In my preteen years we lived close enough to a convenience store that my girlfriend and I were able to walk over and purchase an Icee and sunflower seeds without any adult supervision.

We would sit in the park for hours discussing boys, girls, and everything in between as we slurped, stuffed our cheeks with seeds, and spit the outer shell. This was pure heaven.

I hadn't purchased a package of "seeds" since then, until recently. It is now my mantra to stop at the snack bar prior to attending one of my two son's little league baseball games, pay my one dollar for a package of sunflower seeds, and spend the entire game cracking shells and eating the nut inside. It gives my mouth something to do. Practically everyone does it, and the stands are littered with shells.

No one wants sunflower seeds from Trader Joe's which are already cracked open, roasted, salted, and delicious. That would be cheating. I know, because I offered everyone in the stands at our last baseball game pre-cracked seeds, and I got no takers. They like the work, the experience of sucking the salt off of the shell and cracking open the hull. Interesting.

What is it about a little league baseball games which brings out a desire to eat sunflower seeds? Major leagues have their peanuts, NFL football games have their beer, and our little league field has their sunflower seeds.

The season is almost over, and the seed purchase will inevitably end. I will miss the wrinkles inside my cheeks from holding a lump of seeds while they wait to be cracked and spit out, and the bonding I share with the other parents as we pass a bag of seeds around for consumption.

I'll have to wait until next year, when all three of the boys are playing baseball at the same time, for the first time. It is then I will not only need a bag of seeds, but a steady flow of caffeine as well, to sustain my energy after spending my entire Saturday on the little league field. Good times.


Brad Huebert said…
I hear ya, Linda. Calgary is not a "seedy" town but our last place, Winkler was. We called the seeds "Knack zoat," and the action "knacking zoat." German term.

I'm coaching my son's soccer right now, and I love the whole thing too.
Trader Joe's carries shelled seeds, watch for them. They aren't always available but when they are they can't keep them on the shelves. They are HUGE and YUMMY!