Picnic in the Park with the Colonel

So, my Mom couldn’t go to restaurants any longer because it was difficult for her to walk very far even using the walker.  Plus, it was hard for her to get into the wheelchair as well.  She really enjoyed eating out, so when I made my monthly trips to Spokane, I made sure we went for a “picnic in the park.” 

This was so much fun.  Mind you, I had to prepare a bit… the first time I didn’t bring anything to protect her clothes while she ate; I mean we were eating in the car, so napkins didn’t cut it.  But, after doing it once, it became a “slam dunk” to do it subsequent times. 

You may find yourself needing to figure out something fun to do with your parents or a favorite senior who can’t get around like they used to.  If so, you might find this fun and easy to do.  Here’s an account of our “Picnic in the Park with the Colonel.”   


  • Since Mom lived in an extended care facility, I asked the nurse on duty if I could take some extra towels and a wet washcloth. No problem.  (If the senior you’re taking out lives at home, grab some towels on your way out).  And, I made sure to have a plastic bag to put the used towels into.   
  • Once in the car, Mom and I headed to Colonel Sanders’ Kentucky Fried Chicken.   Mom loved that kind of chicken, along with mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuit.  
  • Next… to the Park.  We found a location where Mom could also view the kids playing on the playground equipment.  She loved kids! 
  • I got everything set up for her:  towel over her lap and across her shoulders; glass of Coke in the drink holder and then she “went for it,” as did I. 
  • Who cares that there was chicken and crumbs all over the place?   We didn’t.  We had fun eating and watching the kids. 
  • After 30-45” or so, I could tell Mom was getting tired so we would head back.  But, she enjoyed every minute of it, as did I. 

We both loved the outings.  As I watched her enjoy every bite of chicken, I thought of when I was a kid and she did special things for me.  I could never pay her back for all she did for me (and my brothers) as we were growing up.  Our folks may not have had a lot of money, but there sure was a lot of love to go around.   I am so thankful for these memories with Mom in her last couple of years of life. 

So, if you need an idea for an outing with an aging parent or other senior in your life, take it from me… having a “Picnic in the Park with the Colonel” is a lot of fun.  Enjoy!!

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.  It’s the life in your years.”
Abraham Lincoln