Sunday, October 11, 2009

Watermelons and Cousins

Every summer my family would drive nine long hours to visit my father's side of the family. Most of our time we would stay with my grandfather and then ventured out each day to visit whomever was in the area. Usually during our time "back home" my family would arrange a reunion of sorts. This was always my favorite day as all my cousins would arrive. We played hard this day. Dirty, and sweaty from our games.

My family only had three girl cousins so the girls always played boy like games. First, we always hiked up my grandpa's hill. Through the woods we would walk loudly trying to scare away black bears that could be sleeping in the summer heat. Later, we'd hike over to grandad's creek to wade amongst the tadpoles and crawdads. Splashing and laughing we always skipped rocks, tried to catch minnows, and listened to lunch's call.

My grandfather had an enourmous supper bell attached to his front porch. I always imagined this bell calling my uncles to supper too. Upon hearing the bell we raced to Grandad's kitchen and grabbed a plate. The boys could eat heaping plates of food. And, there was always watermelon.

My grandfather always purchased three watermelons. One he cut up, removed the seeds and the adults ate it with a fork. The second watermelon was meant for us, his grandchildren. This watermelon was cut in slices, and we ate it for dessert. We sat on the backporch swinging our legs and spitting. One by one we shot those seedy bullets from our mouths seeing which one went the furthest. Time spent together lasted all day, but we knew that our time would end. A mom or a dad would summons a family of children and our time together would be over.
At the end of our time, while the late summer sun was waning we would all fix our gazes upon my grandfather's third watermelon.
While we were occupied with one another and our togetherness, he had cut the watermelon in fourths and placed it in the sun. The sweet juiciness drew them in like the reunion drew family together. From wherever they were they swarmed and rested upon my grandad's watermelon. Various colors, symetrical wings and patterns, the butterflies covered the watermelon. Using their straw-like mouths they sucked up the melon's sweet nectar. In the summer's sun they were stunning, and magical. We quietly watched as filled with my grandfather's watermelon they flitted off, like cousins leaving a reunion.

Here is the piece of writing that I am thinking about submitting to the Gallery of Writing for the National Day of Writing, October 20th. What will you submit?

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