Family Picnic

My previous post was in response to Charli’s challenge this week and I was limited to 99 words.
I thought I’d do a more in-depth post about our family picnics as they were so much fun, and with Summer just around the corner (hopefully), happy memories as well!
I’m one of four, but all of us are on our second marriages and in two cases my parents inherited grandchildren by default. All were treated as members of the family, no-one was an outsider, and any foster kids in my care were also made welcome.

This particular year was Other Brother’s 40th birthday and we agreed to meet up in the New Forest. Everyone took something to contribute to the picnic table, a series of pasting tables adorned with table cloths, paper plates, napkins, plastic cutlery and cups.
The atmosphere was terrific, team games like cricket and rounders were in full swing (pun intended), and the kettle was constantly boiling on the portable camp stove.
Several people, adults and kids alike, were hunting for clues in a treasure hunt, and Dad had rigged up a ‘death slide’ from the truck where the kids were waiting in an orderly queue for their turn under his supervision.
Some of us ended up blackberrying in readiness for Dad’s homebrew, and apart from one adult sulking because there was no beer (sadly he was with me and three teenage boys), everyone was having a really good time.
Our party seemed to be growing in number though, not only at the death slide, but also at the tea facility. It turned out that complete strangers thought we were a mobile cafe and were lining up for tea and cake whilst their kids were joining in the fun.

Once everything was packed away, litter disposed of in the appropriate place if available or tossed in bin bags into a variety of car boots and the site clean and tidy, the kids lined up for the grande finale.
This for me was the best bit, something we had every time we had a family get-together. Everyone could join in, but it was for the children really, each of which had been given a ‘goody bag’ to fill with the spoils of the game.

The kids would line up in a sort of semi-circle and you could feel their excitement (it was so cute!). Mum and Dad would then throw sweets up into the air, and little hands would scrabble to catch them before they hit the ground, though it didn’t matter if they did because they were always in wrappers.
I was so proud of my lads who helped the little ones gather them up as they weren’t quite so quick or as tall as the older ones. Old Sulky Pants was sitting in the car while the other parents were egging the kids on, pointing to where sweets they’d missed had fallen.
It was always the most chaotic, amusing, sometimes hysterical part of the day, especially one year as some of the adults joined in for themselves!!!
Imagine, 2 grown ups almost coming to blows over a chocolate coated toffee finger!

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have an elderly dog called Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
This entry was posted in Family, Memories, My life, people and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Family Picnic

  1. scifihammy says:

    A lovely trip down memory lane. 🙂
    I laughed that strangers were joining in – and waiting for their cuppa! 😀
    I’m also from a big family – there’s just something special about the camaraderie that smaller families miss out on. For years I called Only children, Lonely children, till someone pointed out I’d got it wrong – but I don’t think I did!

    • Sadly we don’t have these get togethers anymore. Nephews and nieces are grandparents in their own right and have little if any contact with me. It will be interesting to see how many relatives I know (or who recognise me) at the wedding next month. Other Brother is a bit peeved as he didn’t get an invite….. apparently it ‘got lost in the post’ (though we have our own idea what happened) and he’s got other arrangements that weekend now anyway.

  2. Violet Lentz says:

    Excellent family fun story.. Part of me wished you could have just walked off and left old sulky pants in the car.. Would have served him right!

  3. Reblogged this on pensitivity101 and commented:

    I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today, what with teddy bears picnics and Bro’s birthday. This post came to mind, and was typical of family get togethers of yesteryear. I remember days when shoes were christened by dogs, which was better than being chewed i suppose, little boys running into the woods with toilet paper streaming after them, punch ups over sweets (and that was the adults lol) so much hilarity and laughter which would give the TV Waltons a run for the money on family life.
    We’re all older now, Sis and I in our 60s, and both brothers in their 70s and sadly Mum and Dad are no longer with us, but the memories are as fresh today as if it were only yesterday.
    On a sunny day like this, picnics may well have been in the offing.

  4. We have had some excellent family picnics with my adult sisters and their kids. More often though, we have the family over to our house. We bought a 16 seater table for this very purpose.

    • wow! We wouldn’t get a six seater table in our house, let alone one room!

      • We live in the original farm house in our area. It is quite large but very old (by South African standards – built in 1920) and has a metal roof. It is fabulous and I love it.

      • sounds wonderful. The cottage was built in 1847 and was originally the village school. It was converted to a private residence in the 50s or thereabouts and bits added on which is why we had three flat roofs on extensions housing a bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. My Mum was forever getting lost in the ‘warren’ and always ended up in the kitchen so we put PIR lights up so that she could find her way to the bathroom and then back to her bedroom if she had to get up in the night.

      • Oh wow, your home sounds so interesting. I love old English homes.

      • We sold the cottage in 2014, then lived on the boat for three years before moving here in September 2017. The cottage had plenty of character, but was too big for us so we had to downsize. A boat was perhaps taking things a bit too far though!!

      • I can imagine that the idea and the reality of a boat are a bit different.

      • We loved it on the boat after the initial shock. It was never the intention, just the way it happened, but I wouldn’t change those years for anything.

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