In one of my earliest attempts to build relationships with other single women after Lev died (and to deal with the sinkhole called Valentine Day), I invited several acquaintances—divorced and widowed—over for an “un-Valentine party,” with a light meal spread out on the big coffee table in my library. We watched one of those comedies about “women of a certain age”—with Meryl Streep, I think, in It’s Complicated.
If you attend movie matinees often, you have probably noticed the abundance of older women. It’s a great way to fill long, empty hours. And we all remember the great movies and glamorous stars of our youth. Why don’t they make movies like that any more?
Now it’s time to throw another movie-watching party, along with an indoor summer picnic.
Harper Lee’s New Book
The minute I read that Harper Lee’s old manuscript for Go Set a Watchman had been discovered and would be published, I went to Amazon.com to order her classic To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and pre-order her new book, which hits the bookstores Tuesday. And then I got to thinking about Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in the 1962 movie.
Memories of Church Picnics
And that got me thinking about growing up in the South in the ’50s, which got me thinking about church picnics, gigantic affairs held out in the country, where the men dug a pit and barbecued whole pigs, where dozens of watermelons were chilled down and where all the women brought their prized recipes: fried chicken, ham, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, deviled eggs, home-grown sliced tomatoes, pickles, homemade cornbread, biscuits and rolls and pies of every kind, washed down with sweet tea and lemonade.
What better, then, than to invite a few friends to bring their favorite picnic food to spread on the coffee table to graze on while we watch To Kill a Mockingbird? Then we can go home and read Go Set a Watchman.