Monday, July 20, 2009

Dining Outdoors

It's officially hot here on the mountain and everyone is looking for ways to stay cool. A favorite mealtime practice for our family is to dine outdoors in warm weather. It seems so much cooler than inside the house when a gentle breeze rippling through the trees keeps the air moving. Simple and somewhat obvious, but how many of us remember to experience this blissful luxury? Okay, we don't have mosquitoes, but we do have horse flies and meat bees. You'll have to get creative solving the issue of winged predators (perhaps you could share tips in the comment section). 

Anyway, I acquired an old farm table several years ago that we keep on the porch just for this activity. Shop around at some garage sales or visit a resale shop. Look for something that you won't worry about if it should accidentally be left out in a rain shower. Place it in a shady location and add a cute table cloth and a potted plant or candles. Or, better yet, let the kids be in charge of preparing the setting. It will serve to heighten the anticipation and they are often quite creative in their arrangements! Pull up the lawn chairs, folding chairs, or your patio chairs for seating. I've even used my regular dining chairs when needed. An old bench would work, too. Just get everyone outside to the table!

Growing up I remember running around barefoot in the grass after dark chasing and catching fireflies in mason jars. Such sweet childhood memories! Don't wait until you have the perfect setting or you will lose the opportunity of the moment you have right now to create a summer adventure that will instill lasting memories for your children. They won't remember every little detail as much as the experience as a whole. I can hear it now... "We always ate outside in the summer. It was wonderful (deep sigh...)!". 


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