I knew Mom and my Kentucky relatives planned another picnic when she boiled eggs and potatoes on a Saturday. That provoked mixed feelings as a child.

A day at Wildwood Park meant loading up Mom’s potato salad, fried chicken, chocolate cake, and sweet tea bright and early Sunday morning. After a long drive from Warren to Holly, my sisters and I splashed and played on the beach with our cousins. Then Mom hollered for us to come and eat. Then we played and ate again until the cake disappeared.

A picnic also meant I’d miss Mrs. Urban’s Sunday school class and reciting my memory verse. That meant missing another star by my name on the teacher’s chart.

But Dad and many uncles worked Saturdays, so we picnicked on Sundays with what seemed most of Michigan’s population.

Without a doubt, those glorious, sunburned days running back and forth from the beach to Mom’s chocolate cake redeemed the lessons lost in Sunday school.

For Sabbath mornings with fellow classmates and the Holy Scriptures far outnumbered the Saturday mornings my mother hand-blended potato salad in her white metal dishpan rimmed in red.

My favorite memory verse Mrs. Urban assigned my class remains Romans 8:28. Therefore, I knew God would work out a family picnic for my good because I loved Him and was called according to His purpose. Whatever that purpose might be.

This knowledge, one portion of my inheritance as a believer in God’s Word, granted confidence in the revelation of His purpose. Meanwhile, family picnics and reunions fell by the wayside as relatives passed or moved out of state.

I grew eager to plow my hands through a gigantic bowl of sliced hardboiled eggs, boiled potatoes, celery and olives, chopped carrots and onions blended with Hellman’s mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk. Finished with Morton’s Nature’s Seasons.

In the perfect dispensation of opportunity to fulfill my heart’s desire, our pastor’s wife announced several months ago, “We’re planning to resume our potluck picnic this summer. We’ll keep you posted on the date and location.”

I turned to my husband with absolute assurance in our purpose. “We have the location.”

After months of planning and preparation for 50-60 guests, this past Saturday I carried a punch bowl filled with Mom’s potato salad downhill to our pavilion.

In good time and humor, the pastor’s wife, daughter, and two other women arranged the bounty of food on four tables. I recalled reunions and picnics of my childhood: fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, greasy beans with onion, new potatoes and gravy, blackberry cobbler, and jugs of sweet iced tea, for instance.

The pastor’s wife rang the dinner bell I’d fastened to the wall fourteen years ago. Sixty-one guests fell silent to the unexpected clatter.

Dear Reader, a year ago I had no vision of the blessed moment when Pastor Tom asked the Lord’s blessing upon our feast.

Our home is no Wildwood Park, yet childhood laughter while feeding hens and running in sprays of our lopsided sprinkler provoked no less joy.

Contact Iris at irisfarmletters@gmail.com.