We bought a watermelon this evening. Yummo! I tell you what, there is nothing that spells SUMMER like a good watermelon. We also bought a cantaloupe! I can’t buy watermelon and cantaloupe without thinking of my Grandpa Jones and the amazing melons he used to grow in Central Nebraska. Oh my. When it was a good year we were eating melons with every meal and for snacks. You just couldn’t eat them fast enough. We actually were staying there one fall when they had an especially productive year.
Another fun memory I have in regards to Watermelon happened the summer of 1973, the summer after my mother died. We were spending our week/weeks out at the ranch and Grandpa took us over to Uncle Jim’s place for the day. They were going to a 4-H meeting and invited us along. At the 4-H meeting they had a watermelon feed. There was a truck full of watermelons and the adults kept cutting watermelon as the kids kept eating. Somehow my cousin Vernon, his friend RP, and I got into a who-can-eat-the-most-watermelon-contest.
I am quite proud to say I won! I ate 13 1/2 pieces of watermelon and the contest ended not because we were done, but rather because they ran out of watermelon. Vernon ate 12 and I’m sorry RP, I don’t remember your count. Judging from how I felt after eating one large piece tonight I would NOT be able to repeat that performance today.
I remember the next spring when my Dad had us write a letter to our new mom-to-be I wrote about my watermelon eating feat. At eleven I apparently felt this was an accomplishment she needed to know about. She wrote back and told me that while she had never eaten that much watermelon she had eaten so much ice cream in one sitting it almost made her sick. With that one acknowledgement my new mother won my heart. I still remember the feeling that she did indeed understand me. She was a kindred spirit.
I am proud to say that I was right. Today is my Mom’s birthday. There are not enough words in this world to express exactly how much her coming to our home meant to me. She set things right in so many ways in my life and in our little family. I am so thankful for God’s ability to give us exactly the people we need in our lives. She has become one of the best friends I could have.
So maybe it’s not so much the watermelon I’m enjoying although the taste is hard to beat. Maybe it’s the special people who have colored the tapestry of my life.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!