Watermelon Wisdom

IMG_20160617_170455218_HDRYou’ve probably never heard of The Watermelon Sisters from Chapel Hill unless you travel Hwy 64 east of Tyler, Texas. Three to four weeks a year for the last 10 years the sisters have sat beside their trailer offering the public the opportunity to purchase one of the finest watermelons produced anywhere, a Pennington Red Diamond from Grapeland, Texas.


For the last few years you could find my truck stopping by their pop up tent several times during June and July. During my purchasing sessions I got to see the sisters in action and hear a tidbit of their watermelon wisdom. I knew there had to be more, so, last week on a hot afternoon I asked Katie and Marcy a simple question that yielded a truck load of wisdom:

What’s your story?

Below are some snippets of our conversation and the wisdom I gathered as these two shared their story.

Watermelon Wisdom

Encouragement: Over ten years ago our dad not only suggested we try this “watermelon thing”, but mentored us in the early years, and still stops by to share some of his thoughts.
(Watermelon wisdom: True encouragement comes from offering supportive words, as well as an investment in time when needed.)

Opportunities: We sell an average of 1300-1500 watermelons a year sitting under a pop-up tent at the intersection of Hwy 64 and Spur 248.          (Watermelon wisdom: If you’re willing to think outside the box and work hard, opportunities still exist.)

Satisfaction Guaranteed: We guarantee every watermelon sold. If for any reason our customers don’t like the watermelon, we’ll gladly replace it or refund their purchase. We treat all of our customers like we want to be treated.
(Watermelon wisdom: Successful businesses and relationships are still built on The Golden Rule.)

Hours of operation: You’ll find us here until the last watermelon is gone. In our ten year watermelon business history we have sold out every week, every year. That’s simply amazing. But, don’t look for us here on Sunday morning. You can find us in church.
(Watermelon wisdom: Hard work still pays off, but on Sunday morning we need to remember who we are working for and give thanks.

Live Debt-Free: Mom and Dad not only taught us to live debt-free, they lived a debt-free life right in front of us. And guess what? Not only is our watermelon business debt-free, but both our individual families, as well. So, be sure to bring cash when you come buy your Red Diamond!
(Watermelon wisdom: The best way to teach our kids about a debt-free life is to walk the talk. And remember, cash is king.)

Watermelon Selection: We’ve heard it all when it comes to how to pick the best watermelon; look for the yellow belly, the green stem, the dry stem, wide bands on the melon, narrow bands on the melon, or the best one we’ve seen is putting a piece of straw on top of the melon and let it spin.
(Watermelon wisdom: After ten years of selling, the sisters are convinced there is no way to tell if one melon is better than the other. For my two cents I go with the deep sound from thumping. I’ll let you develop your own method.)

Count on Family: No matter what we are doing, we “rope” our family into helping. Our family can always be counted on.
(Watermelon wisdom: When family members lean into each other a strong family is built for generations.)

The Biggest Weekend: The biggest selling weekend of the year is when families and friends come to gather and celebrate the birthday of this nation.
(Watermelon wisdom: When you see a watermelon think of it as the birthday cake of America and all the watermelon wisdom it represents.)

My two big takeaways from this week’s blog:

First, uncommon wisdom can be found in the most common places. When we see all people as having value and contribution, we allow ourselves the honor to listen and learn from each other.

Secondly, as we enjoy July 4th let’s be sure and remember those who have sacrificed so much that we might enjoy the fruits (and watermelon) of this great country.

Happy July 4th!

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