Does your family go on picnics? We didn’t make a big deal of them. Mama packed sandwiches and took jugs of sweet tea when we went swimming. We did have coolers. Cups or glasses? Aluminum tumblers, I think. Who remembers? Our picnics didn’t look like this and mine don’t, either.
Day trips to the beach meant loading the ’37 Ford and later the ’50 Ford and heading out early from Augusta, Georgia and later from Macon. We 3 children and Mama would sleep most of the way. The last half of the trip meant girls begging for bathroom stops and Daddy pronouncing every gas station bathroom too dirty without slowing the car to check. Most of you won’t remember stopping by the side of the highway or a few feet down a side road or in the country and looking for the right spot to hide from view, but I do! No Porta Potty or outhouse to be found at a picnic spot. (That’s a topic for another blog.) Those trips meant smelling the pulp mill outside of Savannah and declaring we smelled ocean salt air thirty minutes before we got there and grins, giggles, and shivers of excitement with the first view of the ocean.
I remember brown bags with the food that was special because we were hungry and wanted to keep swimming. I’m sure there was probably a blanket, but my memory is sketchy there. I don’t remember potato salad or fried chicken or lunch meat. Maybe that’s because we were good with peanut butter or cheese sandwiches wrapped in wax paper.
Beach lunches were the same simple picnic food. Sometimes Mama packed a blanket. Other times, we used towels. Shivering, salty, sandy kids weren’t picky when they were hungry. Mama had her hands full getting us ready and out of the house with towels and food. Her picnic food wasn’t fancy, but we loved it. Potato chips were way better to kids than potato salad would have been. We preferred sandwiches to chicken salad.
The beach meant Sea & Ski! It meant fun and food with a bit of sand. It meant wet bathing suits under shorts and too much sun to make kids miserable all the way home.