Watermelon Cold in the Stream – Good Thing
In the grocery store today, I passed the watermelon and then fresh basil; and a bunch of 4th of July and summer memories popped in my head.
Some of you know, I grew up in the Adirondacks in small (I mean under 200 people) town and a small city. It made me decide to set aside the post I had ready; and just share some things that make me think of summer. Most of them revolve around our lake house, we called it camp.
It was 35 minutes from our house. That’s how we roll upstate.
We did have a fridge in camp and all other modern features, but with all the Italian and American food in it, the watermelon couldn’t fit. Yet, still needed to be cool. So it went in between the rocks with the cold water flowing over it for a couple days. (no bears ever got it)
In the moving water in the Adirondacks, lake temperature ranges between 53 to 65 degrees. Some can get up to 73. So, the watermelon was in good care.
When it was cut into slices, it was cold, sweet and delicious. An event worth the wait. It’s the same level event as cutting a Thanksgiving turkey.
Across from our camp was a small island. It’s about 40 ‘ x 15’. Somehow in the middle of it, there is a small hot spring. We would wade through the cold, water climb the rocks and sit in the pool. We didn’t know that years later people actually paid to do things like that. Not sure. but I do not think it preserved my skin all that much. Ok, not at all.
Never occurred to us to bring watermelon over there. Bet that would have been good.
4th of July 1976
This was my cousin’s Sal’s 15th birthday. You’d think after 15 years of a total of 5 fish being caught, he’d not give up the 4th festivities to fish.
The night before, he went out and collected a bunch of nightcrawlers….ewww
He was ready. After the traditional pancake breakfast made by my Uncle Sal, he went out to the rocks near the middle of the lake and sunk his hook between two of the boulders.
Doesn’t sound like a good approach; does it?
He did not fish near the watermelon … just sayin.
Well on his 15th birthday, he caught 15 Sun Fish. When he got number 8, he was thrilled and didn’t think he’d catch anymore. By 3 in the afternoon, he had caught the 15th one. He tried until the dusk; and didn’t catch any more.
Thank God we never threw out (or cleaned out) the camp’s shed.
Basil Behind Dad’s Ear
The final summer memory that hit me in the grocery store, was my dad keeping basil behind his ear when he gardened.
There wasn’t much gardening that took place at camp, but at our house, we had a true garden.
In his garden, Dad raised tomatoes, dandelion lettuce, endive, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, eggplant, onions and pumpkins.
And, along the back side of the house, he’d grow herbs … parsley, basil, oregano, chives and I’m sure several more too.
He loved his garden. It was his sanctuary after work and on the weekends. He weed a little everyday. And, he’d frequently move the dirt around the plants. Not sure why, Maybe move the air around it after he watered? No idea really.
But he wore a piece of sweet basil behind his ear and a cloth, rust, baby fedora on his head.
In Italian tradition, men would wear basil behind their ears as they courted women. Before going to meet the object of their affection, they would take a deep inhale of the basil. And, luck would be theirs.
The scent was supposed to be sweet and enticing.
Maybe my dad was a romantic. Or my mom wasn’t. lol
There are tons of other summer memories that I can share, but these are the ones the grocery store brought me today.
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