Title: The Picnic
Willa Maye, and her beau pick out a spot under the large Weeping Willow that has been on the property since Willa can remember. She spreads the tablecloth on the grass,still covered with dew, while her friend starts unpacking the food. She has made sweet lemonade to cool them off and bought some leftover
chicken from the icebox, she added some cold biscuits from breakfast which was hours ago. Her friend has bought potato salad and sugar cookies. They are jes sittin down to have a feast when Aunt Rose, who everyone calls Dot, comes striding towards them… Willa wonders what she wants-she had just talked to her in the kitchen, a few moments before. Aunt Dot had asked her what she was a fixin and who was a comin over? Maye had told her, not wanting to give away her secret, “Oh, a friend of mine come over and we thought it’d be a glorious day to have a picnic- don’t you think so, Aunt Dot? Aunt Dot, startled by the news, says absently, “Yes, it is a beautiful day.”
So you won’t be eating dinner with your Daddy?.” “No, but I won’t be long, and there’s plenty of leftover chicken, from last night and biscuits from this mornin and I made fresh lemonade – there’s aplenty left for you and Daddy”
“I’ll still hav ta cook him up some vegtabuls-you know what a big appetite he ‘as when he’s been working in the fields all morning. “well, never mind, Yougun jes run along and have a good time with your friend. ya hear, we’ll be jes fine.”
As Maye walks away-Aunt Dot says to her retreating back “and don’t you get that pretty dress of yorn all soiled, ya hear” “Yes, Aunt Dot, I surely won’t-I’m taking that old tablecloth, we don’t use anymore to sit on.”
Aunt Dot says to the young people, “Well it surely is a glorious day for a picnic. I jes come down to see if there’s anythin, I could get you and your friend (as she says the word ‘friend’ she has a little smile calls Dot,
comes striding towards them… Willa wonders what she wants-she had just talked to her in the kitchen, a few
on her face) before I finish fixin’ your Daddies dinner. He’ll be comin in from the fields wanting his vittels, soon”
“Thank you, Aunt Dot, I don’t reckun so.”
Aunt Dot lingers a little longer with her arms folded across her large bosom as if waiting for something. She catches her niece’s eye and Maye says, “Oh,..have you met my friend, Harry. Harry……this is my Aunt Rose, – everyone calls her Aunt Dot”
“Pleased ta meet ya,” Aunt Dot extends her hand in a firm handshake, as Harry reaches out his. “well, I’d better be gittin back to your Dad” She pauses and looks meaningfully at her niece, “now you younguns have a good time-don’t you worry none about me and your Daddie, we’ll be jes fine.” she lets out a little sigh.
“I’m know you’ll take good care of Daddie and he surely does luv your vituals.”
“Well, then, I’ll be goin”. As she starts to go, she turns slightly and says over her shoulder – ,”
Remember, Maye, don’t you ruin that pretty dress of yourn and be extra careful of your Mama’s tablecloth-she’d turn over in her grave if anythin happened – she embroidered it with her own 2 hands.” “ Okay, Aunt Dot, I surely will – I promise –tell Daddy I’ll be up directly.”
Aunt Dot walks briskly back toward the house, shaking her head,
muttering to herself about”…what in the world are these young people a comin too, nowadays, having a picnic with a young man her Daddy hadn’t even met..Lord,have mercy!” she huffs and puffs as she heads down the hill to the homestead.
This was written in 2007 , as a assignment for a weekly writ;ling group I was in. The assignment was to write a story using a family photo about someone in the photo you don’t know, and to bring the photo and share.The photo I used showed my Mom with a young man having a picnic. I didn’t know the story behind it, so I made up one from what I knew of my family’s history and what she had told me of how strict her Dad was. Perhaps it will bring back memories to someone else of earlier days and ways.
This story is fictional in part and is copyrighted and cannot be copied without permission from its author, Clara Betty Deese.