This page, WRITE TO A PICTURE, is an invitation to our regular writers and to our visitors. Send an original poem, a story, or your recollections. Share your thoughts and experiences with those who like to READ what others write. Send to me at LaraOct7@aol.com.

 Early 'Write To A Picture' pages are archived. The links are here:

Beach Scene "1"
Old Train Station "2"
The Carousel "3"
The Fifties "4"
Summer Picnic "5"




 


Your Title

By Your Name (LaraOct7@aol.com)





Your text goes here.

You may submit either a poem or a story. Or you may want to reminisce and tell us about the picnics you attended long ago. For instance, I remember the big family reunions my family attended. I remember the tables of food and the friendly conversations. I remember the ice-cream maker and the homemade PEACH ice cream.

Now what do you remember?

What about this summer? Have you picnicked this summer?








 


Family Reunion

Sharon (Sunyskys1943@aol.com)





Summer was a grand time to have a family reunion. Often times, we would all meet at a park chosen by the aunts and uncles. Each family would arrive in their own vehicles with drinks and food to share for all. There were many varieties of salads to be enjoyed. And of course there was way too much food. We would cover the picnic table with white sheets held down on each corner with rocks so the winds wouldn't blow them off. We all had outdoor chairs with us. There would be from 40 to people in attendance. Sometimes we were allowed to bring a friend or two. Mom always was requested to bring her home made sticky buns. They were a big hit with everyone. Pop always made his fruit punch. For me, I have preferred water since I was a small child. But ice tea was another favorite. Uncle Ed was popular with his barbecue chicken. The children would race each other to the swings and slides. balls, kites and other toys were brought along. My brothers would bring their guitars and sing for us. Both had a natural music talent. As for me, I was asked to sing FAR FAR AWAY! One year a cousin married an alcoholic. I remember the first of our picnic that he had attended. We all wondered where he had got off to. Then someone noticed he had joined a company picnic being put on by some business. He was quite happy there because they had a keg party going on. Our family picnics never had alcohol. One of the parks we had a picnic in, had a pavilion. Some of my cousins and myself got up on stage and pretended to be great actresses. We thought we were pretty good. But then, nobody asked us to do an encore so it was easy to see it was all in our imagination.








 


Our Backyard

Jeanie (Mingo184@aol.com)





WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, WE HAD SUNDAY PICNICS IN OUR BACKYARD. WE HAD A FOUNDATION IN THE YARD, PROBABLY FOR A GARAGE, AND DAD PUT 2 CONCRETE BLOCKS ON THE FOUNDATION, WITH A GRATING ACROSS BOTH. HE PUT TWIGS AND NEWSPAPERS, OR CHARCOAL, I CAN'T REMEMBER, AND HE COOKED HOT DOGS AND HAMBURGERS ON THAT MAKESHIFT GRILL. I REMEMBER MY GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDFATHER, AUNTS AND UNCLES AND COUSINS COMING TO OUR PICNIC. MOM PUT OUT THE CARD TABLES AND CHAIRS. WE HAD AN OLD APPLE TREE WITH A HAMMOCK AND SOMEONE WOULD ALWAYS BE SWINGING IN THAT HAMMOCK. WE WERE POLISH, SO THE BEER FLOWED FOR THE ADULTS AND KOOL-AID FOR THE KIDDIES.

IF THE HAMMOCK WASN'T THERE, THERE WAS A LITTLE SWING FOR MY BABY BROTHER, WHO'S AN OLD GUY NOW..LOL. I WONDER IF HE REMEMBERS.

THAT OLD APPLE TREE WAS EVENTUALLY TORN DOWN BECAUSE OF ROTTING. EVERYONE IS GONE, EXCEPT THE COUSINS AND THE HOUSE WAS SOLD IN 2000. I SOMETIMES GO BY AND WONDER IF THE PEOPLE LIVING THERE HAVE AS MUCH ENJOYMENT OUT OF THAT BACKYARD. THERE IS A GRILL OUTSIDE, BUT NOTHING CAN FILL MY MEMORY WITH FONDNESS AS THOSE 2 CONCRETE BLOCKS AND THE GRATING ACROSS. TIMES CHANGE AND SO DO WE ALL. PICNICS WITH FAMILY STILL GO ON. HOT DOGS AND HAMBURGERS ARE STILL COOKED ON OUTDOOR GRILLS. HOPEFULLY, MANY MOMORIES ARE MADE BY THE CHILDREN GROWING UP TODAY.








 


Summer Picnic

Tom (tomWYO@aol.com)





“Sunday School picnic Sunday in Buford’s bottom,” Elder Smith announced. “The church will provide watermelons and soda pop. We will also provide salt and ice for those who are making ice cream.” All of us children were excited for the Sunday School picnic was the highlight of the summer, well except for the fireworks the Lions put off in Bedford on the Fourth.

“What about the swimming hole and the johns?” Harold Obenchain hollered out.

Elder Smith grinned. “Brud Gray said he will take the back hoe and make sure the swimming hole is deep and ready.” Then he raised his hands, Doug Ward said he needs some help Saturday with the outhouses, Mr. Creasy has made two portable ones,” he added as the congregation filed out.

Me, I wanted to get home because George and I were going blackberry picking and then poppa had bought a great big rattlesnake watermelon on Saturday and it had been in the spring house since then.

The picnic was held the weekend before Labor Day and I couldn’t wait.

The men played baseball and pitched horse shoes and there were relay races, sack races and wheel barrow races. The Connors won most of them cause they could run super fast and I swear they were all acrobats. But shucks, I got third once in the wheelbarrow race. And oh yeah, I nearly forgot. Before the picnic was over pastor Bolick would baptize the new members and some of those who were sprinkled who didn’t think that was enough.

I liked the baptizing for all sorts of things happened, and once Jillie Caldwell wore a dress that when she waded into the creek, it looked like she didn’t have any clothes on. Man, me and John were so close we could see what she had. It upset Mrs. Boyle so bad she fainted before somebody got a coat and wrapped around her. That was the talk of the village for three or four months.

After church we went home and changed. I put my swim suit on under my breeches and momma even took a couple of towels. There in Buford’s bottom the creek runs through the middle and it runs West to East. On the South side is the sleigh-riding hill and Brud Grey lives up on the top of the hill. On the North side is a hill and Route 460. People park on the North side and carry everything across the foot-bridge over to the picnic area which is under the big old Sycamore there at the spring house. Harry Lantz brings lumber, boards and two-by-fours, and they make two long tables and everybody puts all of their food on the table. Then we eat sitting on the ground or in chairs if you bring one.

One reason I liked the picnic so much is that we didn't eat Momma’s food. You just took your plate and ate from everybody else’s food. Mrs. Crouch made the best fried chicken. It wasn't soggy. She cooked it crisp with lots of salt, and I guess I am a pig. Well Poppa told me I was cause I always got two chicken breasts from Mrs. Crouch and some cucumber pickles from Mrs. Metz and wheat bread light rolls that Mrs. Obenchain made.

“Just eat what you take and mind your manners,” Momma told me as Mr. Smith said grace. I had me two chicken breasts, four of those wheat bread light rolls and a whole mess of those cucumber pickles, and then I had a roast beef sandwich and some of Mrs. Whitten’s potato salad. Man that was good. But my favorite was Mrs. Lamb’s Chocolate pie, and she always saved me a slice. I swear, oops I ain’t supposed to swear, but Mrs. Lamb’s chocolate pie had coconut in it and the meringue was about two inches thick, and was real brown. Momma said it was burnt, but she had nearly burnt to where it tasted so good. After that I was full. Then they started the games. I didn’t do so good, was nearly last in every one I was in. Guess I ate too much.

After the games we had waited long enough so we all went to the creek. “Man, I wish they would leave this swimming hole like this all the time,” George yelled as he did a cannonball.

Harry Lantz had made a diving board and boy did that oak two-by-twelve have lots of spring in it. Bobby Connor did a double somersault and Billy Connor could not let his twin brother Bobby out-do him so he did a pike somersault dive. I didn’t dive but man-oh-man I bounced twice on that oak diving board and it threw me real high, and I mean real high! I balled up for a cannonball but I spun and oh did it hurt.

“Ice cream is done, come and get your ice cream,” one of the older ladies yelled, and we all went a running. We automatically got in a line and Mrs. Brown, well Grandma Brown announced what flavors they had made. “Vanilla, Peach, black walnut and blackberry is all we have", she said. "One dip only and then you can get back in line.”

I tried to fool them to get two scoops by saying, “I don’t know, I really don’t know, should I take black walnut or blackberry?” I stopped and held up the line, hoping they would give me a scoop of each.

Mrs. Brown put a small dip of blackberry on my plate. “Eat that and get back in line. Next time you can get black walnut, now scram.” She laughed, knowing what I was trying to do.

The baseball game was a good one. Blimp was pitching and he was striking them out one after another until Harold Obenchain took measure of Blimp’s fast ball and hit it across the creek. But Blimp’s dad, Lamon, every time he would come to bat he would bunt it or would hit it just to the side of the shortstop or second basemen. Lamon was the best ball player around except he was old.

The baptizing took place after we ate watermelon and nothing happened. About five everybody started heading home for they had to feed and milk. Me, I was so tired that by the time we got home I was sound asleep. When I woke up it was dark. I sure did enjoy the Sunday School picnic that year.








 


My Oh My

Amy (Fabulousfilly@aol.com)





apple pie, my oh my!
cocoanut cake my aunt did bake
she always used angel flake
and always, home a piece i would take


swimming pool in the ground
men threw quoits all around
ladies knitted and crocheted
my what memories of special days


always watermelon, and sack races
i can still see my cousins faces
as we hopped on one leg,
my one cousin was named Peg.


then when twilight hit the sky
weiner roast and my oh my
roasted marshmallows on a stick
wow i used to get a kick
out of putting the stick in the hot coals
oh more memories to soothe my soul..


hugs and kisses all around,
took us an hour to say good-bye
and so another, my oh my
with these words i will say good-bye









 


Summer Picnics

Mikey (Norma1223@aol.com)





Reminiscing of days gone by, the Sunday after church picnics. Everybody brought a dish to pass. Mom always took fried chicken and a peach cobbler. The men after eating would choose up sides for a lively game of baseball while we young ones headed to the swings and seesaws.

Sunburned and sore as we left the picnic grounds to go home, clean up and assemble again at the church for evening services where we sang songs of praise for our blessings.

My growing up years, even though we were poor, were the richest times of my life.








 


Picnic Without The Aunts

By Swampie (SWAMPETTA@aol.com)





The closest my family came to a picnic was eating outdoors. Sitting on the ground on a blanket was definitely out of the question. That's what the bums on the bottle gang did! Of course, they did everything outdoors anyway, today they would be called homeless.

When I was about six I demanded to have my lunch as a picnic! The kids down the street were allowed to eat their peanut butter sandwiches in the backyard on a blanket and I thought that was the best idea I ever heard. Every now and then their mom would invite me to join them for lunch and if the day was sunny and mild we would take the old army blanket and make a space on the grass. Five of us would plop down and take the paper plate with the sandwich and the bottle of root beer and we would have our picnic.

I felt like I had been invited to the Royal Ball at Versailles.

My Mom was less then thrilled at the idea. Her idea of eating 'in the rough' was not to cut the crusts off the sandwiches.

The closest I came to having Mom do a picnic was when we were down the shore. My Dad was a fisherman and he would take me out in the rented boat to fish in the Barnegat Bay. Mom would do up sandwiches and fruit and every now and then potato chips. This is before plastic zip-loc bags. Found out how long it took for a baloney sandwich to become more of a meat and bread pudding. Wax paper is not water-proof...

My Aunt Peg who was the Martha Stewart of her day, found the idea of eating outside repellent! THE BUGS! Eeeeewwwwww! And sitting on the GROUND? Disgraceful!

And then they invented the Bar-B-Que.

Aunt Peg's husband, Uncle Eddie, got one of the new -fangled things. He was the one who turned caveman about cooking over a real fire! We would get an invitation every Sunday to come to thier house and watch Uncle Eddie burn hamburgers and hot dogs. Aunt Peg would NEVER use paper plates! She also had strong notions about putting out mustard jars and ketchup bottles.

She is the one who insisted on getting the redwood picnic table. There was NO discussion of sitting on the ground! Always present was a tablecloth and cloth napkins. Also present was Aunt Peg with a flyswatter. She would take her burger and hot dog inside to the kitchen table and eat it there.

By the second summer Uncle Eddie had graduated to a brick barbie that looked as if it could roast an OX! The Fourth of July was a full-tilt, all-out, neighborhood event. He was manning the Cadillac of barbeques and Aunt Peg was manning the fly-swatter. After a few hours the seating was becoming more casual. Possibly the keg of beer may have influenced it. Aunt Peg had even started carrying the dining room chairs out to the yard. WOW!

There were borrowed card tables up and down the driveway to hold all the different foods. There were ketchup bottles and mustard jars decorating each one. Jars of pickles were even out there in plain sight!

Aunt Peg was getting a case of the 'vapors'...(not just southern belles got them.) She went inside to 'take a pill', something she did quite frequently.

By Labor day...Uncle Eddie was cooking very little on the grill. She wouldn't eat anything that had left the house. Us nieces and nephews were the recipients of his grilling. But there was no question of us sitting on the ground to eat it. My Mom and Grandma agreed that it was not a good idea to have picnics. To this day......I don't have a grill. But I do have plenty of paper plates and plastic cups. Sort of a compromise.








 


In The Merry, Merry Month Of May

By Norma (Twi1ite@sbcglobal.net)





In the Merry, Merry Month of May. Yes, that was when it was - in May! Mom said "What shall I take to the Church picnic! Believe I’ll try that sauerkraut salad Betty Jones told me about. She doesn’t go to our Church, so no one else will make it. Pansy, will you go to the store? I’ll need sauerkraut, red peppers, onions, spicy mustard, and an apple."

"Great, Mom, I’ll go to the A & P!"

So Mom gave Pansy 50 cents and away she dashed. Pansy loved going to the A & P. That was where that dreamy checker worked. Blonde, white apron, cleft chin. Oh, Pansy got the trembles just thinking about Patrick.

Finally, when she got to the register, dear Patrick smiled and did those little eyebrow twitches - he didn’t dare flirt with her openly. Then Pansy invited him quietly to the Church picnic the next day. It was going to be a big one for it was the Church’s fifth anniversary celebration.

Pansy skipped home, and Mom was all smiles. She put together Betty Jones’ salad, squeezing a bit of lemon on the chopped apple so it wouldn’t turn. After the salad has been in the refrigerator all night - you know the old GE with the big round motor on top - you wouldn’t believe it was sauerkraut at all. It was just as sweet as could be.

Pansy was in such a good mood that night. Mom wondered about it, but knew it probably had to do with Patrick.

Next morning after Church, all the congregation gathered around the picnic tables. Rev. Dave said a prayer, and the sisters served up their dishes. Mom flushed with pain as she saw six bowls of sauerkraut salad uncovered by the wax paper. But Pansy was flushing for another reason. Patrick was holding her hand.








 


Memories Worth Keeping

By Mary (MusingByMary@aol.com)





All day singin'
and dinner on the ground . . .
times when a picnic
could REALLY be found ~


Ahhhhh, and the goodies
'pon long table spread . . .
bar~b~q & fried chicken after
scriptures were read ~


Foods fit for a king
fill table end to end . . .
home~cooking enjoyments
such a joy ~ such a friend ~


Wafting the air
fragrances of such delight . . .
we'd pester for seconds
that tasted just RIGHT ~


Remember the horseshoes
'round the ringer they'd clang. . .
old~fashioned, oh yes,
and the songs that we sang ~


Grands, mas & pas
the whole congregation . . .
thanking the Lord for blessin'
our food & our nation ~


Memories worth keeping
Summer Picnics, ne'er forget . . .
to be tenderly cherished
I remember them yet!









 


Summer Time And The Living Is Easy

By Evelyn (Evenccw@aol.com)





Norman Rockwell paintings bring a flood of memories of my early years when Sunday was a day of rest. Even the cows and the mules in the pasture seemed to know it was a special day and the chickens in the barnyard found shady places to slumber. You never, but never saw a farmer in the fields. Ploughs and hoes and rakes were stashed away. It was the Lord’s day!

The high point of summer on the farm was laying by time. For a brief spell the hoes were leaned against the wall in the shed. Watermelons were ripe on the vine, it was picnic time and Sundays were gathering times at the old home place where I was born.

We were hard-working people on that farm in Northern Alabama.. We didn't have electricity and our water was drawn from a well. Biblically speaking, by the sweat of our brows we earned our bread. But come Sunday, it was time for fried chicken, potato salad, blackberry cobbler, lemonade, ripe watermelon, and above all, hand cranked home made ice cream!

After church services on Sunday, Daddy would drive to the ice house on the edge of town and secure two fifty-pound blocks of ice on the back fender of his Model A Ford. On the drive home the dripping ice left a trail in the dirt roads approaching the farm. When home, Daddy quickly wrapped the precious ice in burlap bags and straw. He chipped part of the first block and layered it with rock salt in the hand-cranked ice cream maker. Large chunks of ice floated in a zinc tub filled with the most delicious lemonade you've ever tasted.

The food was wonderful, but the best of these memories is the parade of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who gathered around and cranked the ice cream freezer, fried the chicken, set the table and made a fuss over the children who sat at a special table. Yes, for a little red-headed, freckle-faced girl back then, in the summer time living seemed easy, especially when the cotton was high!

Fast forwarding in time, the tradition of family gatherings continues even though we are scattered far and wide across the country. When relatives come for a visit from a distance it is always a time for a family gathering, a celebration. While there is no hand cranked ice cream anymore, the air is always festive when we give thanks for all that God has given us as a family. I am blessed with good health and am able to show hospitality the way my mother and father taught me.

However, I feel most doubly blessed when I make the trip back to my southern roots. I am blessed because on these visits my many cousins there feel the same about me. It is wonderful to share the same memories of hand cranked ice cream, aunts and uncles, long gone, who made such a fuss over us as children! I live in Ohio now, but my heart sometimes gets homesick for the old home place in Alabama. I am forever grateful that I CAN go home again!

In closing, I would like to share the poem that I wrote to my cousins as a “bread and butter” letter after a visit with them:

Thanks For The Southern Hospitality



Cousin Ann’s house, near my old home place,
Is nestled in the woods and it was a grace
To be greeted with unbridled southern hospitality
By Ann, Martha, and Therese, my cousins three
It was nothing less than pure, wholesome bliss
To visit, talk about old memories and reminisce.
About being ‘double cousins’ and our childhood years,
Our parents hopes for us and our school days’ peers.
The past, the present and the future filled the range
Of our recollections of how things have changed


Together we stepped across two “welcome” mats.
First. at Carolyn and Bill’s and their house of cats.
Cousin Millie’s wined and dined us with great rapport
As Cousin Junior fed us with helpings of family lore.
It was ten days of bliss and shooting the breeze
While the scent of privet blossoms made us sneeze.
We've all seen childhood, youth and adulthood pass
Ebbing through time’s unrelenting hour glass
How swiftly, it seems, the years have flown
Scarcely here, then even as we speak, already gone.


What a gift it is that we love one another
Not as “cousin,” but as “sister” and as “brother.”
We are all family, each a link in the chain
Now, as we join our hearts , let us maintain
The spirit of our stalwart ancestors’ hopes and fears
And their untold hours of joys and tears
Don't you agree that it is by some grand design
That in this land of kudzu and honeysuckle vines
That we can claim the same pedigree–
Each a unique leaf on our pioneer family tree?













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Dang Dawg

My Grandparents' House

A Twist

When I Was Young

The Carousel (10 Authors)

The Power Of Letting Go

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