For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers.
Slice of Life Challeng #21 Day 14:
I gathered a loaf of bread, some lettuce, and mayo. I sliced some ham and cut several pieces of colby cheese. I placed the peanut butter, Sunbutter, and jelly on the counter and set out some butter knives. This spread should satisfy everyone.
"Is everyone up?" I yelled up the stairs at my children. "You have thirty minutes to finish getting ready, including that you each need to make a sandwich for your lunch. Get going!"
It was nearly 9:30; my fifteen-year-old and nearly thirteen-year-old emerged from their respective bedrooms.
"Okay Mom," I heard my son respond. My daughter trudged down the stairs, bed hair and all.
Ten minutes later the three of us were crowded around my small kitchen, reaching for items and assembling sandwiches on our kitchen table. We placed them in the small red Igloo cooler. I added several apples, sliced raw veggies and placed them in small Ziploc bags. I threw in napkins and handwipes. I closed the cooler and set it by the back door. I realized that we even had a bag of chips that we could bring, so I placed the snack beside the cooler.
"Do you each have a water bottle?"
There was more activity in our kitchen. My son filled his bottle. My daughter rummaged through the cupboard until she found her favorite water bottle.
Once we were set to go, we piled into my sedan, ready for the day's adventures. It was a forecasted to be a beautiful day. My children, my boyfriend, and I were meeting my parents at a park and spending the afternoon together.
Prior to the pandemic, when we were out and about during the lunch hour, we always ate at a fast food restaurant or a local diner. I didn't bother to plan ahead and pack a lunch, However, when COVID hit, we searched for safe ways to gather and have adventures. My parents live over three hours in driving distance from me, so we found parks and parking lots half-way where we could meet up, picnic, and be safe.
Packing simple picnic lunches and eating at parks reminds me so much of my childhood. As a kid, we never traveled anywhere without have a cooler full of food. A gingham tablecloth could always be found in the station wagon, complete with silver tablecloth clips. I remember having so much fun playing in the park or playing frisbee or tag when we were done eating. I loved exploring.
I forgot how much I loved picnics. As a single parent, I soon realized that picnics were better for my budget. In addition, I found that it was less stressful to just find a spot to eat instead of waiting for a table or arguing about which place to stop. Picnics can be easy to prep and easy for clean up. We can decide what time we want to eat, how long we want to linger, and when it is nice out, we can enjoy the weather.
Of course I have missed going out to restaurants. However, planning ahead and packing a picnic lunch and eating in parks is something I want to hold onto when this pandemic ends.
What new habits do you want to keep?