• We had tried to do something like this a few weeks ago. It turned out to be the most unrelaxing picnic either of us could ever recall! This was a Saturday, a day we would not ordinarily attempt a picnic at the beach. So we planned our timing to get to the lake around 4:30 p.m., a time when many people are leaving the beach, and in fact, I think it was closer to 5 when we actually got there. Our first clue that this was no ordinary Saturday was the full-to-overflowing parking lots. I usually park in a side lot that isn't busy, but on this day it was packed. We finally did locate a space, got our stuff out and headed for the beach. Then came the second clue. We felt as if we had wandered into some Latin American country on a major holiday. There were EZ-up canopies, multicolored hammocks strung from trees, tents, boom boxes blasting everything from Latin music to rap, families relaxing on the grass, people grilling.
We did find a place to put chairs on the beach (no empty picnic tables, but that was a blessing in disguise because we could no longer hear the music) and relaxed for perhaps 15 minutes when there was a rumble of thunder and the lifeguard ordered everyone off the beach, out of the water, and behind the tree line. The clouds looked threatening, but we proceeded to start eating our supper in our chairs beyond the tree line. We had known that severe thunderstorms were in the forecast, but none were shown for the particular area where we were headed, so we had gone anyway.
Suddenly the wind came up -- it was a very strange, horizontal, unrelenting wind -- and things went absolutely crazy. People running and screaming! People grabbing one another and hysterically shouting in Spanish! Chairs, sand, umbrellas, food, paper plates, foil cooking pans, towels, just everything, went airborne. When we stood up, our camping chairs immediately blew away (but Mr. T caught them in time). I noticed Uno cards spread across the sand, and a baby's sandal, among other things.
We managed to shout to one another (the wind was incredibly loud, in addition to all the other sound effects going on) that we would simply head to the van, not running, not trying to stay together, but just meet up there. At one point Mr. T caught up with me and shouted that I should put my sandals on. I had taken them off earlier and of course, when everything began happening I did not take time to replace them. The sand was hitting us and stinging; it was absolutely crazy and it did not let up. I got hit in the side of the face by what felt like a rock, but I believe it was a pine cone. The force of the wind made it feel much harder. All of our stuff nearly blew away -- in fact, some of it did -- and we made it to our vehicle without getting seriously hurt.
We sat in the van and finished our supper. When the wind lessened a bit, Mr. T went back to the beach, where he managed to hunt down almost everything we had lost. He returned with our missing belongings, and with news. There were people out in kayaks and they got blown off them. Food was left behind cooking on grills. Canopies and their frameworks were destroyed. What an amazing occurrence! We had to return home by a back way since there were electric wires down on two roads we would ordinarily have traveled. And in the area we had been, we never did see anything but just a spatter of rain.
Needless to say, I did not get pictures of this event!
• So, let's see, in other news ... one evening we took three of our grandkids to visit my dad and then we took them to a nearby picnic area by a covered bridge, to eat supper. As they explored the area, I gave 12-year-old Sam the camera. He got some good shots!
|Notice the reflections in this one|
|Taken through a window from inside the bridge|
• Months ago I visited a new-to-me local thrift store and found something really nifty: a vintage Pyrex® bowl in the Gooseberry pattern. I think I paid $3 for it.
It was certainly oven safe and looked as if it had been routinely baked in. This was as clean as I could manage to get it. It's currently sitting in the kitchen filled with ripening nectarines.
• I've been slowly plugging away at crocheted hot pads, since they are something I can work on that's portable and by now I have the pattern memorized. I've been having so much fun with the various colors of ombre cotton yarn. This one is called Pink Lemonade.
|A scan, rather than a photo. Sort of interesting effect.|
• Have you ever made watermelon salad? We've done this a lot this summer and it is SO refreshing. Just cut the desired amount of watermelon cubes and place in a serving bowl. Drizzle over a fruity dressing (I like either the Ken's raspberry vinaigrette or the Wish-Bone super-fruit vinaigrette). Then sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over the top. We love this salad and it is so easy!
• This has seemed like the summer of ice cream. There's a fantastic ice cream place not far at all from where my dad has been in rehab. Milk from local cows, homemade ice cream and waffle cones/dishes, generous servings. We get kiddie dishes every time and it is plenty.
|Swings where one may sit to enjoy ice cream. There are picnic tables too.|
|These ice creams are actually the "small" size. This was our first visit. After that, it was kiddie size for us!|
|Yes, they offer their own soft-serve as well.|
|Stone wall at the ice cream place. The Connecticut River is far below.|