Lunch (and dinner) Outside

Last week Mother Nature graced us with a near sixty degree day in February.  It was a beautiful reminder that winter will not last forever.  Before we know it, we will be spending long hours in the sunshine again.  There are obvious benefits to getting outside year round, but I must admit that I dislike cold so much that once the weather dips below forty, I am very unlikely to bundle everyone up and head outside for winter fun.  However, I refuse to let one of these rare warm days pass me by without some time in the yard.  I picked up my four year old from preschool and got an easy lunch together for he and my daughter.  We headed out to the picnic table on our deck.  They were thrilled.  I was thrilled.  Eating with the sun on my face was an unbelievable mood booster.  My son was so excited to be out in the fresh air, he requested that I put my daughter down for a nap so he and I could stay out and play .  I obliged and we ended up staying out for another hour playing in the sun.  After picking my other son up from school, I was feeling guilty that he had missed all the fun.  I decided to make a go of dinner outside too.  Of course the sun had begun to sink and the air was much cooler, but it was still doable.  Again, we were all thrilled for this change in winter routine.  Eating outside has its benefits and drawbacks.  Transporting the meal and supplies outdoors takes a little extra work, but the minimal clean up is a treat.  Of course, choosing an easy meal doesn’t hurt either.  Frozen pizza and peas does not make for fancy dining,  but what we lacked in nutrition for the body, we made up for in nutrition for the soul.

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