Eating Al Fresco is a Picnic

One of my fondest memories as a child is having picnics with my sister and father underneath the same tree on hot summer afternoons. They were nothing fancy – cold meat sandwiches and a bag of chips. We didn’t have a basket or even the classic red and white checked blanket to sit on. But I still remember them. I remember the grass tickling my legs, what a treat that cold sugary drink was to wash down my meal, and how special this small gathering made me feel. I don’t know how a picnic can make a person feel that way. It took so little planning and preparation – but it was different. It was outdoors. It was special.

 From my dad’s perspective, there were fewer crumbs on the floor and the walk home to burn off stored up lunchtime energy. From mine and my sister’s, it was a different setting; instead of being surrounded by white walls and brown linoleum floors, there were blue skies and trees. I now know how important it is for children and adults to make contact with nature but at the time it was just lunch with Dad.

 Polk County Conservation’s Family of Parks has a variety of picnic settings to choose from. Make someone you know feel special; or treat yourself! Grab a sandwich and a friend and get outside! Picnic basket optional.
Alexis Johnson is a local naturalist who grew up in Jasper County about 30 minutes southeast of Des Moines.
Her family’s picnic tree still stands on the grounds of Monroe Elementary School.




  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts