“Picnics have always been a part of the Gordon family. In fact, it was the Gordon family who invented picnics…



One hot sultry summers afternoon my Great Great Great Great Grandma Pick, blinded by the sun rays that shone in through the closed window, sat down by the fire and wondered why she was so hot.

The bread that she had just baked and sliced had toasted itself in the heat of the kitchen. The peas that she had just shelled had boiled themselves in the pool of her sweat that had trickled onto the floor.

Pick wondered if perhaps she had turned menopausal for that was the only reason she knew of that women could feel so darn hot.

Wiping a bead of sweat from her hairy upper lip, Pick wondered aloud if this infernal heat would ever die down. Maybe when the menopause was over and done with?

A swift clip to the ear rattled Pick’s brain and made her sit up straight in the chair. Her mother Dennis (my namesake) muttered in disbelief. “My girl, you’re only 17 years old! The menopause is some 40 years away. The heat you be feeling is from the fire, from the sun and from not having any windows open!”

Dennis muttered many more things too when she found the toasted bread, the boiled peas and pools of sweat all over the floor but we won’t dwell on that part of the story.

Pick went outside and reveled in the cool breeze that hit her face. She ran around and pretended to be a nun on a mountaintop. She twirled her way up the lane and stood under the shade of a willow tree. What a joy, what a wonder to be outdoors and not feel that heat anymore…BAM!

Pick fell flat on her face, overcome by heat exhaustion.

She awoke some time later and looked around her in a daze. She knew that she had been shaken awake but she didn’t see anyone near her. She pinched herself, maybe she had just been dreaming.

When she sat up though she saw that there was a young man leaning against the tree eating a plum. She knew from the look on his face that he was a nice guy and meant no harm and when he eventually spoke she could tell that he wasn’t from around these parts.

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