Tuesday, July 05, 2011

My Column from Sunday's Paper

The thermometer will be in the upper 90s this Fourth of July and Jilda is not happy. She keeps whining — why don't we summer in Telluride. 

We fell in love with that place when we visited last year during the week of the Fourth. At noon it was in the low seventies with sunshine, and by nightfall when it was time to watch the fireworks, we had to wear light jackets. 

The place was delightful. The weather, the people, the scenery and the food was incredible. When our vacation was over, It was hard to board the plane to head back to the furnace we call home. Did I mention that Jilda does NOT like hot weather. To her, the best thing about summer is watermelons and she hasn't had the best luck with them this year either. 

We bought one this past week that weighed more than a Toyota. I almost "busted a gut" wagging that beast inside. I set it on the table near the air duct so that it would get good and cold. Her thinking was that she'd get a big one and share with her brother who lives next door. His family loves watermelon too and sharing made sense because Jilda and I rarely eat 50 pounds of watermelon in one sitting. 

I had gone fishing that morning, and since we were having company coming that evening, she wanted to change the table cloth. No problem because teaching all those yoga classes has made her curiously strong. She moved the melon to the kitchen counter long enough to put on a new table cloth and a bouquet of fresh flowers. 

She was arranging the flowers in the vase and humming along with the stereo when all of a sudden she heard a loud SPLAT!!! When she turned around, she saw the kitchen had a new avant-garde paint job. 

Watermelon was everywhere, including our dog Blackie who unfortunately was in the kitchen eating. When she ran into the kitchen he had red watermelon meat and seeds all over him. She said he just lay in the floor for a while licking the juice from his face. Finally he stood up and shook as if he'd just had a bath. This threw bits of melon to places that were originally untouched by the fruit calamity. 

By the time I got home most of the mess in the house had been cleaned off the walls, the fridge, dishwasher, and cabinets, but the floor still felt a little tacky as I walked through. I looked out the window into the back yard and she had Blackie in a #3 washtub spraying him down with a garden hose. 

Blackie is about 12 years old, weighs about 100 pounds, and his fur is as think as a mink coat, so he's not fond of summer either. He did seem to be enjoying his bath, though it didn't appear to be as much fun for Jilda. Before it was over, she was soaked from head to toe. 

I didn't tease her because it was getting close to supper and unless I wanted to eat sardines and saltines, I knew I'd better keep my mouth shut. I also didn't mention the sticky kitchen floor. 

I did head back down to Jolly Chollie's produce stand and bought another watermelon that we could enjoy on the Fourth of July. But then I might wake up on the fourth with a note pinned to my pillow saying – Blackie and me have gone to Telluride, we'll see you in September. 

Happy Fourth of July. 


  1. When you buy a watermelon that weighs more than a car, wherever you put it is the only place to put it; a sink would be my guess!

  2. If a high-90s day produces this kind of calamity, you folks would be in dire jeopardy around here - it was 105 in places up and down the Central Valley today.

    All I can say is "somebody hide the watermelon!" :)

  3. Hot Dang and you lived to tell the story.

    Jilda is verrrrrry nice.

  4. LOL!!! Yay for making watermelons so much fun!!!!

    Hugs to sweet Blackie and a big hello to Jilda! Take care

  5. I imagine if you had mentioned the sticky floor, you would have ended up in the #3 tub, head first. Thanks for the birthday greeting. We were in Niagara Falls yesterday and celebrated with a huge ice cream cone.


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