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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: PICNIC - deadline 7-12-12 @ 9:59 AM NY Time (07/05/12)

TITLE: Desert Picnic
By Janice Wappel


What is a picnic? One definition I found said that a picnic is an outing or occasion that involves a packed meal to be eaten outdoors. Another definition said a picnic is a pleasure excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors. I like the second definition much better because the word “pleasure” and “food” are included. The word “pleasure” sounds so comforting and so calming to the mind and spirit. The word “food” brings visions of potato salad, hot-dogs, hamburgers, and of course watermelon. Being a rather curious soul, I decided to look up the word “pleasure” and see what I could learn about this very delightful word in our English language. What I found was very pleasing indeed. The word “pleasure” was described as a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment. Now, I am getting somewhere I decided. A picnic filled with food is a” pleasure excursion” that gives a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment! As Americans we love our food, we love our excursions to the lake or park. We love to get together and catch up with family and friends, and what better way to do that than at a very pleasant and satisfying picnic filled with laughter, food, jokes, or just lying on a blanket by the lake watching fluffy white clouds pass by? This got me to thinking….. When was the last time I attended a pleasant, happy, joyful, and delightful stress- free picnic? I had to reach way back in my memory for this one, but I did come up with some very pleasant and satisfying memories from my childhood.
I was one of the lucky kids that grew up with brothers, sisters, mom, dad, cousins, grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles who all lived within one mile of each other. We had many an afternoon running through the sprinklers, or just sitting on grandma’s lap watching cartoons. However, one favorite memory that came to mind was our “Family Picnic” on Easter Sunday in the desert. Yes, that’s right; we hid “real hard boiled eggs” not plastic eggs in cactus, shrubs, snake holes, rabbit holes and more! (We never got sick from spoiled eggs that I can remember!) Afterwards we ate our wonderful picnic food that mom and all the aunts had prepared that consisted of home fried chicken, yummy potato salad, and juicy ice-cold watermelon. We played “king of the hill” and hide-in-go-seek for hours among the cactus in the hot desert sun then cooling down with a water balloon fight and drinking cold soda. Now, that is what I call a very pleasant, enjoyable and satisfying excursion called a picnic!

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Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 07/13/12
Thanks for sharing your memories with us. Only suggestion I have is to "make new paragraphs." other than that I enjoyed this piece which was certainly on topic. Thank you.

God bless~
Mildred Sheldon07/14/12
Thank you for the definition of a picnic and for the enjoyable description of a picnic in the desert.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/15/12
This is a delightful essay. You did a great job describing your memory. I felt it a tad sad that you had to go back to childhood for a stress free one. But what a powerful message in that statement! As adults we do fret and worry, often to the point of stressing out. No wonder Jesus instructs us to have the faith of a child. What a clever way to state your message without coming off as preachy.