COLUMN | The Pumpkin Patch

Taylor’s Farm is on the walking path I use between my house and my sister’s place, so it’s a spot I pass at least a few times each week. We regularly monitor the growth of the pumpkins as they defy the salt sea air and wind off the ocean to become their best jack-o-lantern  selves. 



When it’s time to family up and pick a pumpkin or two for the front step at both my sister’s and our house, it’s almost like we’ve been monitoring the growth of our children and we excitedly already have a general idea the size and shape of the ones we want for our pumpkin planning purposes. When it comes to pumpkin picking, the youngest gets first dibs, of course. We all trail behind as my four year-old nephew picks the ones he wants to bring to his home. His mom needs her own, he determines, and so does each of the two cats. 

Finally, he picks one for himself – one little hands can carry with relative comfort – and then it’s my daughter’s turn. She takes her time, preferring one that’s perfectly imperfect over one with n’ar scar or squat. When it’s time to head home out of it, my nephew carries his orange treasure the entire way, making the stroll home a little challenging. But the pumpkin isn’t set aside on the stoop and forgotten until carving day.

For the next five days, the little fella takes his pumpkin everywhere – on walks, car rides, and yes, even to bed. But then it’s no surprise that his little pumpkin is such a treasure. Halloween is fun for all. We all recall our own days of door-to-door. 

The ache in your arms as you lug loose tins of Pepsi all the seniors tossed in your sack of treasures. The sting of the mask as the sharp plastic edges threatened to take your eyes out isn’t a feeling one forgets, nor is the leg pain from all the walking or the dehydration from all the sweating from the snow suit Mom made you wear under the fit for fire-starting garment that served as a costume back then. 

That Halloween when you graduate from trick-or-treater to candy hander-outter is always a big deal. It’s a sign you’re getting all grown up. I was much too generous one year and I ended up running out and gave away goodies from the snack cupboard instead. 

Mom wasn’t impressed with my grocery give-away, and as an adult, I’ve made sure I had more than enough for handing out come Halloween. Then, you have your own kids, and it’s mom on bust as you plan the decorations and those first few years of costume fun. 

Chubby babies make great pumpkins, and toddlers look adorable as dinosaurs. It’s mom-life at its creative best, as you make life-long memories for the wee ones. This year, things are a little different. My oldest is away, and he’s always been a big Halloween lover. I’ll miss his annual costume unveiling. 


My daughter will be a Ghost Buster, a cool nostalgic mommy moment for me as I love that film, and my nephew? He’s Spider-Man this year and what’s not to love about that? The pumpkins have left the patch and are waiting on our step to feel the sharp blade of kiddie creativity, the goodies have been purchased and are ready to be handed out and we’ve decorated the lawn in preparation for the onslaught of all things spooky. The best part? My nephew is still in love with the little kiddie-sized pumpkin he picked out while at Taylor’s and that’s a good reminder to embrace the fun of the one day of the year when we all get to prove we never ever really totally grow up.

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