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A Mishpocha Picnic, by Richard Osolen

07/08/2018 12:55:19 PM

Aug7

On Sunday, July 8, the Downtown Mishpocha group, with the participation of the East Mishpocha group, held our annual picnic in High Park. Already in the unrolling of the days, the impact is fading but the fact remains strong: of the several annual picnics we’ve had this one stands out as extraordinary.

Alan Meisner booked a lovely location. Just far enough from the main road to be comfortable and close enough to be convenient. It was a shady and airy island surrounded by the bright summer sun, next to the children’s water park. The children’s noisy high energy and unbroken joy, I am convinced, increased our older pleasures. We had very little trouble preparing the site earlier in the day; it was already quite clean, the surroundings quite green and free of dust, and people who passed through were generally in good humour. Heather and Richard were well organized!

Myra Schiff helped with the set up. We had gingham table cloths, several small vases of brilliantly coloured cut flowers, three sturdy serving tables, and a cooler full of ice and cold drinks.

There was a great turnout. The conversation and the food—the heart of a good party—were both excellent. It was as if someone had composed a summer concerto just for us.

And then, for me, one of the most impressive things happened—the clearing up. Elaine McKee took care separating the recyclables and the organics and everyone pitched in with same good cheer they brought to the party. They got everything quickly, cleanly, and compactly gathered up and stowed again in Heather’s car.

The air seemed full of a kind of mutual gratitude. A year or two ago I saw a young man on the subway wearing a t-shirt with the slogan, “Work makes love possible.” Our exhausting, exhilarating picnic made that sentiment real.

A big thank-you to all the participants!

Wed, 16 June 2021 6 Tammuz 5781