Growing up, I loved to spend time on my aunt and uncle’s farm in upstate New York. I especially liked my time there in the summer. Picking berries, tending the garden, riding the hay wagon, shelling peas; all outdoor activities.

One summer, when I was 6 or 7 years old, my aunt suggested I have my own section in the garden for whatever I wanted to plant. I was thrilled. After giving it much thought, I decided I wanted to plant watermelons! I will point out that in the early 60’s, watermelons were not a common garden entry in upstate New York. But she had told me I could plant whatever I wanted so watermelons it was!

My aunt showed me how to make the straight rows of little hills, pushing one seed in each hill. She showed me how to carefully pull the weeds. And I can remember one cold night, getting up and going out with her to cover the plants, in case there was a late frost. Oh, the attention we paid to those watermelon plants.

And what fun to watch the watermelons grow. Although to be completely honest, the excitement was hampered a bit by the fact that the watermelons turned out round. Again, it was in the early 60’s in upstate New York; round watermelons were not common. I had never seen a round watermelon! And unfortunately, they didn’t get very big.

Fast forward to going back to school at the end of the summer. Living across the street from the school, I went home for lunch every day. One day, as I was getting ready to return to school after lunch, I decided I should take a watermelon in to my new teacher. I carried one of the watermelons in a paper bag, to take to Miss Church. I was feeling so proud! But just as I reached the front step of the school, the watermelon fell through the bottom of the paper bag.

The watermelon broke into many pieces, all over the sidewalk. I was devastated. I ran home in tears. My mother put another watermelon in a bag and this time, instructed me to hold it in my arms, not by the top of the bag.

Phew, I successfully delivered the second watermelon to Miss Church. (And I never told anyone I was the one that made the big mess on the sidewalk in front of the school!)

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