My sister and I watched Dad turn and fertilize the soil of his garden. Plant seedling plants for the tomatoes, string beans, black-eyed peas, squash, zucchini, and cantaloupe. We mostly watched the cantaloupe grow into long vines. Among the leaves, small buds gradually grew to burst into yellow blossoms. Then the beginning of the cantaloupe would appear. When it was at full size, my sister and I started a non-verbal game of who can get to the melon first. Picking a melon too early resulted in a bland taste, but if it stayed too long on the vine, it would rot on the ground. A melon is ready when the bottom has an overripe, sweet smell. My sister had the advantage of watching the melons, because her bedroom window over looked the garden. Often, I would come home to find her finishing a whole melon. When I found a just ripe melon, I would eat it in less than 20 minutes. One year, Dad complained he never ate a melon from the garden, because my sister and I found them first.