Everyone has a memory store of things that make them happy. Some newly found. Some from long ago. The problem is that as time passes it can be difficult to dust off the old pleasures and enjoy them again. I find that if I think about what pleased me back when I was much easier to please and then trot out one of those things the enjoyment produced by the experience is multiplied by a factor of the intervening years. I call this effect a time-driven pleasure accelerator. Like finding a toy in the back of your closet that you had forgotten you owned.
I love picnics. I always have. This love has its genesis in stream side fish fries with my dad. My mom making an al fresco lunch in the yard for me and my friends. Except no one in my part of Northern Wisconsin would have used the term "al fresco" back in the 1960s. There is just something about taking a meal in the open air that enhances the fun. As long as there are not squadrons of mosquitos about. As in the Wisconsin of my youth. It probably stems from prehistoric times when every meal was al fresco. Whether you liked it or not.
Yesterday morning I was in a great hurry leaving home for a business trip by car. I did not think I would have time for lunch so I made a peanut butter sandwich, grabbed a banana and a drink [no, I was driving, not a GOOD drink] and hit the road. I planned to eat in the car. Until I saw a very retro roadside picnic spot. It looked like this:
Seeing this picnic shelter inspired me to stop and eat my lunch outdoors. It was a gorgeous day. Mid 70s. Clear as a bell. I took it all in, breathed deeply of the roadside pre-autumnal air, and set out my victuals:
Despite the humble food [and drink that cannot be defined as a "drink" by any civilized gentleman's lexicon] I had a marvelous time. Later that night, I enjoyed dinner and a martini [FINALLY] at Morton's. But lunch was my best meal all day long.