Southwood Picnic 2016

Wow! It’s been 10 years since the last Southwood Lumber and Pallet Picnic. Time flies. People get older, Families get larger, and Employee’s relationships get stronger.

 I have grown up having Southwood as a place that is home to me. The employees here are not just people working and getting their paycheck to me, they are family. I have known them all my life and have seen them once a week for the past 20 years. So when picnics come around it’s like a big ole’ family reunion!

The picnic is not just for the employees here at Southwood, it’s for the families. For the wife, who packs their lunch every morning and the children who can’t wait for Daddy to come home from work.

All the wives gather and talk about life around the big round lifetime tables.  Of course, keeping an eye out on their children through the windows which line the Community building. They relax and sit back with the stress of cooking off their shoulders because a meal is prepared for everyone to eat. (Not to mention... ICE CREAM!)

The children sprint to the bounce houses to jump the night away. The favorite was the big green, white, and blue bounce slide with a rope ladder in the middle and two slide chutes on the side. (I have to confess; I might have gone down that one once or twice.) The children made new friends as they roamed around the playground finding an empty swing and monkey bars. Let’s not forget to mention that Aden was the life of the party for all the little ones as he was giving rides on his Steiner tractor around the park.

Last but not least, the picnic is definitely for the employees. Such an entertaining, refreshing time to have fun and relax! Instead of making pallets, we had a softball game where all the employees brought their gloves and bats and were ready to get the competition going. We split them into 4 teams. (There might or might not have been 12 people on a team.) The softball games started rolling around 3:30 and went until dusk. The softball game gave the employees the opportunity to hang out and get to know each other more outside of work.

So as the softball games ended, the vans started rolling in. Families leisurely crawled into their vehicles and headed towards home. They left with stuffed stomachs, sore bodies, and sound friendships.


Jodi Hochstetler

Here are just a few photos from the night: