Growing up in Northwestern Pennsylvania, rainy days plagued my childhood. That made every sunny day a reason to celebrate. I constantly begged to eat all of my meals outside when the weather was nice enough, and because we had a picnic table in our back yard, I was usually allowed. I was young, and it was outdoor furniture, so it didn’t occur to me that the most cleaning the table really got was when the torrential downpours came while I was stuck inside. I happily ignored the fact that those same downpours left the wooden picnic benches wet for days until the sun had dried them out because I liked playing outside, and it didn’t bother me when my shorts got wet from the bench.

After my dad started Bright Settings, my opinions on outdoor furniture completely changed. We were still living around the same area, but we had a bigger house, and we did a lot more entertaining. That, and I was old enough to be asked to clean the tables off for guests, and, although I cleverly avoided it by making my brothers do it most of the time, we moved our new aluminum picnic tables all over our property on a regular basis.

I have to admit, there was something fun about nice wooden picnic tables, but there was something glorious about aluminum picnic tables. They came in different sizes and shapes, and we could take them anywhere. They didn’t look as pretty as wood at first glance, but with a tablecloth on, they looked just as nice as the dining room table. It took just a few moments to wipe them down with soap and water, even if they’d been outside in stormy weather for weeks. In a few instances, before a big gathering, the skies opened up and it rained like crazy. But with aluminum picnic tables, we never worried. We’d just go out after the rain stopped and dry them off. They were ready for our hungry relatives in just minutes.

I finally stopped making my brothers do all the table moving. Since they’re so light and maneuverable, it really only took one person to slide an aluminum picnic table from one spot to another. The best part about them though was the fact that the benches were about one hundred times more comfortable than any wooden picnic table I’d ever sat at.

With summer in full bloom, it’s time to take advantage of the beautiful weather while it lasts. Some of the best meals I can remember were around an aluminum picnic table, and some of the easiest, quickest set-up and cleanup for our outdoor entertaining were around it, too! When I have a family of my own, I’m definitely getting an aluminum picnic table. Until then, I’ll sit around the ones we have at my dad’s house and spend time with my parents and my brothers sharing good food and equally as great memories.