I’ve always loved the time of year when pumpkins return to the markets, pumpkin seeds toast in the oven, and jack-o-lanterns can take their place on the porch without weirding out the neighbors (much…)
My childhood autumns were filled with leaf-pile jumping, Halloween carnivals, trick-or-treat dress-up, and other fantastic memories. I wanted the same for my son. I’ve taken him trick-or treating, roasted seeds, and carved more jack-o-lanterns than I can count. (Most years we do at least five pumpkins, sometimes as many as 9 or 10 on Halloween afternoon.)
But somewhere along the line, things went a bit … odd.
It started simply – pumpkins that needed “a frowny face” or three eyes instead of two. Our family plays World of Warcraft online, and the Halloween pumpkins featured in game had unusual faces we tried to replicate.
We’ve done everything from the barfing pumpkin to stenciled jack-o-lanterns saying “Happy Halloween.”
A pumpkin worthy of a mystery author’s house:
(And also, probably, worthy of counseling.)
Yes, that’s a butcher knife impaled in the pumpkin … and yes, those are innards trailing down the side. I’d like to say this behavior is unusual, but the truth is … in my family … this is pretty much par for the course.
We’re not big watchers of horror movies. We don’t go in for blood and guts and gore. But when it comes to Halloween humor, our standard is “no holds barred.”
The other highlight of last year’s Halloween was the costume my son designed to hand out candy beside his murdered pumpkin.
“I got a Snickers!”
“I got M&Ms”
And then, like clockwork, my son’s voice:
“I got a rock.”
For me, autumn represents the end of a long, hot summer and the promise of days filled with laughter, creativity, and celebration.
It’s crunchy leaves, smoky air, and the chilly snap in the air that promises winter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas around the corner.
But most of all, autumn means Halloween family fun. And that – in my book – is much better than a rock.
What’s the strangest pumpkin you ever carved (or saw)? Do you have any autumn family traditions or memories of autumns past? Please click into the comments and tell me – I’d love to hear!