Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge: Stolen Melon

Hodgepodge: Stolen Melon

By Charlie Hodge.

I suppose there is some deep, hidden message to it all; some parallel that holds a vital lesson.

Or it may just be another of those weird, quirky circumstances life is famous for. Regardless it still hardly qualifies as a full win-win scenario – even though I am very thankful for getting to being alive and allowed to partake.

I was wandering lost in my weed infested garden this morning, philosophically reflecting on my summer to date and recognizing it was not the summer I had imagined, when the parallel reality kicked in.

All summer Tez and I have worked our um, err, derrieres off however we are disappointed with our raised garden beds being filled with dead or struggling plants and a gazillion weeds. (Granted some of the vegetables failed to make it to actual food production due to inconsistent care, especially watering, however the mass die-off is still a mass disappointment).

Ironically, our garden had not been the dominant focal point of the summer schedule we drew up in May. Tez and I had agreed to finally kick back and enjoy ‘a summer life’ – recognizing that with my next-to-zero lungs and zero energy levels it was time to pick our priorities. Taking a page from one of my favourite songwriters, we agreed that, “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.”

We made up a lofty list of fun things we would do and then went about forgetting most of them. Work, work, work, yard, animals, …got in the way. Thankfully we did manage two little getaways, totally spoiling ourselves, however upon return we once again rushed back to the yard work.

As I continued wandering though the raised garden beds this morning I remembered how on the way home from our second brief summer escape we once again promised to take more time to smell the roses, hit the beach, or do something involving summer silliness. However, with our annual BBQ pending (and since we always want our yard to look its best) yard work snuck back into the routine.

Despite way more time in the yard and garden then planned – we still remain in chaos.

As I contemplated the depth of my disappointment with failed gardens and summer bliss I realised perhaps part of the reason was that we’d anticipated a highly productive and impressive yard – despite the fact Teresa works full time and I am limited by my health.

During the past few years I have learned that attitude is huge in impacting ones sense of happiness so I decided to drop the gloom and be thankful for the small successes we had tallied in our garden boxes this year. I headed towards our raised bed nearest to the road where some healthy fruit were growing. A prize honeydew melon was ready for its final morning watering prior to an evening picking. I marvelled at how it had swollen with juice nearly doubling its size in less than a week. It was going to be perfect.

Which is when I discovered that someone got there before me.
At first I figured I was tired or not seeing right, however after closer inspection it was confirmed that my melon was missing in action. Someone had taken my melon.

At first I was simply shocked. Who steals someone’s food?

The surprise quickly turned to anger and then even to a minor temper tantrum. Then the depression and persecution complex moved in. After a few minutes wallowing in mixed emotions I called Tez who quickly shared my disbelief and then mild anger. Wisely she suggested that hopefully whoever took it actually needed it and ate it, and did not just smash it on the road somewhere.

Shortly after venting to Tez I headed back out into the garden and decided to shake it off, suck it up and get back to wandering my yard. I followed Tez’s lead, took the highroad, and convinced myself that whoever took my marvelous melon actually ate it.

With some positive energy creeping in I continued with the positive programming – recognizing that our summer is still far from over. In fact it does not officially end until the third week of September and based on the recent weather I am confident we will enjoy a long, warm Autumn.

Come next week I may just go for that dip in Okanagan Lake. Maybe I can talk Tez into pitching a tent for a night in the back yard or convince her of a short road trip somewhere. One thing I do know … I don’t care about pulling another damn weed next weekend.

Nope. I’m going to find us some chairs, cold beverages, and perhaps even a beach and picnic basket.

I have decided my summer is not quite done yet.

I am pretty much over my depression and frustration with a failed summer, flawed garden, and the melon snatcher.

However I must admit I’d really like to know who stole my melon – and/or if nothing else, whether or not the melon was as tasty as it looked.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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