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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...

fried chicken picnics

What was a favorite place to go with your family when you were young?

When I think about my favorite places to go with my family when I was really young, my first thought is of Disneyland. But after pondering it a little longer, I'd have to say that the park was my favorite place of all places. We went to several parks around the Las Vegas valley. Some were nicer than others. Some had duck ponds, and we'd feed the ducks then head over to the playground.  Most trips to the park included a picnic with fried chicken from KFC or possibly sandwiches. The one memory that I have making the park the best place to go growing up is at a park that no longer exists.

It was called Lions Park and it was pretty much a long straight shot from our house up Washington. On this particular occasion that I recall, my parents wanted to do a Family Home Evening at the park with fried chicken dinner for our picnic. I remember us driving to the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant down Nellis to get a couple of those huge buckets of chicken then heading up the hill to the park. My mom spread out blankets on the grass. My dad started throwing a frisbee with us. Then mom called us over to the nice picnic spread with piles of warm fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and biscuits. Everyone was so happy to eat, but once mom started to attempt to teach us a gospel lesson as part of the family time, my little brothers whined and fidgeted like nothing else. (Looking back, I know my mom was trying to use the fried chicken as a sort of bribe to get everyone to pipe down and listen for a little while.) Well, she was always outnumbered, and therefore, overruled. We all got sent off to romp around on the tallest slide I ever slid down as a child and swing and run. There was also an old train engine on display which we would stare up at in awe every time we saw it. 

Although I don't recall any part of the lesson my mom tried to teach that day, I do remember the example my parents set of family togetherness. So even though they might have thought nothing sank in on those family nights, the hidden message always came through loud and clear. Family is important. Also, I miss those simple days of picnics and parks. 

Once it warms up, I foresee a fried chicken picnic in my children's very near future.


  1. I didn't have those family experiences but I can so relate.

  2. I love when a shared narrative leads to an affirmative statement--what it meant to you, or why it matters. It just reminded me how often I would hear "older folks" grouse about the loss of family time fifteen-twenty years ago.

    But now...

    I don't hear people grumble about family time. Maybe I am in the wrong circles. Or maybe the current generation of parents do not really know any better anymore, because family time has been slowly watered down and sifted out of our way of living.

    Just thinking out loud...another good sign when a piece of writing draws that out of us!

  3. Week 9: http://luckbethislady.blogspot.com/2013/03/marshmallows-and-moonlight.html


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