Monday, September 18, 2006

A lakeside picnic

We spent almost all day Saturday at our church picnic. It was supposed to go from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. -- but some folks (my husband and me included) were having so much fun they didn’t leave until nearly 7 p.m.)!

The picnic location was a new one for us. A couple who recently joined our church live near a lake. As part of the association for the development they live in, they have access to a beautiful lakeside recreation area. In addition to a beach and dock area, there is also a large field for games and many tranquil spots where one can just sit and enjoy the view. Chairs, picnic tables, etc. are all available. This dear couple invited the whole church to join them for a picnic. What a lovely day it was!

God gave us an absolutely perfect September day for the picnic. Sunny, with blue skies and temperatures in the 80s, it was even warm enough to go swimming.

My plan for the day involved nothing more than reading, sitting, chatting with other ladies, catching up on some needlework, and recharging my batteries. My husband's plan was simply to have a good time! He went swimming and canoeing, played croquet and bocce, and enjoyed all the great fellowship and food that was available. He also participated in a men’s dessert contest and won 1st place in the “most creative” category. (He made Apple Crisp Pizza -- recipe available here on my blog in a post concerning my favorite apple recipes.)

The scenery was simply incredible. I put my chair under a large pine tree and didn’t move it all day except to move in or out of the sun. The lake and mountains were spread out before us. A few of the distant trees are beginning to turn color -- spots of red or yellow are appearing here and there. The lake was dotted with boats but it was not a very busy day on the water. Several times we saw loons swimming or diving.

The food was wonderful too. The idea was for each family to bring their own lunch, but our hosts grilled enough hot dogs for everyone, and several others brought food to share as well. Baked beans, pasta salad, potato salad, and grilled sausages with peppers and onions were among the foods that were shared. And, of course the dessert contest entries were for all to share. Our pastor brought a delicious Caramel Apple Cheesecake, and another man brought a wonderful Layered Pumpkin Dessert. Several boys also took part, and one of them won a prize with a spectacular brownie treat he had invented. M & M’s were baked into a brownie mix. The baked brownies were then frosted with peanut butter frosting and topped with neat rows of milk chocolate kisses! As his mom explained, he just figured out a way to put all of his favorite things in his dessert. It really was very good! And we didn’t need to eat again until Sunday morning!

All in all it was truly a day overflowing with blessings -- a tiny foretaste of heaven.

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