31 October 2009

The Great Pumpkin Search

So what I want to know is, when did Halloween arrive and how did it get here so quickly? Wasn't Labor Day like,... last week?

Ever since our son was old enough to wield a knife, we've been carving pumpkins for Halloween. We started with triangle eyes and teeth all those years ago, and then when we discovered the pattern books, we graduated to fancy cats and haunted houses that we never could have crafted on our own. A few years ago, we had something like a dozen carved pumpkins sitting out on our front lawn. It all looked very artistic, but we simply followed directions and connected the dots.

I have to admit, homeschooling lent itself to this project. The entire day before Halloween (be it a school day or not) was devoted to pumpkin cleaning and carving. This exercise helped my children on their standardized tests each year, I promise.

But since they've been in school, we no longer have TIME for the pumpkin carving, and this makes us all very sad. Last year we each carved one, but it was more a chore than anything else. So this year, even though Labor Day was just last week, we talked about how we could make the pumpkin carving happen, and it would be FUN again. We also talked about the lack of time in all our lives. (Damn homework.)

So the plan was for me to purchase pumpkins last week and to clean them out some afternoon after work. Then, on one of the evenings when there was (hopefully) less than three hours of homework, the kids (and their dad) could carve their pretty pumpkins.

Ah, the best laid plans...

I put pumpkins on my grocery list this week. I went grocery shopping on Thursday. Before I went, my middle daughter asked if I could take her to Wal-Mart later to look for Halloween accessories. So when I grocery shopped, I deliberately did not buy pumpkins. After all, my basket was full, and I would be on a Halloween mission later that evening. I could get pumpkins THEN.

But then...

I don't know what happened. The evening was full of cross-country meets and basketball and a dog that got into the trash and homework and, and... Suddenly it was Friday.

Friday morning was full of a Halloween party for the babies where I work, and I had a long-distance friend coming in for the day. We were to have lunch. But then my son ended up going to the hospital at noon for what we thought might be appendicitis. The day became a roller-coaster ride into oblivion.

Ok, my son does NOT have appendicitis - we still don't know what he has, but he's back at the dorm, doing ok. But there's more. At 3:30, I had to take one daughter to a youth group party 20 minutes away from home. I had to be back at the high school by 4:45 to chaperone an event I had committed to weeks ago. (Note to self - what the hell was I thinking?) At 7:30, when we finished at the high school event and dragged ourselves to a local restaurant to get dinner, I remembered that we still didn't have pumpkins.

At 9:00, when we finished dinner, we went to the local Hannaford, got a shopping cart, and went into the store to get our pumpkins. No pumpkins in the produce section - maybe they have them in a display up by the registers? No. Nothing. The nice lady told me (while hiding a smile) that they ran out of pumpkins two days ago.

By this time, we had to drive back out into the middle of nowhere to pick up our other daughter from the youth group thing. We stopped at another store on the way there. No pumpkins.

We went to bed last night with my husband telling us he'd get up early this morning (which has never happened on a Saturday in all the years we've been married) to go find us some pumpkins. That way, we can clean and carve pumpkins ALL DAY.

Guess what? It's 10:00 a.m. and he's still not up. I'm not waking him. I will drag out our ceramic jack-o-lanterns, put candles in them, and they will have to do. Maybe next year we'll get it right. Or maybe not. Maybe that time in our lives is over.

But what I DO know is that tonight we get an extra hour of sleep. After the day I had yesterday, I'm over the pumpkin dilemma. All I really want is that extra hour of sleep. Maybe I'll go get started on that right now...

Copyright © 2009 - Paulla Estes

1 comment:

Snow Day said...

No pumpkins? That's surprising. I've had that happen with Christmas trees when I wait too long, but never pumpkins. I'm sure your ceramic decorations were very festive.