June 20, 1937

Dear Diary,

Tonight, as the sun was just beginning to set, I walked out on the porch, inhaled the fragrance of freshly turned earth, and began to plan the garden for late summer vegetables. 

This year, I was very late in getting my garden patch turned because I traveled to many places last month.

I am grateful to my neighbors who have generously shared their bounty with me. Tomorrow morning, I plan on baking a dozen loaves of bread to give to Mrs. Honeycutt, Mrs. Efrid, and Mrs. Yow. 
Thankfully, my larder was still full from last year’s harvest, but whenever I craved some fresh vegetables, the neighborhood ladies were more than willing to share.

One of my favorite meals fresh from the garden is white beans, cornbread, and killed lettuce with sliced tomatoes.

Mama taught me how to make it as a child, and whenever summer comes, it just doesn’t seem right if I don’t eat that meal at least once per week.

Mr. Efrid brought over the sweetest watermelon yesterday. It was still chilled because he had it on ice, so while he was on the porch, I ran in the house, brought out a knife, and sliced into that cold red fruit.

My goodness, was it ever good!  So sweet and juicy and perfectly ripe.  Last year, Mr. Efird taught me how to pick a rip watermelon; he said to wait until the stems are dry and about to fall off and to look for white or yellow patches where it’s been sitting on the ground.  He also said that if you thump it, it makes a sort of hollow sound, which means it’s ripe.

I’m still not as good at picking ripe ones as he is, but I plan on growing some late-season melons in the garden patch, so I’d better become a better student of watermelons.

My crow friends have returned and brought me more shiny gifts to add to my already growing pile. I am not sure why they have decided to befriend me, but I am fascinated by their cleverness. I like to listen to their caws and try to figure out what they are saying to each other.

Next to the barn is an old pine tree that is where they made their nest, so yesterday I left some peanuts and bits of dried beef under the tree for them to feast upon.  To my delight, the next day, I discovered a shiny piece of tin and a red ribbon.  Last year, they left me all sorts of trinkets.  Most people would call it trash, but to me, it was a treasure because they were all indeed gifts from the crows to me.  I even gained their confidence enough to have them eat out of my hand last summer.  They are still apprehensive this year, but I know we will become fast friends again.

Mrs. Honeycutt asked me to come by today and pick through all the beautiful new feed sacks that Mr. Hunnycyt brought back from the mill.  He had to travel to Midland to buy the feed, and he was a sight driving that old truck with all of those pretty bags of feed loaded in the back.  I hope that the feed will be used up before the mice get into the fabric.  Nothing is worse than fabric with mouse holes, but Mrs. Honeycutt said she can always work around them.

I found two matching sacks with a pattern set on a green background with little brown squares and pink flowers.  I think I will make a new church dress to wear with that.  I also chose some white sacks to make a new set of underwear and an apron.  I hope I can get the printing off this time.  For the last two years, I’ve had “Weaverville Mill” written across the rear end of my homemade drawers.
No matter how long I set them in the sun, I cannot get the printing out.

Diary, I will close for now.  I am getting sleepy, and the light is making the bugs bump the screens. 
Tonight, I am grateful for ice-cold watermelon, generous neighbors, and store-bought underwear that doesn’t have advertisements written across the back.


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