Monday, October 11, 2010


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.


  1. My son Brian and his girlfriend Genevieve...told me last night that when they get married it will be on Halloween.... and the theme will be of a High School dance in the late fifties early sixties with all of the guests required to dress the part! The whole pumpkin thing brings back happy memories however we'll leave the carving ritual/ordeal to the youngsters now! I'm surprised that Ron Popiel never came up with the automatic pumpkin de-gutting machine....that was really a tough job and the source of many in home injuries! I can hear it now..."And you get the pumpkin de-gutter, the pumpkin spoon, the pumpkin knife, and six permanent markers all different colors....but that's not get six beautiful candles each one with a different aroma....and you get 24 pumpkin recipes on these handy 3" x 5" cards! But that's not all, you also get 2 beautiful aprons designed by non other than Nieman Marcus.... And you get all of this with just 4 easy payments of $9.99.....come on folks...where can you get a bargain like this?

  2. you really have to publish your writing!...this is funny!