Under the Stars

Hysham, Montana



I love the outdoors and simple homemade cooking, so you can be certain that I have a knack for picnics. The same goes for my current girlfriend. We both enjoy getting up early in the morning to make a few sandwiches, pack a cooler or maybe a grill and some meats and just go to a nice spot. We did this as Sunday tradition, we wouldn’t miss it for anything even if it was rainy, but how could we have picnics under the rain? Well, it may sound corny as all hell, but we sat in our living room and stared out the window.

We also did small picnics at night when the weather was good and we had nothing to do the next morning. Such was the case a few weeks ago, when we headed for the country in my pick-up truck to find a nice spot to set down our blanket and basket. Yeah, my girlfriend got so excited over our little hobby that she would sometimes carry this big old basket with her on our Sunday trips. It was a basket that she got from her grandmother one day. You’ll see why this old basket is so important in a moment.

The spot we parked on was beautiful, it was right under a big tree and had plenty of shade. What we wanted was to picnic through the night so we spent the day reading a book together, swimming at a little pond and then firing up our small grill at dawn. The night came along with a few clouds, but there was enough light for us to see each other’s faces without having to use our flash lights.

We cuddled under a thick blanket and popped open a bottle of wine, super market wine to be specific, so nothing fancy. We drank from our glasses and tried spotting starts through the tree’s branches until we decided to do something a bit more “appropriate for adults.”

I looked around to try and spot any would be onlookers, but the coast seemed clear so we started undoing our clothes. The second things started to get going, I heard a rustling sound nearby so I shone my flash light in its direction.

A raccoon was looking through the basket for food. I scared him off and went to check the damage. The basket seemed fine, my girlfriend let out a big sigh of relief, after I told her. I always thought it was just a basket until she mentioned her plans for it, “We can use it to go out with our baby!” My reaction came along the lines of “what baby?” She rubbed her belly and gave me the news.

She’s now starting to show a little, and I’ll never forget the first morning I spent as a future father. What started off as a small romantic picnic became one of the most meaningful moments of our lives. Plus, the raccoon was nice enough to leave the cooler with our breakfast untouched, so we didn’t have to go hungry while we drove back home.

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