Monday, October 11, 2010
PUMPKIN CARVIN' TIME
Mid-October is beautiful in Illinois. As I drove in my old truck today, I saw brilliant golds, regal reds, and bright orange colors in the majestic trees. My mind wandered back around twenty-years. My daughter was eight-years old, and longing for Halloween. About a week before this wonderful day, my wife and I bought oodles of candy for all the little goblins who would be ringing our doorbell. We also bought a beautiful pumpkin. I remember lumbering into my house one day, with my muddy boots and coveralls. My little girl jumped into my arms. She kissed my wind-burned face and declared: "It's time to carve the pumpkin, Daddy!" I got myself a whiskey, my buck knife, a ladle-type scooper, and a double garbage bag. I put the pumpkin on the kitchen table. Underneath it, I always placed some old newspapers. Then I went to detailing the pumpkin's nose, mouth, ears, and eyes, with a Sharpie magic marker. I remember my daughter's smiles, as our creation took shape. The glorious smells of my wife's wonderful dinner, filled our little kitchen. The warmth from the oven took the chill out of my bones. I was chilled from working outside, on my bulldozer all day long. When I finished drawing the face, I went to carving. I cut out a circle around the pumpkin's stem, and pryed it open to expose the seeds, and pulp. My little daugher exclaimed, "Eewwww!...Are you gonna' put your hands in there, Daddy?" I laughed and said, "Do you want to help me?" My kid Catherine always said, "No way"! I pulled as much of the slop as I could, out of the pumpkin with my hands, and then scraped the rest of it out with the ladle device. Then I washed up, and poured another whiskey for myself. After a few sips, I'd use my buck knife to do a little more artistic detailing. My daughter's smile was worth a million bucks to me, as she went, "ooh and ahh". We'd put Mr. Pumpkin on a table in our den, after I dripped a few drops of hot wax, to seat the candle in the middle or this extravagent creation. I remember burning my fingers every year, as I lit the candle with my BIC lighter. My daugher always chortled with glee, when I did this! She sat in my lap, as we watched the flickering light make the face come alive. We shared this Halloween magic, every year. Pretty soon, my wife Debbie called us, by saying, "Dinner's ready!" The three of us laughed, talked, and shared our day's experiences. After dinner, we shared the duty of doing the dishes. Then sometimes we took a walk around the neighborhood, admiring all the Halloween decorations. We looked up in the skies admiring the stars, and the big, orange moon. The fragrant smell of burning leaves, always filled the air at this time of the year. We walked hand-in-hand on these magical nights. Yep, It was pumpkin carvin' time.