I realize that just days ago I waxed all poetic-like about seizing the last few days of fall. You never know when the snow will fall in this neck of the woods, I said. You have to get out there and gather apples. Pick the straw out of your clothing after a hayride. Stop and gaze at the brightly colored leaves before they fall. Because before you know it, my friends, the branches will be bare and the ground will be piled high with white snow.
But I was hiding something from you. And it’s time for me to confess. I had a watermelon tucked away in my fridge.
And today, I finally had to cut it open. Not because I wanted to, mind you. I was happy to hold on to my little slice of summer for as long as I could. I sliced into the melon because I was terrified it was going to go bad. And let me tell you, I cut it close.
I put a watermelon plant into the garden last spring, gingerly pulling it from it’s plastic package and snuggling it into a hole in the ground. I watered it and watched it grow. The vines stretched out across the garden. And it flowered.
But only one lone melon developed. It grew into a nearly perfect deep green sphere. I wondered if it was ripe. I pondered when to cut it from the vine. And finally, just before the frost, I brought it inside. It sat on the counter. I moved it to the fridge. But I couldn’t bear to get out my knife.
Perhaps I was afraid my solitary melon wouldn’t be sweet or juicy? Maybe I wasn’t ready to let go of the warm summer days behind me? Or, it’s possible I was just too darn lazy to chop the big thing up?
I wielded the knife and got into it today. I sliced it in half, then into quarters. I created wedges and then chopped off the rind and filled containers with sweet, red squares of summer. The fruit is delicious.
And as the garden wilts and the inevitable winter comes, I’m already thinking about next year’s harvest. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get two watermelons.
Your writing makes my mouth water! Thanks for sharing!
We are probably a little over an hour north of you, and whenever we plant watermelons we only get one per vine. I’m not sure why that happens.
I loved this, Elizabeth. Savoring the moment, in whatever form that takes in life, is a beautiful thing. You holding on to a piece of summer in the form of enjoying one last watermelon is simply wonderful, I think. Some people “stop and smell the roses,” and you “savor a summer watermelon in the fall,” but no matter what one does to soak in any of life’s endlessly beautiful moments, they all count and they all nourish and enrich our lives in some meaningful way. I truly understands that one can never appreciate yesterday’s sunset today, so try to never let a gorgeous moment in life pass by without “soaking it in” in your own personal way. In your case here, you didn’t let that last watermelon go, and I bet each cut of the fruit and each bite reminded you of some wonderful summer memory? Thanks for sharing your watermelon story. I too think I will save a watermelon (or two) next year into fall, as a reminder to savor one more taste of summer as the new season surrounds me in glorious colors and welcoming “change.”
I really love your writings……
Perhaps next near you could try making watermelon pickles.
Try 2 different kinds of watermelon plants OR putting it in between 2 squash plants. Sometimes all it needs is a neighboring plant and some more bees!
I’ve planted melons a few times and usually get just one per vine. I’m not sure how the market farmers get so many, but they may use hoop houses. Enjoy the melon!
I’ve grown melons a few times and usually get only one melon. I’m not sure how the market farmers get so many, but they may be using hoop houses to get the melons started. Enjoy the melon!
This has nothing to do with watermelons, but instead, your three chickens. I am wondering what’s the latest on the three ladies. Are they laying any eggs yet and I’m curious as to what happens to them over our cold winters? Do you have to bring them inside or can you leave them outside and if so will you have to shovel out an area for them to peck around in? My brothers and sisters all lived on a farm, but being the youngest , we’d moved to the cities before I was born, so all I know about chickens I learned from reading your blog. I love reading your blog and wouldn’t miss you and John on T.C.L.