It Was a Fine Day for a Picnic

Monday Morning Musings

It was a fine day for a picnic—

The little bit of rain at the end doesn’t count.

An outing in the country for my mom

Who lives surrounded by the concrete

Of the city.

“I’ve never been to winery before,”

she said.

Well, she’s almost 93,

So it’s about time,

Don’t you think?

So I packed a picnic,

And since there were three of us,

I packed enough for 6,

Maybe 8,

Because what if there isn’t enough food?

A sandwich for my husband

And one for my mom,

And then–

Roasted red pepper hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Cheese, Manchego and Gouda


Because I couldn’t decide.

Cut up vegetables, olives,


The wine!


I think I chose well,

The Cabernet Franc

Was delicious.

Of course

I’m not an expert,

But nobody complained,

And the glasses got refilled–

More than once.

So I guess they liked it,

And it went well

With the food.

There was also

My Mandelbrot,

My “Mommy Cookies,”


Because every meal needs chocolate,

Doesn’t it?

And so–

We sat and talked.

While the clouds rolled like waves

In an aerial sea,

The white breakers

Tinged with gray.

Monroeville Vineyard and Winery

Monroeville Vineyard and Winery

And the bees danced

To their secret melodies

As they dipped into

The clover at our feet.


First one,

Then two, three, and four

Turned in graceful circles

Above us.

No, not quite above.

There was something farther afield,

Probably much tastier.

Well, tastier to a vulture

I suppose.

But then, I’ve never asked one,

Have you?

All was peaceful,

Just us, the food, and the wine–

And the soft buzzing of bees.

Friend Kelly stopped by,

But I forgot to take her picture.

You’ll have to trust me

That she was there with us.

She texted me later,

“Your mother is awesome.

Next time I’ll have to bring my mother-in-law.

They would really get along.”

I hope there is a next time.

But if not,

We had today.

Family, friends,

Food, and


It was a fine day for a picnic.

A few hours of relaxing

In the open air.

An outing for my mother.

And the bit of rain didn’t matter

At all.

My mom and I--wine glasses in hand!

My mom and I–wine glasses in hand!

“Time it was and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you”

–Paul Simon, Simon and Garfunkel, “Bookends”

34 thoughts on “It Was a Fine Day for a Picnic

  1. A fantastic poem Merril and I love the words of the Simon and Garfunkel song which is an old favourite. It looks as though you had a great time and your words bear it out.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx.

    • Thanks so much, David!
      I just happened to hear the song last night, when I watched part of a PBS fundraising special. I hadn’t heard it in a while, and it definitely resonated with me.
      Massive hugs back to you!

  2. I could disappear easily into your reverie recalled from the weekend. My favorite images: “We sat and talked/While the clouds rolled like waves/In an aerial sea,/The white breakers/Tinged with gray.”

    You are cherishing your moments with your mother, a fine thing to do, Merril. Photographs freeze moments, so do poems. Love this!

  3. I really love the way your Monday Morning Musings flow. I feel as if I am flowing along with you, joining you at your picnic. And you ended with one of my favorite songs. 🙂

  4. Lovely, Merril. I read this as I’m recovering from an afternoon outing with my own mom, this one to a nearby “pleasant hike” (so said the Day Trip book) that would take “an hour or two.” Four hours later, at only the half way point, we were rescued by luck, disguised as a small motor boat and friendly locals. I’m thinking you and I will be quite pleased with our memories all too soon. I envy your ability to capture the scene in a poem. I was right there with you.

  5. Merril, I LOVE this post. Your poetic description swept me along too. I laughed when you said you forgot to photograph your friend, but you actually did photograph her “photo bomb” into your poem. You photographed her with words.

  6. I remember spending days like this with both my Grandmas where the joy of the moment is twinged with what you know is coming inevitably one day and how everything takes on an intensity and beauty and that these are the moments thast deserve the poems, the photos and journal entries so they are never lost.
    Your words and imagery were absolutely beautiful.
    When I was in rehab after my diagnosis, I used to go for walks in this paddock of grass next to the hospital, which I later found made me an “escapee”. I had actually unwittingly left hospital grounds. Me being me, I had my camera with me and after all those weeks in hospital, I was almost hallucinating looking at the grass and the blue sky. I waxed lyrically about the clumps of clover in the grass that made it more of a paddock than a lawn and having spent a few years growing up in the country and making daisy chains out of clover, that really resonated with me.
    Reading your post, the clover seemed to take on that same sort of significance for you on your outing with your Mum, when everything somehow because etched in glass like stained-glass windows.
    I miss my grandmothers and would just love another cup of tea and to squeeze their hands.
    Take care xx Ro

    • Thanks so much, Ro, for your heartfelt comment. I’m glad my post brought back all these memories for you!
      The clover was not really such a big deal for me. 🙂 I heard the buzzing and looked down, and there were the bees busy with their bee duties. I remember thinking that it was a good thing, given the bee decline in some areas–and probably great for the vineyard’s grape production.

      • Ah. So I picked up on the wrong element. Is the bee decline over there quite marked? I’ve heard that it’s a serious problem but I think it’s not so bad here. Or, perhaps I’m just in denial again.

      • I honestly don’t know how serious it is. Bee keeping seems to have become more popular, and the crops here in S. Jersey seem to be doing well, but it’s not my area of expertise. I often buy some great local honey. (We call it library honey because our library is one of the places that sells it.) 🙂

  7. Beautiful lines and photos Merril thank you for sharing this joy with us! It brings back memories … ‘Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you’ S & G …

  8. Merril … Your beautiful memories of family, friends, food and wine sent me into a relaxing reverie. I’m so glad that you got to enjoy this outing with your mom. It’s the kind of day I would have loved to share with my Mom (and Dad). I also loved the words from Simon and Garfunkel’s song, “Bookends.” 😉

  9. Aww, what a delicious day you had! The fare sounds delightful, and the company, superb. I’m so glad your mom still has her faculties to enjoy such a day. That’s such a blessing. And I’m extremely happy that you took photos with her. Congratulations, my friend, ❤

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