Love Poems and Sad Stories - The Church Picnic

The Church Picnic

The Church Picnic
The Church Picnic
The Church Picnic
The Church Picnic

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The young mother and her two small children have escaped from her abusive husband and have returned to her parents' potato farm in North Central Wisconsin. However, life is not easy for them. Her parents are very poor and there is barely enough food to eat.

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Today is the annual Church picnic. and they have all walked over to the church to listen to the music and visit with friends and neighbors. While she is walking around with her children, her mother is sitting on one of the benches enjoying the nice weather.

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From the book "Love Poems and Sad Stories" by rjsadowski

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THE CHURCH PICNIC

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It was fall, the leaves had begun to change colors and some had already fallen. The potato crop on their small farm had been harvested and sold, and while it had been smaller than usual, there would still be enough to get them through the winter if they were careful.

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There was only one problem. Her daughter, Clara, had left her abusive husband and returned home to live with them with her two small children. There wasn't enough money to feed them too over the winter. But they could figure out what to do about that later. Today was the local church picnic and the weather was beautiful.

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Her husband and her looked forward to this day all year long. There would be music and food and friends and neighbors to visit with. They didn’t have any extra money to spend, but each year they would save a nickel from their potato crop for each of them to spend. They would delay as long as they could and finally pa would have his glass of cold beer and she would have a cold drink or maybe an ice cream cone. The thought of a cold, sweet ice cream cone slowly melting on her tongue made her mouth water

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Somewhere nearby, her daughter was also walking around enjoying the music and the crowd. However, things were not going so well for her. Whenever they saw some other children eating or drinking something, her two small children would plead with there mother "What is that?" Can we have some too?" We’re hungry mom."

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She tried to ignore them or to tell them they must wait until they went home to get something to eat, but they would not be comforted. At last she decided to tell her mother that she and the children would start walking home. When her mother asked her why, she told her it was because she couldn't bear to see all of the other children eating things while she had no money to buy anything for her own children.

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Her mother hesitated only a second and then reached into the pocket of her apron and pulled out the nickel she had been guarding so carefully. "Here", she said to her daughter reaching out her hand. "Buy the children an ice cream cone" "But that is your money" her daughter protested. "Don’t you want to get yourself something?"Her mother shrugged her head. "I’m really not very hungry today." Her mother couldn’t help smiling as the two small children hurried off to collect their treasure. "There will always be next year," she thought to herself.

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Follow the young mother and her two small children in The Train Ride as they are sent back to Milwaukee by the county officials to avoid providing them with support.

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North Central Wisconsin where this story takes place

show route and directions
A markerWausau, Wisconsin -
Wausau, WI, USA
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B markerMilwaukee, Wisconsin -
Milwaukee, WI, USA
[get directions]

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Comments 2 comments

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Grandma knows what is important. The babies wanted something.


rjsadowski profile image

rjsadowski 5 years ago Author

You might like "The Train Ride" too. The babies are a little older now.

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