Sandía obsession*

Yesterday’s watermelon story made me want more watermelon today, so I went back to the market and brought some with me to work. Just as delicious as yesterday! Eating it made me think of other watermelon stories. I guess when you eat as much of the stuff as I do, you’re bound to rack up a few tales? I decided to share another one tonight, a not-at-all-ugly one.

A couple of years ago, I took myself to Mexico for a writing retreat. I rented an apartment on Flipkey, and off I went. I wanted someplace quiet and pretty where I could write and write all morning and then go to the beach in the afternoon. Tulum is definitely the perfect place to be that place. Its beaches are … beyond. I’ve been there twice, and I still can’t quite believe those beaches are real.

The apartment I rented was lovely, with a sweet and sunny kitchen for me to write in … and write I did. My beach-in-the-afternoons plan was a complete bust. I spent all day every day writing. It was amazing. I did make it to the beach twice, and that was great, but twice in two weeks is … well, kind of a fail!

In any case, none of that is the point. Watermelon is the point. Because I was renting an apartment, I was responsible for getting and fixing my own food. My first afternoon in town, I took a cab to Chedraui to pick up groceries. Chedraui is ginormous and I was a little overwhelmed trying to find my way through the department store to the groceries, and then trying to make choices about what to buy. I put a few things in my cart — eggs, cheese, some tortillas — but mostly I was wandering like a lost soul … until I got to the produce section and saw that they had “normal” watermelons, the kind I like best, the kind from my childhood: big, heavy, oblong ones, seeded ones. They always taste better than the seedless kind, in my opinion.

I brought a watermelon home and thoroughly enjoyed it over the next couple of days. Then I went back for another. And then another after that.

About a week into my stay, I got an email from the woman whose apartment I was renting. She was in Sweden while I was in Tulum, so we never got the chance to meet. But her caretaker had done just that, taken care of me. The owner’s email was very brief: Are you okay? Magda [caretaker] is very worried about you. She says you never leave the house and that all you eat is watermelon. If you need a doctor, she can call one for you.”

Sweet, conscientious Magda couldn’t make any sense of me. I’d come to a town with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world … and I stayed indoors eating watermelon all day? Clearly I needed medical attention!

It’s fitting that watermelon has me thinking about my Tulum retreat. Tonight I put my money down for a group retreat at the end of the month. I’ll be joining a bunch of writers from VONA and heading up to … I don’t know, somewhere north of here where there will be a working farm with a big house we’ll be staying and writing in. I’m looking forward to the writing, but also to the chance to soak up some of the power and love that is VONA.

Today was a long, difficult day, but ending it with a VONA retreat to look forward to is a nice, soft landing.

* Because I think I’m clever. “Sandía” is watermelon in Spanish.

It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge, hosted by the wonderful people over at Two Writing Teachers! Every day this month, hundreds of writers will be posting their stories. Head on over and check out the other slices!

SOL image 2014


16 thoughts on “Sandía obsession*

  1. Pamela Hodges

    I love your story. How fun to eat watermelon and write. And, your friend was so kind to check up on you.
    For Christmas this year I have to see how to mail you a watermelon.
    VONA sounds wonderful. Friends to write with. 🙂


    1. Yes, that trip is the best gift I’ve ever given myself. That was my 50th birthday present, and it was so great! And VONA, well, I never would have done it without VONA, without all the ways VONA has helped me grow up as a writer.

      As for friends to write with, I would love to have a writing date with you one day, Pamela. Sitting over tea in a nice cafe and writing and drawing and telling stories and laughing!


      1. Pamela Hodges

        Did I totally miss your birthday? Thankfully you have one every year, so I can send a card for the next one.
        Stacie, that would be wonderful to sit with you and draw and write and laugh. We can eat watermelon and draw cartoons.


        1. We have to figure out the getting-to-meet-one-another business. We have a lot to do! 🙂

          (As for my birthday, it is both super easy to remember and impossible to remember. it’s September 11th, so it’s either a big neon light in your brain or it’s hidden away.)


  2. How have I not found your writing in previous SOL years??? I am loving every ounce of it!! Your voice flows so naturally, I feel as though you could be one of my writing partners. This story made me giggle – I remember once, having the stomach flu/food poisoning in a very uncomfortable scenario (not that there is a comfortable one) and my host feeding me watermelon as a way to stay hydrated. I had no idea watermelon was tied to anything to do with illness, but your story means my host must not have been the only to know that. haha – love it.


  3. You have a very strong voice. I always feel that you are sitting next to me sharing your stories. Your water mellon story reminded me of one of my own. I think you have inspired my next post.


  4. l'beat

    yes. so so so delightful. sandía and i spent 9 months together supplying sweet nectar goodness to a lil being. i literally ate half a day. she came out delicious. ps love magda


  5. this is such a lovely and sweet (watermelon sweet) story. And I can hear your voice telling it. It’s so great that you’re going on a writing retreat with your VONA friends — happy writing days!


    1. Thanks, Sonia! Yes, I’m excited about the retreat — after the last couple of weeks I need the days out of town. Even if all I do is drink up the fresh air, it will be worth every penny, and I’ll come home ready to write (and live) like myself again!


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