Sunday, March 14, 2021

Slice of Life Challenge #21 Day 14: Pandemic Picnic

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:

Pandemic Picnic

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?


  1. This sounds lovely! We have been deep into winter here so picnic are still out of the question. But maybe in a few weeks we need to call the cousins for a meet-up half way between us! Great idea.

  2. This is a lovely thing to continue. I started walking every day before school last March and continued this habit when school started face-to-face in the fall. I'll keep doing it for the next four weeks during the second lock down also.

  3. This is the perfect habit to keep. We always travel w/ a cooler. I love stopping where we can stretch our legs and enjoy fresh air. I think it’s having the option that makes it most appealing.

  4. You've certainly made me miss picnics -- though the summers here can be just unbearable I should try and find time to get out while it's pleasant enough. I like that you started this slice in the present and then reflected on how you got to that point. Thanks for sharing!

  5. What a great routine you created. Picnics are so much fun, and definitely better for the budget.

  6. That is fun! I love the idea of packing up to picnic halfway with the parents.
    I think one thing I am going to try to keep is continuing my Spanish lessons. It is getting more difficult to learn because there are so many new layers added on, but I really want to be proficient!

  7. A delightful slice on adapting and keeping the important things the important things...picnics are a joy, and it is good to acknowledge some of the gifts that came from all of this.


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