I have never been much of an outdoor girl. I don't care for dirt (which seems abundant out there for some reason), I can't stand bugs and/or animals and I am allergic to grass, dust, pollen, mold and pretty much anything else one finds outside. I do love to run outside, but that could just be because I can't run inside! No, really, I love the mountains and the view, and I don't have to sit on the grass or dirt. I don't do camping-really, is there ever a good reason to have to pack up everything that has a perfectly good place in my house and leave behind electricity and running water and sleep on the hard ground? I don't think so. I cannot be persuaded, so do not leave comments stating that trailer camping is any different. Maybe you don't sleep on the ground, but I still can't figure out the packing everything up. Also, vacation = not cooking. When you camp, you have to cook your own food! That definitely makes me feel gypped. Yeah, not a big camper.
When I was a teenager, it was even worse. One day, in the car, my mom mentioned having a picnic. I slumped down in my seat and grumbled, " I hate picnics. Why do we have to have a picnic?" In my own defense, as with camping, picnics meant not really getting to eat out. I loved eating at a resturant (even fast food made me happy, actually it still does!) and going on a picnic meant packing up all your own (boring) food and dragging it somewhere to eat in the dirt and grass. Yuck! Well, anyway, I was just about to start my plea for why we should skip the picnic, when I hear a little voice from the backseat say incredulously, "Lara hate nic-lics?". As if to ponder how someone could hate cute babies or chocolate. It was my sister Kelly, who can find joy in most things, and even at the age of 2, couldn't comprehend how her older sister not only didn't like eating outside (most likely at a park, a huge source of happiness for a toddler) but detested it! Oh, yeah, I felt about two inches tall. I felt like I had stolen some of her innocence. Anyway, in our family, after that time, anytime a picnic is mentioned, someone has to say, "Lara HATES nic-lics". And then laugh hysterically.
Since then, I have gotten over some of my distaste for eating out of doors. I still don't want to picnic when it is windy, or cool, or might be thinking about raining. I also need shade and a nice clean table. But hey, it is still an improvement, right? But I can't honestly say I hate them anymore. As a matter of fact, we had a rather nice picnic last night. Joel had CQ (a 24 hour shift) and we like to have dinner with him when he is working. So I packed up my picnic basket (Joel bought me a really nice one complete with actual plates and silverware, cloth napkins and cups, for my first Mother's Day.) and my Longaberger. We had dinner in the park and I took a casserole and fresh chocolate chip cookie bars and we dined at a relatively clean table under a tree. It was actually nice. Picnics are always improved in my mind when one takes something besides sandwiches and you can use real plates.
So am I reformed from my anti-picnic attitude? Sort of. I think part of it is living in Colorado. Everyone here adamantly loves the outdoors. And it is hard to resist. Still a resounding, "NO" on the camping front, but I think I can live with eating outside once in a while. I also really like a picnic inside. Part of it is because I don't want my children to have my same snobby attitude, I want them to enjoy simple things. And part is, it reminds me of my family. My dad loves to go places and my mom loves a picnic. We did a lot of picnics growing up. I always thought it was just to save money but I see now all the pleasures something like that can have. It can give you a new appreciation for things (like how easy it is to just dig through the fridge!). But also, I think I do them because, in some small way, I want to redeem myself from that tiny voice saying, "Lara hate nic-lics?" This one's for you, Kelly.
P.S. Hope you weren't looking for a spiritual connection here, or you will be disappointed. Sometimes a girl just needs to ramble...