Sunday, October 31, 2010
How does time go by so quickly?? It seems like we were just celebrating the 4th of July, when I looked up and realized it was almost Halloween. I can't believe I let things slip up on me because there is nothing I enjoy more than a bright orange pumpkin . . . or two . . . or ten, sitting around. So yesterday I rushed out to get one . . . or two . . . or ten! I know I spent way too much time inspecting each candidate, mulling over the individual nuances in color and shape, and trying to decide on just the right pumpkin for our Jack-O-Lantern. Eventually I came home with not one (or ten), but two perfect pumpkins.
It reminded me of when my kids were smaller, and the "event" that Halloween was. Next to Christmas, it was always the highlight of the year. For many years my in-laws hosted a pumpkin carving party for all their grandchildren, and they also invited tons of the neighborhood kids too. My mother-in-law spent hours decorating her house with handmade tissue ghosts and stringy spider webs. Then she brewed some wonderful apple cider and baked mountains of delicious Halloween goodies. My father-in-law drove to a local farm and bought dozens of pumpkins for the party, and each child was allowed to select his own pumpkin from the pick-up truck filled to overflowing with the orange bounty. It was always fun to watch the reactions of different children when it came time to scoop out the gooey contents from the pumpkins!! Usually there were a few daredevils who dove in hands first, slinging pumpkin goo with abandon; others were much less willing to get messy, so mom or dad might need to lend a hand or give a little extra encouragement. Each kid was also given a sharpie pen to create a perfect Jack-O-Lantern masterpiece. Some little artists labored forever drawing just the right face on the bumpy, uneven surface. Other kids whipped out a JOL face in record time. (And to prevent the need for a trip to the ER, the adults did the carving. :)
Such wonderful memories for so many kids (and grown-ups too!) Happy Halloween!