For our annual picnic date, we chose Saturday, August 13, which turned out to be one of the hottest days of summer. Our new president, Bruce, arrived early, bringing along signs, banners, paper for table covering, ice chests of soda, the obligatory coffee urn, plastic forks, knives, and spoons, and all the other supplies that bring a picnic to life. He even took a hit for the group by cutting his finger while tying up the banner to the sharp metal roof of the shelter. By the time my spouse and I arrived, Bruce had everything set up down to the details of labeling tables to organize where appetizers, salads, main dishes, and desserts should be placed.
As in the past, the organizers of the picnic also slung the banner in front of the shelter to make sure our members knew they were coming to the right place. Our membership head, Dean, spread out the sign-up sheets in place on a small table by the banner. Although we don't collect money for the picnic, we do keep track of how many showed up and who contributed food. Because several people had forgotten to sign in last year, Dean had placed the sign-in sheet more prominently to get a more accurate head-count.
The early arrivals began picking away at the appetizers and enjoying
cold drinks on sweltering summer’s day. Around noon, the main group of
picnickers began to arrive. The new arrivals set up their dishes to
share on the food tables and began joining the early arrivals in
feasting on appetizers and wetting their whistles with soft drinks or
water chilled down in a tub of ice. Finally, shortly after noon, when
Bruce had just started grilling the first batch of foot-long hotdogs
and turkeyu sausages, the hungry hoards began circling the main-dish
table, ready like a pack of ravenous wolves.
In the end, the Mature Friends board agreed on a count of 82 members (including a couple guests) who’d come out to enjoy the summer air and share great food and conversation.