S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The Loveliness of Taking Meals Outdoors

04 June 2007

The Picnic

We brought a rug for sitting on,
Our lunch was in a box.
The sand was warm. We didn't wear
Hats or shoes or socks.

Waves came curling up the beach.
We waded. It was fun.
Our sandwiches were different kinds.
I dropped my jelly one.

~Dorothy Aldis

Welcome to the 25th Loveliness Fair! Are the skies clear outside your kitchen windows this Monday morning? Are the birds calling joyfully? The well watered flowers are blooming madly here and we are eager as can be to be outside with them as soon as our feet touch the ground in the morning!

Lisbet, who is looking smashing this week at Joyful Chaos, agrees! Two of her little ones enjoyed oatmeal in jewel-toned bowls on the veranda in Mother, it is such a beautiful morning!

Alice, one of the most beautifully creative women I know, shares a must read post, Picnic Time, at A Number of Things wherein she shares a very practical and very lovely printable for planning picnics as well as several dainty, yet utterly useful items from her well stocked picnic basket.

Marjorie, who scatters the most amazing photos throughout Lettres de mon Moulin, shares A Woodland Picnic Feast with us today. She inquires, "Do you have a party coming up? Make it a picnic! Eating en plein air adds an indescribable pleasure to a meal. Fresh sardines grilled over an open wood fire, succulent figs plucked from the tree, wild grapes harvested from forgotten arbors along the shore, handfuls of still warm blueberries and tart, icy lemonade - all taste better out doors."

Cheryl, who usually quietly expresses herself at My Thoughtful Spot has written a A Monkey Poem that simply begs to be chanted as loudly as can be! It brought a wide grin to my face with it's sprightly rhythm.

Dawn, who will be hosting a Late Spring Field Day this Thursday, shares a few Alfresco Memories to alleveate the unseasonably chilly and wet weather she has been experiencing at By Sun and Candlelight!

Jennifer, who speaks the truth in An Afternoon Tea in the Garden, reminds us that "Summer fruits are much more enjoyable when eaten outside in the June garden. The ripe peaches were warmed by the sun and the iced tea was perfectly refreshing on the first day of truly hot weather. " She chose the most beautiful Music and Entertainers for the tea with her daughter at As Cozy As Spring.

Roxie, at A Natural History Home shares her homey spot in the great outdoors. In Taking Meals Outdoors she states, "We truely are an outdoors family be it meals or as you see much lounging seems to go on as well!"

Suzanne, has made Gladdest Hours one of the most inviting outdoor areas I've ever seen. How has she done this, do I hear you asking yourself? She will set your questioning mind at ease by telling you that It's all about the tables!

Phoebe has shared a delightful tradition, White Light Dinners, with us. She writes:
My favorite thing about having a backyard is the possibility of white light dinners in the summer. The first time we did it, it was a very sudden and spontaneous occurrence. It was at the end of a very long ordinary day, and that day was at the end of a long string of days like it. My husband had been perfecting his technique of cooking inexpensive steaks on our outside grill, and it suddenly occurred to me to go out side, to stay out there and eat and to just bring the baby and the highchair with me. So out I went before reason could convince me otherwise. We sat together in chairs at a little table we had sitting on our patio for plants mostly, but our plates fit on it, and the baby seemed happy enough with the change of scene. Eating 'al fresco' is one of the finest pleasures in life! Why not enjoy it on a regular ordinary day? As we sat, we realized we needed fewer insects and more light, so we lit the citronella candle and came up with the miraculous idea of stringing white lights around the patio. As quickly as it was done, our back yard and our evening and our dinner turned into a romance. A vacation. A place of peace and inspiration and joy even. I think we may have had a bottle of wine. Or maybe the soft summer night air and the little white lights sparkling around us just made made it seem worthy of a bottle of wine in my memory.

We finally had our first white light dinner in our current backyard at our new house. It was just as spontaneous as the first time we did it. I just saw an opportunity and sprang for it. The kids were playing outside, the sun was about to start setting behind the trees, and there was a card table. We set the card table in the grass beyond the patio and the crape myrtle trees. I was making an extremely easy dinner of pesto pasta and garlic shrimp and I had a bottle of wine. Out to the card table it went. Plastic plates for the kids at their little table and real white stoneware dishes at the 'big' table. my parents who live across the street graciously assented to dine with us. I lit sandalwood sticks to scare off the mosquitoes who are also so fond of that hour of the day, and we lit a torch of citronella oil as well. When my Dad arrived, he had the honor of stringing the white lights between the two crape myrtle trees for our very first white light dinner. We could only see the lights as the sun set lower and lower, but they added a magical quality to the air as their white contrasted with the deepening golden pink of the air around us. Sitting out there on the green lawn with the children playing and the wine bottle on the table and the sparkle of lights in the trees around us, we could easily have been a big family on hillside in Tuscany. It has always been a secret ambition of mine to become such a family. Now all I need is a pergola adorned in grapevines.

Thank you for joining me this day for the Loveliness of Taking Meals Outdoors! It is my hope that your time here was enjoyable and you will find inspiration. My heart is filled with gratitude for the lovely and patient women who participated in this Loveliness Fair and especially my sister, Vanessa for the images you see here today!

Please mark your calendars, the next Loveliness Fair will be held by Paula at A Catholic Harvest in honor of Fatherhood on June 18th!

Let us find ourselves enjoying life to the fullest this seson by embracing the loveliness of the outdoors, even at mealtimes.
As Okakura Kakuzo wrote so memorably a century ago in the
Book of Tea,
"Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea.
The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos,
the fountains are bubbling with delight,
the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. "

Vessel Make/Model: 35' Coronado
Hailing Port: Boca Chica
Crew: Capt. Hal, Jennifer, and our daughter Marianna, a great photographer!
Extra: Warmest Wishes!
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/marihalojen/
Album: S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen (Main) | S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen
Our trip to Orlando.
41 Photos
Created 12 March 2008
All hail to dear Mary. The guardian of our way. To the fairest of Queens, Be the fairest of seasons, sweet May.
16 Photos
Created 21 May 2007
Marianna headed out, list in hand, to see how many Invertebrates she could find locally - without swimming, though wading was permitted!
12 Photos
Created 28 March 2007
How to move 100 miles with all your belongings and no U-Haul.
35 Photos
Created 7 March 2007
27 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 1 December 2006
44 Photos
Created 1 December 2006

S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen

Who: Capt. Hal, Jennifer, and our daughter Marianna, a great photographer!
Port: Boca Chica
Faith Arithmetic Reading Writing Exercise Beauty