Waking up this morning, don’t ask me why. I had the funniest thought. Could you be arrested for cutting the heart out of a watermelon? I have fond memories of my Mom always cutting the heart out of a watermelon and handing it to me. I guess you could say I was spoiled, for I was not the only child. There were 4 of us. I was the first born girl , so that made me special , at least in my Dad’s eyes. We had watermelon all the time . My parent’s closest friends owned and operated a huge produce farm. I remember going at least once a week to visit them with my Mom. We would stay for juice and cookies or what ever wonderful desert Ruth would have in the kitchen. She made the best pineapple cake, dripping with pineapple icing that would melt in your mouth. We would visit and look through picture albums and sometimes I would play with their son Marvin who was a couple of years older than me. At the time he became my best friend. When my sister was born I was 5 years old. I spent the week with them while my Mom was in the hospital. Marvin’s room had 2 twin beds, so I slept in one and he in the other. We were great friends then. His mother would wake us up every morning by bringing 2 small glasses of orange juice on a tray to the bedroom. I loved the fact that she waited on us. It was a special week for me. I always felt at home when I stayed with them.
Getting back to the watermelon . We not only brought home watermelon but baskets of squash, greens, tomatoes, cantaloupe, corn, black eyed peas and I am sure other produce I can not remember. It was all wonderful. Thinking about the heart of the watermelon brought to my mind all the incredible meals my Mom cooked for us. My Dad was a dairy farmer. They don’t get a day off. The work is 24/7 . So my Mom had to feed him well. Every day we had fresh produce on our table. The meals that my Mom cooked for her family were unforgettable . Bowls of black eyed peas , fresh tomatoes, cantaloupe , fried chicken or what ever meat she was serving , turnip greens, fresh corn, and cooked apples. I could go on and on. All the above was on the table at one meal. Dinner was followed by pie. She would make at least 3 pies a day , mostly cherry and sometimes a cobbler. Her apricot fried pies were a thrill to my taste buds. I have often wondered how my Mother did what she did. She not only cooked constantly but she kept our house clean, clothes washed and managed to get us to church every Sunday and Wednesday nights. She did have help with the ironing. With 2 boys that also worked on the farm , it is mind boggling to me that she kept us in clean clothes. Dairy farming is dirty work and my Dad changed and showered at least 3 times a day. And my brothers too. Can you imagine the clothes?
I’m pretty sure the washing machine was going all the time. We didn’t have a dryer as I remember. I’m sure one was bought at some point. But I recall the clothes lines in the back and my brother Larry helping my Mom hang the clothes with the clothes pins. I don’t recall my brother Jerry helping with that chore at all. How he got out of that who knows. He was always the rebellious one in the family . And that’s another story for another day.
Getting back to the watermelon. Late in the afternoon Mom would cut an ice cold watermelon on our picnic table. It was always a grand afternoon refreshment, especially the beautiful heart. Reminding me of all the tremendous meals my Mom prepared for us. And it dawned on me, she was not only serving up fine food for us, she was serving up memories of love. Memories of laughter , around the table, of brothers and sisters, conversations, memories of fights over the wish bone and time spent together. She loved her family and took care of us . Nourished us not only with food but with love and happiness. She would have dinner parties for each of her children for their birthdays and other special occasions and invite out closest friends.
Mom did the best that she knew how by gracing the dining room table with a white table cloth and fresh flowers in the center. That was always a gift for me as well as my friends.
It was another time and place that we lived in. I think that the ridiculous thought of being arrested for cutting the heart out of a watermelon stems from the very world we live in now. It seems what’s right is wrong and what’s wrong is right. You have to be very careful what you say and do in the world that we live in. People are taken down by one person starting a rumor.
The night before I had watched a news item about marijuana becoming legal in New Jersey . It sited that for many years a restaurant owner had been selling marijuana, tons of it I might add out of his establishment that sat literally right across from a police station. People would line up like crazy to purchase the lovely weed. Officials would just turn their heads. No one cared. At the same time the news program showed a gentleman that had one stick of weed when he was 18yrs old . He was arrested and sentenced to 10 long years.
I’m getting ready to cut into a watermelon so if I get arrested for cutting the you know what out. It will be my husband that turned me in. For he is the only one that will witness it.
One thought on “watermelon dilemma”
Jan, I love the imagery you invoke. I’d have loved to have sat for just a moment at your mother’s table. Isn’t it interesting how our dreams drive our creativity. I hope you get to explore that more, it suits you. I had an interesting dream last night. I was trying to reach my mother and she called on a cellphone but we were disconnected before we had a chance to talk. I miss her bunches as I’m sure you miss yours. Loved the story and thank you for sharing, my dear friend! Mona