I like my house. I like the city of Venice and this general area of Florida. I have friendly neighbors. I have made the effort to be more involved in activities and meet new people than I ever have before. I have been going to yoga at the Y. I joined a poetry group at the library. I do my volunteering. I have made the effort to stay in touch with the couple friends Mike and I had made down here, but I have also been inclined to branch out with female friends. There is no shortage of widows around here. I helped out with the fund raising big yard sale here in the park and I met a lot of new people that I had only waved to in the past. I am trying to remember people's names.
Where I am going with this--I decided I would attend the park picnic. It is the big deal for the social activities committee. I don't have much interest in Bingo or euchre (don't even know what euchre is exactly). I am not drawn to the group lunches at area restaurants, to the pot-lucks, or the pancake breakfasts. I have no interest in ever signing up for a bus trip to the casino. But for some reason I thought a picnic sounded like an okay, relaxed, no pressure kind of way to socialize.
The outdoor pavilion was expanded last year and new chairs look inviting.
Most people were inside the club house where long tables were set up.
A nice, large outdoor kitchen where the food was cooked, then carried into the club house and set up on a single serving table.
Apparently the rule is at 11 a.m., rush down to the club house and reserve seating. Come back at 12:30 and sit down in your claimed spot. Stay seated so as to only have contact with those sitting nearby and gossip and/or complain until the master of ceremonies (because what is a picnic with out someone dressed as a bottle of ketchup and carrying around a microphone to harangue the crowd about having fun?) calls table numbers so there will be an orderly line for the food, which will be served with strict measurement by retired lunch ladies. Yes, exactly like the ones you remember from your high school days.
the shuffleboard courts and the bocci area--
all stood empty. A picnic is for eating and drinking a couple of beers. And, apparently, it is preferable that those two activities be carried out with military precision.
This was the spot for those of us newbies who did not know enough to reserve a space earlier in the day. It was a pleasant, uncrowded spot--what I would have picked anyway.
The cupcakes for dessert were really delicious. I had a chocolate one. Then they started to raffle off door prizes and the love bugs started to swarm. That was the end for me.