was just the thing to get me back into my love affair with the picnic, hopefully passing my picnic passion onto my children!
What is it that you love most about picnics?
Any inspiring elements you add to make your picnic outing extra special?
Need a little more inspiration??
Some fab links from a few of our lovely friends with their take on the picnic!