Laura Haley-McNeil

7/23/17, Company Picnics

Hello, Everyone!

Summer is moving right along and I hope for you it’s a wonderful season! It can be relaxing and fun. School is out and it’s a great time to spend with the kids doing activities in the backyard or spending an afternoon at the pool. I remember summer being filled with swimming lessons, which I loved, and tennis lessons, which I didn’t like. I’ve never been good at anything that involved a ball flying toward me. I remember the elementary school had activities for the summer. They offered sports, which didn’t interest me, but they also offered arts and crafts. I can’t tell you how many lanyards I braided over the years. No one used them, so I’m assuming my mother threw them away.

It seems that even adults have planned activities. The company where I work plans a Christmas party and a summer picnic every year. The summer picnics have been fun and hardly what I would call a picnic. Sometimes we go to a baseball game, where we rarely watch the game, but sit and talk the entire time. By the end of the game, I’m ready to leave, but some of the employees grab the company credit card and hit the downtown bars and restaurants. If I were younger, I’d join them, but my partying days are over. Another year, we went zip lining. I had heard that it would be scary so I was very excited to do something scary, but…I wasn’t scared. It was still fun. We sat in a chair that dangled from a rope and the hook attaching the chair to the rope would slide over the rope. It was fun, but I was looking forward to something with speed. The zip line didn’t move fast enough for me. Apparently, the out of town execs thought it sounded fun because they flew into town to join us. Afterward, we had dinner at a restaurant known for its wine list. I didn’t try the wine. The drive back to town was about an hour and it was through the mountains. I didn’t want to end a fun day dangling off the side of the road. The menu was prearranged with lots of appetizers, none of which I could identify, but they were tasty. I’d much rather eat appetizers than an entrée. Appetizers always taste so much better.

The following year we went to Top Golf. I’d never heard of it before, but as several of the employees are golfers, they had attended many times. No execs flew out for that event. The restaurant served delicious appetizers and a smorgasbord for lunch, with crazy drinks in containers that looked like waterpark slide with convoluted straws. I stuffed myself on the appetizers. Many years ago, I tool golf lessons. This is a sport where the ball flies away from me so I thought I could achieve a modicum of competence, but golf requires a time commitment and a monetary commitment. At the time, I was dead broke and so didn’t pursue the sport, but I did have a few lessons and I remembered what my instructor taught me. Though I didn’t play well, I had a better score than my partners. That was a first. I’m never the best.

This year, our company is cutting back on expenses so the picnic will probably be at one of our office buildings with a barbeque and games and just sitting and relaxing and talking. For me, that’s just as enjoyable.

Remember to sit and relax and enjoy the summer. Whether at the beach, or relaxing in the backyard, remember to bring a book. I’ve been reading like crazy this summer. Nothing is more enjoyable than curling up with a good book.

Happy summer!