Sunday, October 22, 2006

i don't have a pumpkin

What kind of self-professed lover of pumpkins doesn't have one in late October?!!!

I'm ashamed to admit that I don't -- though this afternoon I passed a gigantic pumpkin patch - the kind of patch The Great Pumpkin would be proud to rise from! It's been pretty bleak and cloudy here the last couple of weeks solid. It's driving everybody bonkers. So, the sight of that shabby brown field dotted with happy, orange orbs. . . lifted my spirits. How can i say why i love them so much? The sight of them gives me joy. All the childhood memories of carving . . the smell of the pumpkin, the feel of the cold, stringy pulp. . drawing on the face with a marker, cutting out the triangle eyes and nose, slicing the wide grin on "Jack's" face. . the excitement of seeing him all lit up for duty on Halloween night!!! Roasting those seeds and crunching those salty nuggets. What a treat!

I used to have a plastic jack-o-lantern candy holder. . i loved that thing, its smiling face, its black handle. I loved the way my voice echoed when i yelled into it. Once I got older/more greedy i tossed my beloved pumpkin aside for a pillow case!! What a fondness I have for those round cuties. In school I loved story time in the fall. Naturally there would be stories about pumpkins!!! *this thrilled me to no end* I can still see the teacher sitting in her chair, while we sat cross legged on the floor at her feet. She turned the glossy book pages neatly and efficiently, after holding them open for just the right amount of time. Her voice was pleasant. The stories were seasonally magical. We sang this little French Halloween song , "La Citrouielle". I loved it, not because it was a particularly good song, but just cuz it was about a pumpkin! Not to mention that the memories it conjured were a far sight better than the mournful "Have You Seen The Ghost of John"? (long white bones with the skin all gone. . ick!)

This October has been the stinkiest, dreariest one in a long time. . and November. . it is so nasty that it just makes me wanna stick needles in my eyes. I think I need a SADD light?! Soooooo, yeah, I'm wishing i was lying on a warm beach somewhere where the sun is actually visible for longer than 1 hour, 1 day a week. I still hold out hope for some sunshine. Am I naive?! Nah, on second thought - don't tell me. .naive works for me now.

I haven't bought the Halloween candy yet. . cuz we'd just eat it all and then have to go out and buy more! Maybe if i was on the ball i would buy stuff we hate?! Gotta stop buying those chocolate bars!!!! they might be fun size in the wrapper. . but when they all get together to gang up on my body - there ain't nothing fun sized about that! When i was a kid and still had a metabolism, the chocolate bars were like 'gold'. . the more you got, the more successful your night was. The big mistake was sorting out the haul in front of your family. . cuz you just know they were doin' mental inventory!!!! You guarded your stash - in vain - everyone knew your hiding places. Ever wonder why when you got back from school your count was off? Oh, the memories. . and the cavities!!!

Fall. . . so much to celebrate --an extra hour of sleep!, harvest abundance, flame-red bushes, golden trees, rust-coloured leafy sidewalks - corn stalks awaiting the combine, hay bales laying in the fields like giant shredded wheat biscuits. . drooping apple trees, heavy with fruit and yes beautiful pumpkins everywhere. Summer's freshness slowly decays, but with such grace and beauty, i almost don't mind. Autumn (usually!) is such a gorgeous, glowing time. If only i could enjoy it on its own, detached from the spectre of looming winter.

I think i'll visit the pumpkin patch. . there's something almost soul less about lifting one out of a giant bin in a fluorescent store. I want to see its little bed, see the earth and smell the field smells. .


Anonymous said...

I remember my days of trick or treating.And having school parties and roasting the seeds from the pumpkins.And fall is my favorite time of year maybe because my B.D falls on that time of year.

Donna H

Lindsay said...

I love Halloween! I remember that 'Ghost of John' song, it was one of my favourites! We don't have a pumpkin yet, either, that'll come on Thursday, along with the Halloween costumes. James wants to be a skeleton and Erica wants to be a princess. Can't wait for the Halloween festival on Friday! I don't think I ever learned the 'Citrouille' song, or maybe I just don't remember it. Every Halloween I make James get a book from the school library called ' The Magic Pumpkin' - it's about a guy who buys a pumpkin intending on using it as a guard against the 'Foolies'(little elf-like beings), only to discover on Halloween night that the pumpkin is a traitor and he's actually the leader of the Foolies - I like it because it's in poem form and it sounds really cool!

Kathryn said...

Hi, Donna! If you've already had birthday, Happy Belated Birthday!

Linds. . thanx for correcting my atrocious French spelling!!lol! Yes, the Halloween festival is going to be a blast!!! We'd better dress up warmly. . brrrr!!! The Magic Pumpkin sounds familiar. . how old is that book?

La Citrouille rit, rit, rit, ha ha ha, ho, ho, ho. . la citrouille rit, rit rit, oh, c'est Halloween! Deep lyrics, eh?!

Sherri Lavender said...

Thanks for the memories Kathy! I loved this post for some reason. I'm actually not a big Halloween fan in general - never had a 'cool' costume... Could never get ENOUGH candy... Know what I mean? And now, I just don't appreciate the deathly decor... "Look Jonah, there's a dead body rising up from the earth. There's a man's head floating in a bubble... See the bloody knife?" I have enough explaining ahead of me...

Pulling the pumpkin up from the earth sounded so nice. I love the brilliant colors and the crisp air. Pumpkin pie and pumpkin muffins - YUM - I LOVE that combo of what they call "pumpkin pie spice".

Chocolate bars were SO the goal. I hated those sticky, chewy molasses Halloween candies. Always got too many of those. One thing I can't get into here in Tennessee is a candy called 'candy corn' - just tastes like sugar to me.

Kathryn said...

Hey, Sherri!! I totally know what you mean about never having a cool costume or enough candy! and i also share your opinion of the ghoulish, creepy side of the event. It doesn't float my boat. I liked the fun feeling and the excitement of being allowed to go begging for candy one night per year. . It always struck me funny that on that one night its okay to do that. . but any other time, no one is gonna greet you or give you anything!! It always seemed like a huge, progressive party to me and that was the fun of it.

Totally know what you mean about the way we appreciate and celebrate, even romanticize all of the aspects of autumn. . its good stuff!!!

Absolutely, chocolate bars were the goal!!! the candy kisses. . those molasses things - i would try to strike deals with my baby sister. . in which I would offer her 5 of those icky things for 1 chocolate bar. . She used to fall for it, but not once she got older! Can't blame a sister for trying?! Candy corn? blech. . you're so right - its disgusting, cloyingly sweet. ptooey!

Lindsay said...

I looove candy corn and the molasses candy kisses! I guess I'm a wierdo...well, I like chocolate bars, too. I like pretty much anything with sugar in it. Except for 'Thrills' gum - shudder - tastes like soap. Don't care for black licorice, either, except for licorice allsorts, but that's only because they're sandwiched between sweet, sweet icing! The copyright date on The Magic Pumpkin says 1989, by the way.

Kathryn said...

thanx for the date on that story. .

the molasses kisses - they have strong flavour and when they're stale they're like molasses rocks! bad for fillings. .

thrills gum. . yeah, nasty stuff, eh?! blech. .