Picnic Peril

July Reflections

I have no real recollections of windmills, but my memory of watermelons are, well, less than stellar.

Actually, when Deni suggested this “W – Windmills and Watermelon” theme for July, I thought of many other choices: water, waffles, wagons, wasps, water-skiing, whistles . . . well, you get the idea. But I’m stuck with watermelons – so . . .



Our backyard and the site of The Great Watermelon Hurl of 1958.

It all began at a 4th of July family picnic. A really big family picnic. Our Illinois relatives drove up, which meant four lively cousins; my Aunt and Uncle in town came over with their five kids, and of course a few friends from church were invited.  Our back yard looked like a carnival had been set up.  There were lawn chairs, folding card tables, metal TV trays, and old frayed blankets were spread out on the grass for all us kids.  Potato salad, jello salad, baked beans, chips, fried chicken, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes from Aunt Sally’s garden, lemonade – food was piled everywhere. Grumpy Uncle Roger complained about the flies and walked around swatting and mumbling to himself.

After we ate we played croquet, badminton, and tag.  Then it was time for dessert. There were homemade cookies , an assortment of pies, and of course, watermelon. My cousins, sisters, and I were all chowing down on cookies and watermelon until . . . I happened to glance over at my younger sister Barb.  She did not look good. In fact, she looked rather odd.  All of a sudden, you guessed it, she hurled watermelon like I had never seen. Once she started, I started. It was just a chain reaction.

Well, to this day I can hardly even look at a watermelon. Thank you, sister Barb! (Although when we’re together we howl with laughter retelling this story!)

So, if I may briefly choose an alternative “W,” I’d like to choose “WISH.”  July is my birthday month and I’m a firm believer in making wishes.  I will have candles on my cake and will delight in wishing and blowing.


My wish for you this month is that you may enjoy finding a special book to read, delight in eating a juicy watermelon (in spite of my sharing), and please make some wishes come true!

Mary Byrne Kline


Share your thoughts...