How 84 and 82 Year Olds Picnic

I talked  to my mother-in-law the other day and she told me they were planning a picnic.

They were going to go to Spring Mill State Park.

If you remember Mark's dad is 84 and his mom is 82.

They still put out three greenhouses of tomatoes every year and work like they were still young.

She told me she had been so busy canning  so she just wanted to get away for a day and rest.

I'm awestruck and amazed as always at what she calls getting away and resting.

Let me take you on a picnic with my mother-in-law. She does it the same every time.

A day or two before the picnic she will get a clean tomato box and put it on the end of the couch.

During the next couple of days as she thinks of things she will add them to the box.

Matches, tablecloths, foil, camera, toothpicks etc. a jar of her candied dills from the cellar.

She will make her Potato Salad,  (the best in the world) on Thursday for a Saturday picnic.

Whatever dessert she will be taking will be made the day before.

Sometimes she fries chicken for a picnic but this time they planned to cookout so the charcoal will be found and sat at the back porch door.

The morning of she will bake her beans and rinse and cut her chicken. She'll get the homemade barbecue sauce that she keeps in a quart jar out of the fridge and put it in the cooler. She will make a half gallon of iced tea, steeped with loose tea or a half gallon of lemonade which ever they feel like that day.

On the day of the picnic she'll fight not to lose patience with my father-in-law as he stays outside working to long.

When they get to the park she will say, "I'm telling you this is just beautiful, did you ever see anything like it." 

I'm not kidding those are her words for every part of nature she sees. I've heard her say it hundreds of times and each time she says with as much wonder as she did the first time.

They will pick out a spot, preferably by the creek that runs through the park.

They will light the grill and then set about unpacking the picnic box and cooler.

She will tell my father-in-law how whatever he is doing at the grill he should be doing differently.

He will be irritated but won't say anything.

Then they will sit down and eat.

She will say, "not to brag but I think that's the best potato salad I've ever made."

He will nod that crooked nod he does and say "It's good mom."

She will then say how good the chicken is and all will be well.

Then they will repack everything, make sure the grill is out and go for a walk through the park village.

This is the way you have a restful picnic when you are 84 and 82.

I think you get a pretty good understanding of how hard they work when you read about what they consider rest.

You have to love them and their generation for sure.


  1. Meredith/GreenCircleGroveAugust 31, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Love it! And--I know this is a true account, because my mom and dad are 94 and 95 and this is how they picnic. Except --they also take a Coleman stove (circa 1955), a pot and sweet corn, which they cook on the stove while their meat is grilling. Isn't it wonderful?

    1. Yes, you are right it is wonderful!! I love the way you included the stove, the year and everything. I can just see it! Mark's folks love sweet corn too. I can only hope I'm still picnicking when I reach the age to all of them. Thank you so much for sharing with me. I loved hearing about your parents.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


Great Aunt Dorothy