Picnic Table Happy Times


Picnic Table and Cole

Dearly departed Joe built our picnic table the first summer we moved into our house. I remember standing at the garage door watching my diapered tot put his hand over his dad’s as they hammered the nails into the table together. It was their first building project together. We all painted the table turquoise and enjoyed a summer of picnic lunches.

As time went on, we painted the table superhero red. I tied a cape around my preschooler’s shoulders and held my breath as he climbed on top of the picnic table… and flew off.

“Mommy, did you see how high I flew?”

I clapped and applauded, and Joe threw our laughing boy high in the air. As soon, as his feet touched the ground, he grabbed our hands and insisted on a picnic with “’talian sammies.”  We agreed that was a fine idea. Joe was too big to sit on a picnic table bench so he pulled up a patio chair to the table, and Cole announced the next time they made a picnic table it had to fit Daddy.

Time flew, Cole moved on to climbing trees, and we painted the picnic table yellow and incorporated it into my Camp-Run-A-Pup logo. My campers loved climbing on and off the table and perching atop it as they surveyed the estate.

Red and yellow paint marked the years when an endless stream of middle school boys and girls spent time at our house using the table to hold their pop cans and shoes as they jumped on the trampoline.

Benign neglect and a lack of desire to sand off peeling paint inspired us to splash the picnic table artistically with leftover paint from other projects.  It was in this hodgepodge state when Joe died in 2009. That summer, Cole was sitting on the picnic table when he wondered if the happy times were gone forever.

Minor repairs were made to the table over the next 5 years and we painted it a few more times, but this summer it was apparent that it was on its last legs and in need of major repair. We tried. Cole nailed the benches back on, I grabbed sand paper and tried to sand the rotting wood away, but the foot fell off and I fell apart. I wanted my picnic table, I wanted Joe, I wanted the happy times.

Cole and I discussed our options acknowledging that the table was past reconstruction. We were frustrated. And then Cole stated the obvious.

“Mom, I can build a new picnic table. We could make it out of cedar, which will last longer than pine.” We agreed the new picnic table would inherit the benches from its predecessor. A loud clap of thunder clinched our decision to move forward and rebuild. We had heavenly approval.

We didn’t make the new table bigger, but there is plenty of room to add years of happy times.

picnic table

Can you believe I forgot to take a picture right after it was built? But here is a picture of it fitting right in with the family.

Odd Loves Company,

The life and times of our Picnic Table

Camp_Picnic Table Logo

Picnic table

picnic table

picnic table

Hodge Podge paint picnic table

16 thoughts on “Picnic Table Happy Times

  1. Katybeth you must write more stories. You have a remarkable way of transitioning the details in a story that makes it heartfelt and brings it full circle.
    Good job rebuilding the table. I’m sure you’ll enjoy many more happy times using it.
    God Bless

    • Thank you for the encouragement. I try to strike a balance. I’m glad that I succeeded this time around.
      I agree this picnic table has a lot of happy in it. ♥

  2. It is perfect. Absolutely perfect and the story is a wonderful one. If that table could talk…..well…you made it talk. Thanks for sharing. It is going to have a wonderful long life with many happy campers lounging on it.

  3. Aw, gee, what a sweet story! And I love how your Pisces son gestures with his feet (so typical of that sign!)

    Your picnic table is finished and will make new memories for you to put alongside the old ones. Every project y’all complete together serves to solidify your bond, much as the new planks serve to solidify this table. Well done, both of you!

    • Ha. I didn’t even notice his feet but you are right! And I love the analogy of the planks solidifying our bond. Thank you! ♥

    • Thank you. I am calling it our semi-nueva table. You didn’t know I could speak Spanish did you?? ♥

  4. Such a sweet touching story. Love seeing Cole growing up and you just know Joe is smiling on him as he finished the picnic table. Well done.

    • Thanks Joann. Your pups have certainly been part of it all. I agreed that Joe is smiling and that makes me smile! ♥

  5. Many ways to keep the memories flowing. This is literally a touching memory. Sounds like the picnic table is one of the focal points in your family & camper family. Nice!

    • We never intended that the table would play such a pivotal part in our lives and frankly I didn’t know how woven into our lives it really was until it started to fall apart.

  6. Is that Joey I see sprawled across the red version? Doesn’t seem like he is willing to share.

    Poignant story, well told. That table is destined to share many more happy times with you and Cole.

    • It is Joey. Once he claims his spot it’s his unless you want to be beagled and no one ever does.
      We plan to love the new/old table for a lot more years.

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