Well, you gotta love the carefree days of summer where the schedule seems to go out the window. As a mother though, I have always enjoyed the change in routine that the summer provides and then, of course, sometime in August, I begin craving a set schedule and a return to routine. I have always been opposed to year round schooling because I love this change so much.
I said all that to explain why I didn’t post last week again and why I am still not quite back to my Monday postings, try as I might. I did write this last week while I was able to spend a couple of days at the lake with my husband, but since I didn’t have much internet time, I didn’t post it. I did a bunch of other writing too, but more on that in a future post. (Check out LivingFowardBook.com if you want a hint) For today, during these hot, “dog days” of summer, just get a glass of iced tea or better yet, some watermelon and enjoy this little flashback of mine. Happy reading.
When I was a young girl, maybe about five or six, I was visiting my cousins in Central Oklahoma, as was usual for us in the summer. My grandparents lived just “down the pasture” from my cousins’ two story farm house on the hill.
It was hot July day and that morning my uncle pronounced that we were going to go fishing later. We spent the early morning walking through the pasture collecting grasshoppers for bait. This was a hot, sticky and yucky job, but we did it none the less. I wasn’t as skilled at catching as my cousins Larry and Shari were. Larry kept warning about the “tobacco juice” which the grasshoppers ejected as we caught them. It seems as we walked across that pasture that it was like an ocean where the tide of grasshoppers kept going farther and farther out to sea just beyond my reaching little fingers.
Sometime later my uncle loaded us up in the pickup, forget seat belts and carseats, this was the good ‘ol days when you just packed all together in the single cab and bounced along to where you were going. If you were old enough and we were staying off the highway, you rode in the bed of the pickup, which I am sure my Granddad and brother and older cousins did.
We arrived at the fishing pond which was in a pasture of a friend of my Uncle. I fished for a while, but here were hinderances to my fishing—first, the heat. I had long, thick brown hair and it was sticking to my neck like the flies on the fly strip in my Aunt’s garage. Second, it meant threading those messy grasshoppers on my hook and fishing requires a certain level of patience that even on my best days, I rarely possess.
Shari and her big sisters, Anita & Rita and I soon retreated to the balmy shade of the nearby tree grove where we quickly began playing a version of “”house” using only our imaginations, tree limbs, sticks and other natural resources.
I remember at some point thinking how thirsty I was, but that old cloudy green pond water was not going to cut it. We had no water bottles, thermos or Nalgene or Yeti water mugs. We also had no mothers on this fishing trip to bring us anything.
Then all of a sudden, here came Uncle Billy pulling up in his pickup truck to save me when I was about to “die” from dehydration. I don’t think I had even realized he had left but now he was back and with fresh watermelon in the bed of his pickup.
The plump green striped beauty was not cleaned nor chilled, nor did we even have a kitchen knife, but we did have Uncle Billy’s pocket knife! He cut that melon open and we all got a wedge and as soon as my mouth swallowed the first warm bite I realized at that young age why they were called “watermelons”. It tasted like sweet water. Refreshing water. Water that I had been craving and thirsting for and here it was and it was red and had black seeds and was a solid, and yet it was like drinking a glass of cool water. I remember my Granddad saying how good it was and indeed it was, and I learned then if you are ever thirsty and don’t have clean water— look for watermelon instead. A plump, juicy, green and red and black glass of goodness. There is nothing better when you are out fishing with grasshoppers.