Spittin’ for distance

I ran my hands slowly over the green skin stopping occasionally to bring together my index finger and thumb to flick the rind. I listened for that just right thump to tell me inside that the red fruit was perfect for eating.
I often heard boyhood stories of my father and his brothers about raiding a relative’s watermelon patch to “borrow” one on a hot summer day. Then they would carry it down and corral it in the creek where it would get it cool and later in the day, they would then go back and break it open and split it between them.
As they sat there filling themselves inevitably they would break into a seed spitting contest to see who could send them flying the farthest. Of course this had a mixed purpose, the next season, they may just find a vine with fruit on it growing right there by the creek.
Watermelons were one of bright spots buried within the summer heat and endless hours of work in the fields as the family scraped by on whatever was the crop that would bring the most return in the year. Whether, cotton, corn or tomatoes, the acres of rows seem to reach as far as the eyes could see and in with the summer sun beaming down, there seemed to never be an end to the tasks in front of them.
Perhaps that is why the kin folks forgave a little “borrowing” of watermelons to ease the load. Generally, they would get a good showing of whatever crop was being brought in on their table as well once the boys and their pa harvested.
As I pulled the watermelon off the table at the produce stand and put it in my car, I drove by the creek that my dad and uncles once put their pick. I could not hardly wait to get it home and get it cooled off so I could cut it open.
I had the salt shaker ready and waiting as later that evening I pulled it from the fridge and cut my first slice. I took it out on the back porch sat under the fan and took a big bite causing the red juice to run down my cheeks. With each bite, it seemed the sweetness got even better. I could not keep myself from spitting a few of the seeds for distance. Maybe next year, they will come up. Sure wish dad was here to spit along a few himself. He sure could make the distance!
May your summer be filled with the sweetness of great memories and wonderful times.