October 12, 2010

Off to the Pumpkin...Graveyard?

It was a disturbingly beautiful day outside today, and since Halloween comes pretty close to surpassing Christmas as my favorite holiday of the year I naturally got all giddy at the thought of hitting the pumpkin patch.

Honestly, I'm not sure why I hold pumpkin picking in such high regard. Not only am I constantly disappointed in the selection, but my standard for the "perfect pumpkin" is set higher than that creepy Halloween fanatic who has a 30 foot black cat on top of their roof. Silly, really, considering that I have little to no actual pumpkin carving talent so having a flawless pumpkin is pretty much irrelevant. Not to mention that our grocery store's pumpkins are just as round, not to mention significantly cheaper, as any I'd find out in a field. Nonetheless, I take on my annual pumpkin quest with all the enthusiasm of a dog who has found a new fire hydrant.

We loaded the kids up and made our trip to Country Corner (even the name of the place made me gush like a keg of warm apple cider). When we arrived, I excitedly pulled out my camera and made a mental checklist as we headed towards the patch. Beautiful sunny day? Check. Adorable little red wagon? Check. Two happy and equally enthusiastic kids? Check. Perfect pumpkin? Er....Houston, we have a problem.

The second we walked into the patch, henceforth known as the pumpkin graveyard, I knew my perfect pumpkin picking was doomed. Everywhere lay casualties of rodents, sun, and in one corner full of oozing green pumpkins - an apparent nuclear holocaust. We weaved through the vines, desperately (ok, I was probably the only desperate one...) trying to find a pumpkin whose guts were still attached and on the inside. Halfway through my husband calls out "You know, we're probably going to have to just get some off of the shelves out front."

"NO!" my inner child screamed, "I don't want a 'grab a pumpkin from the shelf' memory, I want my warm and fuzzy pumpkin picking memory and I am NOT LEAVING HERE WITHOUT IT!" I tried not to let the cloud of panic and disappointment show as my daughter and I went from rotten pumpkin to rotten pumpkin. Apparently, she too already holds a high standard, as each one we came upon she declared "Not this one, this one is dirty!" Honestly, I would settle for dirt so long as it didn't have a giant gaping sinkhole...

And then I saw it. A tiny little thing, perhaps only 6 or 7 inches tall, sitting all alone. I immediately dispatched my daughter to retrieve it, and when I saw her pick it up I breathed a sigh of relief (because in order for her to pick it up it needs to be almost completely free of dirt particles). It was perfect. Small, but perfect. I breathed a sigh of relief.

We headed out of the graveyard, my daughter carrying her tiny pumpkin triumphantly. And yes, we did stop at the pumpkin shelves in order to get an equally perfect large pumpkin for me to mutilate with a knife - but that was ok, because in the end, I got what I wanted. I got my pumpkin picking memory.

(Ironically, my daughter dropped her pumpkin on the ride home - it may have a concussion and some mild bruising, but that won't stop us from covering it in fingerpaint tomorrow.)


  1. love the pics. we went to the pumpkin farm and then stopped and bought our pumpkins on the side of the road at a church fundraiser for like half the price. i've never actually picked a pumpkin!
    i didn't get my pumpkin pics that day though so hoping to go back to a better pumpkin farm before th season is over.


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