A couple of weeks ago I was in the kitchen on a Saturday evening. My daughter was at a sleep over and my son and husband were toying with something outside. The day had been hot and it we had spent the latter afternoon with friends in their pool. Summer was getting started early and that is something all of us were happy about.
On the counter in the kitchen was a watermelon that I had bought a few days earlier. My son was eager for me to cut into it but I kept saying – over the weekend, just wait. The weekend was here and I so I pulled out the best knife I could find and started maneuvering it through the rind.
I think it is interesting how the simplest of tasks can bring back memories and also make you think about those memories in ways you never have before.
Summertime, when I was a kid, was decorated with watermelon eating on Sundays. I never thought it odd before. But now I realize that is an event from my childhood that isn’t just kind of funny but also very regional.
Summer meant fresh tomatoes, green bean stringing and breaking, cantaloupes with salt, and big, green watermelons in the outside fridge at my Mom-o’s house. Of course at this flooding of memories she was referred to as Mom because my little brother had yet to enter the picture (he changed her name to Mom-o and it stuck.)
I remember seeing a watermelon sitting on the car port and immediately knowing on Sunday evening we would all be back at my grandparents’ house to cut it and eat it. To be precise there would be anywhere from 8-10 of us to pull in the driveway and then be covered in watermelon juice and spitting seeds any given Sunday evening.
There weren’t burgers and hot dogs. There wasn’t chicken and potato salad. Most Sundays it was just watermelon, salt, and spitting seeds off the ledge that separated the yard from the over sized patio.
Current day – I doubt this is the norm. We don’t have these watermelon Sundays anymore in my family. Now if we get together it is because there is some type of meat on the grill and generally a holiday of sorts. Why would we need to carry on cutting massive fruit and being covered in sweet, sticky juice? Now we buy our small, personal melons. We slice them and store them in our refrigerators. It isn’t a social event.
Times change people and people change times. I guess that’s how I best sum it up. When I was a kid I didn’t think much about those watermelon Sundays but now I feel a little sentimentality when I cut into the best fruit of the summer and no one is around.