“And that’s such a special memory because that was his last picnic.”

My mother loved picnics and she quite often would organize a picnic for a Sunday afternoon, and we would go maybe down by the river. We lived along the Grand River. It was across the field and stuff, but we lived fairly close to the Grand River on our property and, and there was woods and stuff. And my mom would say, “How about if we have a picnic today?” And so she would start fixing stuff, and we’d be thinking about what we could take on the picnic, and getting things organized. Taking them, what we need to take with us, ‘cause we would go down by the bank of the river, and we’d build a fire, and we would cook over the open fire. And we would most always cook hot dogs because that was the easiest thing to cook over an open fire without having to bring along dishes and a tripod and all that kind of stuff.

But I remember so many times of going on picnics at various places along the river or, there was one very special time, I remember. It was before my father died. He died twenty eight years ago. And my sister was home from Seattle for a visit and Mom said, “Let’s go on a picnic.” And so, my dad was in really poor health, and he said, “I don’t think I can go on a picnic.” He said, “I, I can’t get down to the river.” And I said — my sister and I said, “Well, we’ll figure out a way to get you there.” And so what we did instead of everybody walking down there, we took the pickup truck, and we loaded my dad in the truck, and we drove down and got as close as we could get to our picnic site, and then my sister and I used — my sister was in mountain rescue in — out in Washington, out of Seattle, she was on a mountain rescue team, and she knew how to carry people that were injured and stuff. And so, her and I made what she called a basket with our arms crossed under my dad, and we carried my dad from the truck over to the area where we were gonna have our picnic. And that’s such a special memory because that was his last picnic. And I was so happy that we could do that for him.

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