Summer Season Kick-off: Watermelon

This is guest blogger Fran Spiegler. I love the summer season because, as a teacher, I get more days to do things that I don’t have time for during the school year. Examples are traveling (vacation and family), reading for pleasure, shopping for the fun of it (which I rarely do since I am one of those women who really doesn’t like to shop).  But most of all, it’s picnic season (well, in most places outside of southern Arizona)!

Grocery store ads feature one picnic staple–watermelon–in their weekly ads.  I saw the most beautiful picture of one slice with the color contrast of green rind, deep red interior, and black seeds.  What’s wrong with that picture?  Stores don’t sell watermelon with seeds anymore (at least where I am).  It seems that most people don’t like the work of getting rid of the many seeds that accompany a typical watermelon.  So farmers and scientists worked hard to make changes, and VOILA! the seedless watermelon.

But the problem with this newer variety of watermelon is that it simply does not taste as good as the one with seeds.  Most that I have eaten taste like the “traditional” watermelon’s flesh near the rind–where the taste is almost nonexistent.  So, the seedless variety is not as sweet.

Another problem with the seedless watermelon is the fact that it has no seeds.  Who remembers watermelon seed-spitting contests?  Children naturally have these–they were a part of growing up.  I remember one such contest at a former church that I attended. The lady who was in charge of the contest ended up beating three pastors with her launch of the seed!  How much fun can one have with a seedless watermelon?

So I lament the lack of seeds this Memorial Day weekend.  I am on the lookout for one–if I find it, it will bring back some of the joy of the season.

Career Change? Just a Suggestion.

Last week my wife, Fran, made kolaches with (prune filling and apricot filling) for her fellow teachers and administrative staff at school.  From all accounts, they were delicious!  One teacher requested that Fran make another batch so that she could sample the filling that she didn’t get to taste.  I suggested to Fran that she could try a career as a baker, bringing desserts to one of the local restaurants that we dined at for Mother’s Day yesterday.  She loves to cook, but the jury is out on that suggestion!


One of the nice things about having written a couple of books, even if they are not best sellers, is that people are kind and supportive of me.  It is a way of connecting with people we know who buy the book.  It has been largely family and friends who share their interests with me as I share my interests with them.  It’s all part of the experience.  It leads to closer relationships and bonds with people, which I never expected to happen.