Tomorrow’s the big day. My husband, Mike, our resident pumpkin carver is taking the afternoon off to create magic. By noon he’ll be up to his elbows in pumpkin flesh, meticulously carving Jack O’Lanterns for Halloween. He has his work cut out for him. We had an impressive harvest this year, ten pumpkins in all. I love the way the house smells once he guts the pumpkins. It takes me back to the excitement of my childhood Halloween.
Each year Mike carves a few of his past favorites, in addition to trying something new. Last year he carved a few small pumpkins to look like computer emoticons. They were so unexpected. When my son was small, he asked his dad to carve Max, the bunny from Rosemary Wells Max and Ruby series. He pulled it off beautifully.
One of his personal favorites is Deadly Diva. She gets plenty of comments from passersby, so he’s carved her more than once.
Halloween is a big deal on our suburban block. We average 150 children at our door. I’m on my feet for nearly three hours non-stop handing out candy. My youngest son heads out with his dad and some friends for his own candy haul. It’s a night of mystery and fun, followed by the realities of a regular school and work day. Just like Cinderella, we all turned back into mortals by November 1st.
The After Pumpkin
While Mike is carving, I gather and rinse the seeds, then spread them out on wax paper to dry. I store them in a labeled lunch bag for planting the following year. We roasted pumpkin seeds in the oven as kids, but for some reason that tradition didn’t survive. We have more fun planting the seeds the following year.
Now that my compost bins are under way, I’ll be able to turn the discarded rinds into rich compost for next year. You’ve gotta love the cycle of life.
When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.
~The Quote Garden, Author Unknown