Take The Watermelon

I think we’ll have a bit of a cookout tomorrow.

Hey husband, stop if you see any fruit or vegetable stands on the way home.  We’ll pick up some stuff on the way instead of getting it from the store.

We stop at the first place with a handmade cardboard sign.  In black it says “1 dozen corn 4$”.    He pulls over.  No one is there.  We had two-one dollar bills in husband’s wallet.  And a pile of change in the console of the car.   I counted out two more dollars in quarters.  A table is set up with what looks like a fraction of the corn it started with.  I smiled.  Because on the table is a little black box, with a little lock.  It’s not secured to anything.   A big plastic bag full of small plastic bags hangs from a tree.   I laid the money on the table and found 12 ears of corn, bagged them, then put the money in the box.  When I dropped the quarters in, they landed softly.   There was other money in there.

It felt so good to walk away.  Someone left more than corn on that table.  They left trust in others to do the right thing.

We didn’t go but another mile or so and there was a farm stand with fresh vegetables.  Husband asks if I want to stop, I say yes, if they have watermelon.  We could see the watermelon from the road.  As we pulled in he said “I hope they take a card”.

He got out while I stayed in the car making a phone call.   I could hear him talking over the noise of the car, the call and the traffic.  He opened the door and said “they don’t take a card but told me to take the watermelon”.  I had to talk to them.  I grabbed my wallet because I knew I had quarters in there.  I walked up to what I bet was a married couple.  Their stand had all kinds of fresh vegetables.  And two watermelons.  A piece of tape on the side of the watermelon said “3$”.

As I walked up she was smiling at me and told me to take it.  The man was saying “just pay us when you come back through”.   I told them I didn’t know if I would be back this way in an hour or a month.  They both kept talking over me, pleasantly, telling me to “take the watermelon”.   I was digging in the pocket of my wallet pulling out quarters.  I had two dollars.  I gave it to them.  They kept protesting.  We were all joyfully trying to do something right and nice for the other.  They looked at me and said okay, since they couldn’t give it to me they would sell it to me for two dollars and laughed.  Then husband came up behind me with a dollar he counted out of the change I had left in the car console.   He gave them the dollar over their protests.

I wish I had taken a picture of their farm stand.

I wish I had taken a picture of the cardboard sign selling the corn.

But I didn’t.

But I did head home.  With my husband.  Fresh foods.

And faith.

In people.

In America.

The people and the America that I know.

America is beautiful and good and alive in the hearts of it’s people who believe in her.

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35 thoughts on “Take The Watermelon

  1. I’ve been in similar situations. Of course I’ve also seen a lot of dishonesty but it seems like trust breeds trust, which is nice.

  2. mewhoami says:

    What a sweet story of trust and friendliness. That’s just the way it should be.

  3. I love this Colleen, it’s like you went back in time when a person’s word was better than a signed contract. When people knew instinctively that kindness is the best currency. ❤
    Diana xo

  4. niaaeryn says:

    Aw…love this! That is wonderful! Faith in humanity restored. 🙂
    I hope it is a grand cookout. I know you have fresh things and what not…but smores. Just saying chocolate may not be farm fresh but it would go well as an after main course, after watermelon…like an kid friendly adult nightcap no alcohol…just chocolate, graham cracker, toasted marshmallow goodness. 🙂

  5. What a wonderful post! I love to hear stories such as this. There are good people in America! I have a feeling you will be visiting those farm stands again! Thanks for taking the time to tell us about these wonderful people Colleen!

  6. Phyllis says:

    We visited one of my sons this week who is highly intelligent and is very well read. All of my kids were raised watching the news. In one of our conversations I asked if he still watched the news. He said no. Then he went on to explain that our news only focuses on horrific situations and by the end we are left with the feeling that the world is innately a dangerous place and evil is flourishing. He quit watching the “newscaster” perspective and started focusing on all the good in our world that is not sensational enough for TV. What would happen
    if only stories like yours were the meat of the news? I wonder if the psyche of America would change, good would be promoted and trust would again be the norm instead of an occasional surprise?

    • Phyllis, I believe in you and your son! I have long thought the same thing. If we promoted goodness, kindness, and community-it would flourish. As someone else said “mistrust breeds mistrust”. And goodness will breed goodness.

      I seldom watch the news. My heart can’t take it.

  7. I love this. We live in a city that has fruit and vegetable stands left out by the farmers homes and do the same thing. We also have a bookstore, Bart’s Books, that has shelves on the outside for people to buy their used books and leave their money in a metal box left on the wall. It’s a really feel good situation when there’s this degree of trust involved. ❤

  8. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Love this, and now I will need some watermelon. 🙂

  9. Debra says:

    I haven’t seen this level of faith and trust in the paying public in decades! I am delighted to know that it exists anywhere at all! I adore farm stands, too. Sounds like you had a wonderful day!

  10. Mustang.Koji says:

    That’s the way it is out there. I bet if the country gets attacked, they’ll be the first ones to defend America. That’s from where a lot of our military come from.

  11. reocochran says:

    This was a heartwarming example of America as we believe in and hope for our future generations to find. Colleen, this was so simply and wonderfully writtten. I like your protesting, I would have been digging too for change. But on the other hand, occasionally I “take the watermelon,” so to speak. I did this for another couple with their little daughter as the ice cream truck came around in the Blue Limestone park. Skyler and Micah had $5 I gave them so I tried to give the parents $2. I only had a five and 2 one’s. They finally took it when I made the point, “You would do it for another family who had only one child, maybe, right?” Adding, “If you had the money. . .?” Then, finally I told them that last week we did not have the money and had to get in the car and go home to popsicles. They life ‘takes turns’ and their turn to give would come around. . . This made me smile about people trying to give you guys the watermelon, Colleen. Great title and I did not picture the way it all occurred. So great!

    • I would have taken the watermelon if we hadn’t had the money, because they genuinely wanted us to have it. And I would have made sure to come back and buy more. I still will if I’m out that way again. I love kindness and try to remember it when it is in my life, which is a huge blessing—because it often is.

  12. markbialczak says:

    That’s the kind of change I like to read about, MBC. Thank you. Our America, I love it so.

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