Saturday, August 31, 2013

National Eat Outside Day

I took this picture with the old instamatic about 1970. When I read today was Eat Outside Day, this image came to mind. We ate outside often with the warm weather. Mom often had the side dishes made and if Dad had the time to get charcoal going and be ready, he cooked the meat. No gas grills till 1987, when David and I bought Dad one.
The picnic table migrated from year to year. Dad made a little concrete patio right outside the back door, which made it convenient to set the table. Either way, if the table remained in the side yard, it wasn't far from the kitchen. The house was set up for eating outside.
I even had my own little picnic table
Mom also enjoyed in summer weather drinking her coffee on the side porch in the morning sun. She wasn't an early riser, so she avoided the sun shining directly on the porch. The yard proved big enough, that she could relax in her night gown and duster, as they used to say. Dad joined, too, and being a servant, often refilled the mugs with coffee.
Mom always said food tasted better outside. We fought yellow jackets at the end of summer, but that didn't deter our dining outdoors. Later, I read about dryer sheets helping against those pests. I shove some in a table I had and I think it helped.
David's parents' have a huge cement porch that makes eating outside readily accessible. Mom Lyon has many outings on this porch as well. I know they enjoy watching the setting sun in the evening and the multitude of people strolling by. Their porch sits right on the sidewalk of small town America.
Yes, the reference to Maria in Summer Triangle thinking about her back yard in the summer growing up, with the birthday parties for her grandma is reference to my feelings. That yard on Main Street yelled Heaven to me, with lush green lawn, sun filtering through the old maple, adults talking and laughing, the cousins running around, babies on blankets, pool sounds from the neighbors in the background. All gathered around the table with wonderful homemade food, my father leading the prayer for the occasion.
Today, in western Pennsylvania, with two big fairs going on, the weather cooperated with eating outside.  Head to a fair for fries and a hot sausage sandwich or local park with a picnic basket or right out your door with food prepared in your kitchen for a delightful meal. Celebrate life and end of summer conditions with a meal in the outdoors. Read a good book at the same time, too.
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