Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A Story and My Picnics

A picnic blanket lived in the trunk of my car this past year. During my lunch break at work, I would nuke my leftovers (or grab my sandwich and fruit) and then head outside. There's a sitting spot outside, relatively shielded from wind and passers-by. I'd sit in the sun, on my blankie, take off my work-shoes, and read my Backwoods Home Magazine while nibbling my lunch.

I had more picnics this year than any other year in my life. I think I had more picnics this past summer/fall than I had in the last couple of decades put together.

Eventually I noticed that I was reading magazines regularly. (Hey, I was three years behind on my BHM and now I'm only two years behind.) Reading regularly might (maybe? possibly?) mean that I could read a [gasp -- hold onto your hat!] a BOOK.

Jan Karon's Mitford series came out about 15 years ago. Oodles of friends and family had recommended it to me for about 14 and 3/4 years. Now I know why! It was perfect! Short sections, some only half a page, so it was easy to put down when my lunch-minutes were depleted. Funny. Light. Love story without being mushy or indecent. Set in a parsonage in Podunkville. It made my heart rejoice to plunk down on my blankie and eat a big fat tomato sandwich and immerse myself in Mrs Karon's village of Mitford.

Since the weather changed, I haven't continued the series. But in March or April, my picnic blanket and I will be eager to start on Book #4. Only three months to go! It makes my heart pitter-patter just to think of it.


  1. This is off topic, but do you know how strange you are to take your own lunch and read during your lunch break? When my sister was single she would cook a meal and eat some for supper and take the leftovers to work for lunch the next day. Her coworkers always asked where she got that food. They couldn't believe she cooked it herself. She wasn't about to waste her meager salary on eating out or gas to get to a restaurant during her lunch hour. Plus eating out by yourself isn't much fun. It was better to stay at work and read a book. I hope spring comes quickly for you.

  2. I need to get a nice blanket for each car. I also had it in mind to find a small wooden folding table and chairs - British safari style - for picnics, but so far I've not found anything cheap enough.

  3. Jan Karon is contagious. Mom got addicted, then I, and it continues to spread. :) Great books!

  4. Ewe, I'm usually the only one who brings my lunch. There's another woman who was a stay-at-home mom for many years; she will bring a lunch about 1/3 of the time or so. Usually substitutes will bring lunch ... presumably because they don't know where the restaurants are and because it's too far for them to drive home. Not all my co-workers go out to eat. Some of them go home for lunch, even though they spend 30-35 minutes commuting and only 25 minutes at home. The most common lunch-plan is to buy some fast food and then drive to the park or the beach and eat it there. I'm the putz who always sticks around. (On the other hand, now that Aldi opened up across the street sometimes I will do the grocery shopping on my lunch break.)

    EC, our picnic blankies are old quilts that have been mended too many times. Or mattress pads that got too cruddy to use, so I trimmed off the stretchy stuff that went down the sides of the mattress and tucked under the edge. Resale shops are good for this. Wait -- did you get rid of all your extra bedding a few months ago? We've got a stack in the garage that we can use for drop cloths or fending-off-frost-in-the-garden or furniture pads when people are moving.