🎋Watermelon Sunday🎋… by JoAnn

A close up of sliced watermelon on top of a table.

After a long hot day and a dinner of fresh veggies from our garden, we would all head outside to sit in the evening shade. If we saw Mama bringing out newspapers, we knew what was next. She would spread them out across the picnic table. Then she would retrieve her tiny, individual salt shakers from the kitchen, along with a butcher knife. Daddy would follow suit by carrying out a large watermelon he had picked out at the corner market.

My sister and I would get so excited that we were about to indulge in a nice chilled watermelon. Nothing tasted better on a warm summer evening. I loved the fact that I got to use my own salt shaker. It was small and round, cut glass, and had a bright red top. Eating watermelon was the only time we were given the individual salt shakers. To me, it was almost as much of a treat as the actual watermelon. My family always salted their watermelon. If you have yet to try it, please do. Just once. It may just change your world. Lol

We all held our breath when Daddy stuck the butcher knife into the watermelon. Would the melon be ripe enough to just burst in half? If it did, we knew we had an exceptional melon. Daddy took choosing the watermelon very seriously. He also took great pride when the melon would burst open without being fully sliced. I remember the happiness on his face when he knew he had a winner. And I also remember the disappointment when he realized he didn’t.

A perfectly ripe and sweet watermelon was always a special treat for all of us. But even one not-so-perfect tasted good to us kids on a hot summer’s day.

As I write this, I am looking at a watermelon I bought earlier this week. I tried to pick one out that my daddy would have picked. It’s very heavy, which is supposed to indicate juiciness. It’s dark green, which means sweetness. It has a dry spot where the vine was attached. Unlike a green spot, the dry spot means it was picked after it was ripened on the vine.

I will probably slice up my watermelon this evening. Tomorrow is Father’s Day, and I will make a toast to my daddy in remembrance. Sounds funny to toast with a watermelon, but my daddy would undoubtedly understand.