Evidently the world record distance for spitting a watermelon seed is 75 feet and 2 inches. We have a way to go at the McGaugh house before reaching that kind of mastery, but we all sure had fun trying our hand at this summer bucket list item!



Here is a useful “how to” with respect to making the seeds more aerodynamic in flight.




This is not my area of expertise, I discovered. Back in the day, my mom used to serve big round slices of watermelon in the summer in repurposed pie tins. We had a go at the circle of melon, poking out the black seeds with our forks. It was one of my favorite seasonal treats.

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Few things indeed are more redolent of summertime than chilled red watermelon flesh, slightly sweet and toothsome. Finding a watermelon with the seeds is a challenge these days; it is the era of seedless watermelon hegemony. I found this small one, unlabeled either as seedless or non, at Sprouts, I believe. I have been buying watermelons here and there as I have been a woman on the hunt, and despite knowing I would need to write this blog entry, I actually lost track of where I finally scored the seeded melon! But I think it was Sprouts.

My Dad was the winner here, although there is some dispute about where his first—and winning seed—ended up going after it shot. My mom was the close second. I shot only the most enormous duds. Should I get my hands on a seeded watermelon again this summer, I will surely be practicing. And the kiddos? Well, they couldn’t believe we were all sanctioned to spit, and they had a delighted time of it.

For Summer Bucket List #7, we took a cue from Chubby Checker and tried contorting our bodies to “Limbo Rock” one afternoon.

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We have to work on our technique a bit with this one, too, but ah it’s summer and we’re embracing the classic and there you go. It’s the simple things, so often, right? We are far from attempting a fiery pole, though, let’s put it that way. And being a runner? Uh, my legs are no longer so amenable to backbends!

Incidentally, the limbo dance has a curious history as it hails from Trinidad and is considered to represent aspects of death. Who knew? I grew up listening to Limbo Rock on one of my children’s albums that I used to play on my 80s Fisher-Price record player. I thought it hailed from the Strawberry Shortcake Splash Dance album, but I am having the darnedest time proving this through research online and on iTunes. I had a little handful of albums that I would play in my bedroom, sprawled on my floor—I know Limbo Rock was on one of those!

We are thoroughly enjoying our summer so far and its rhythms of daily swim lessons, long library trips and devouring books, picking blueberries, tending our chickens, taking walks that last forever, and watching Brady Bunch and Leave it to Beaver episodes. There is braided hair, and dinners al fresco, planning for our road trip all over Oregon, mint green tea in large jugs, and time together. It’s good. We’re offering Katie and Eric the sort of “classic summer”—deliberately more slow and old school, filled with games and ephemera from a generation or two ago–that we hope they will always remember and think about with a sense of coziness and wonder. In a world so complicated, sometimes we need to return to simplicity.