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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: A Little Bit of Heaven
By Mildred Sheldon


Today was the day of our annual family picnic. I scurried around the kitchen trying to get everything ready for this afternoons feast. I had made blueberry muffins for breakfast, and they were still warm when my family sat down at the table. My family truly enjoyed fresh baked blueberry muffins. My husband sat at the kitchen table with his morning coffee, and slathered enough butter on the muffins to choke a horse. As he took his first bite he was grinning from ear to ear as were my two teenaged sons who parroted their fathers actions.

Finally it was time to pack up the van and head out towards our little peace of heaven that my family had found over fifty years ago.. I thanked God for this perfect day for our annual family outing. We were the first to arrive at this magnificent, quiet and serene, glade. I don’t think we could have found a better place on this earth to enjoy this very special family reunion.

The sun shined down from the azure heavens, and its brilliance warmed not only the earth, but myself as well. I sat with my back against the big oak tree relaxing with my eyes closed turning my face towards that glorious orb, and drinking in its warmth which gave me a feeling of peace. My husband and sons were busy setting up big barbecue pits for the family gathering.

My job was to supply all the cold cuts, and a dessert of my choice for all to share. My mouth started to water as I thought about my sweet, luscious blueberry cobblers. This year was excellent for growing those sweet, succulent berries which were extremely large and juicy this season.

I was lost in my thoughts when I heard the rest of the family pull in and park their vehicles. It wasn’t long before the silence was broken by peels of laughter, and the enjoyment of renewing family ties. We met all the new nieces and nephews, and got caught up on all those special moments of the year gone by.

It wasn’t long before the tables were laden with an array of various dishes created by all the wives of my extremely large family. The men were in charge of the many barbecue pits and preparing all the meats.

The aroma of hot dogs, hamburgers, and pork barbeque filled the air as we prepared for the feast of a life time. Finally we heard Dad call for silence as he lifted his hands towards heaven, and gave the blessing.

We attacked the food like ravenous wolves. It wasn’t long before everything had been eaten, and all that was left were empty platters, pans, bowls, tons of paper plates, cups, plastic knives and forks.

All the men paired off for the yearly horseshoe contest. The women cleaned up the tables, and talked about last years comings and goings in their families.

As the sun was setting and the sky became a kaleidoscope of magnificent colors a hush settled over the glade. The winners of the horseshoe contest had been declared with handshakes and pats on the back. Dad and my husband were the big winners this year.

As the evening approached we gathered around holding hands as Dad raised his eyes towards heaven, and gave God the glory for another year of all our many blessings. As had become our custom each person prayed a simple prayer for the coming year humbly asking God’s direction, and guidance as well as help dealing with various problems that always seemed to pop up. Hugs and kisses followed as each prepared for their journey home.

Since we lived the closest we were the last to leave. My family enjoyed this special time as we made sure all fires were totally extinguished and all trash had been picked up. We sang our favorite hymn as we worked, ‘How Great Thou Art.’ We watched the sky change from deep salmon to a deep royal purple before we headed home with our hearts overflowing with joy that surpasses all understanding giving God all praise, honor and glory due to our King of Kings.

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Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 07/13/12
Sweet memories, each year another added. I have always wished our family would have the "family reunion picnics." But, we never got around to arranging them, so many of us in so many different directions/States.

Nicely written, and a joy to read. Thank you so much.

God bless~
Joanne Sher 07/14/12
Such lovely memories, and vivid descriptions, here. Sounds like a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/17/12
This is a lovely memory and one your family will cherish for years. It's great to write days like this down to pass on to future generations Good job
Lois Farrow07/17/12
Nicely done, a great way for extended family to get together.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/23/12
Congratulations for ranking 6th in level 2!