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Of Thumping Watermelons

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Of Thumping Watermelons

Have you ever thumped a watermelon? Do you know what I’m talking about? I’m here to tell you, it is the most accurate way to choose a watermelon. I almost always thump them before buying them. Besides, it makes me laugh. It also makes me miss my Grandpas. My Grandpa Jones always grew some melons out in the field, sometimes by the sweet corn. One year the melons did especially good and we were staying with them for a while before moving to California. We ate melons morning, noon, and night. It was spectacular! Especially the cantaloupe—or muskmelons—as we called them. You don’t thump them, though. My Grandpa McKnight is the one who had the great watermelon-thumping story. Now, you have to remember that he was a funny, gentle man and he loved to make others laugh. He had a witty sense of humor that was beyond description. So, here’s how it went down. At least this is how I remember it being told. One day Grandpa and my Aunt Carolyn were in the grocery store. Aunt Carolyn was visiting and they decided they wanted some watermelon. So, Grandpa bent over the pile, put his ear close to the first melon and thumped it with his big finger. Then he went on to another one. Aunt Carolyn, wanting to be helpful I suppose, started thumping and listening too. Finally she looked over at Grandpa and asked, “What are we listening for, Daddy.” “I don’t know,” he replied. “I just know you are supposed to thump them.” This led to a fit of hysterics in the middle of the produce section at Ingall’s. Now, I’m pretty sure Grandpa knew that he was listening for the watermelon with the lowest tone, but it sure did make for a great laugh. And, every time I thump a watermelon I think of him and I smile. Sometimes I even laugh, right out loud in the produce...

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WAKE UP AMERICA

Posted by on Jul 4, 2011 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on WAKE UP AMERICA

It is the 4th of July today and I am sitting on my porch. I’m trying to enjoy a bit of the day before heading back down to SC to work. Yes, I get to work tonight. Someone has to be there to take care of those patients and it’s my turn. The upside is that there is always extra food around the hospital on holidays. . . because we bring it. If we are going to work a holiday, we are going to eat well. That seems to be the nurses’ motto. As I sat here I was remembering some of the 4th of July happenings from my past. I don’t remember that we had a particular tradition at our house when I was a kid, except we always got a box of sparklers. That was the highlight for us! Sometimes we were somewhere where there was a parade, sometimes we just put a flag out. I remember one of the first times I went to see Grandpa and Grandma Jones as an adult, without a parent was for the 4th of July. We went over to the park by the hospital and sat with Gregg, Stephanie, and some little kids (who are now adults) and watched the fireworks. When we lived in Scottsbluff we went to my Uncle Tom’s house and sat and watched the Morrill fireworks from the vantage of their hill. It was so cold we had to have jackets on. For several years, I made an annual trip to Littleton, Colorado to spend the 4th of July with Vonda. We would go to her church picnic, then sit on her little porch/deck and watch the fireworks from the city while listening to great marches on the radio. I have photos at home from a really awesome 4th of July. It was 2003 and my sister and brother-in-law invited the church and family out to their place at Nemo, SD for an old-fashioned 4th. The kids all got dressed up and painted their faces and we had a boat race in the creek. I think I got really wet. I have an amazing picture of the kids all posed with arms all akimbo in front of the Campground Sign near their house. I have several classic photos from that day. In 2006, on the 4th of July a child was born. My oldest niece got her biggest wish. . . a little sister. That day in history Katie was born. Her Daddy was so proud his little girl was born on Independence Day. She is a joyful energetic bundle and I wish I could give her a hug right now. Yesterday in church the Pastor handed out Kennedy bicentennial half-dollar coins. As I looked at it several thoughts went through my head. First, I remembered Vonda, MY baby sister. She is a bicentennial kid. This led me to the mathematical conclusion that it is only 15 years until our country will be 250 years old. That’s old, I thought. Then I thought about the other countries in this world and I thought, that’s young. Then I thought, I hope our country will still be the independent country it is. Will God have mercy on us? We aren’t what we were when I was a kid,...

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Home Is Where The Story Starts

Posted by on Jul 2, 2011 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | 1 comment

A couple of weeks ago our friend, Rita came to visit us from Chicago. One afternoon we decided to go downtown Hendersonville to do a little shopping. We found ourselves in the Mast General Store. There were some coasters with sayings on them and one of them said something like “Home is where the story begins.” Rita, knowing my blog style read it to me and lifted her eyebrows. “Oh, that’s perfect!” I stammered. I couldn’t even spit out an explanation of my excitement. I’ve been thinking about this blog for awhile now. Originally I started my Double Cousins blog to help promote my first book. Then I wrote about all kinds of things since there just aren’t enough things to say about the book to write three times a week. Besides, I enjoy sharing my life. So, it seemed more and more of the posts had to do with life, with memories of my family, lessons learned from my elders. . . all of that stuff. Now that the second book is out and I definitely have a series I wanted to narrow the focus of the Double Cousins blog. But, what to do with the other stuff I like to write. I know people like to read it. I know this because my stats tell me that since I’ve stopped writing those “stories”  visits to my blog have dropped off. Hmmm. Anyway, this blog is the answer. I was casting around in my mind for a title that would fit a new blog, one that focuses on my family based, wisdom-learned-from-my-elders based, funny daily happenings based musings. The thing is, all of my stories do come from who I am which comes directly from those who came before me. So, when Rita read that quote to me it struck a chord. I knew I had my title. One that fit my writing. The header at the top of the page is another clue. That is the sod house where my Daddy was born during the Great Depression. It was my grandparents first home. My Grandpa Jones wrote three books about his life which is partly what inspired me to write. This house. . . it is, in many ways,  where my story started. . . So, this blog will be about family, lessons learned, but mostly the truth that Home is Where The Story...

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