Saturday, October 22, 2005

Punkin' Patch

Little more than a week until Halloween so it is time for the obligatory pumpkin hunt. In places more urban we hunted pumpkins in grocery store lots; last year we went down the road to one of the local farms and poked through the wagons. This year we went whole hog, and the clan caravaned to a pumpkin patch complete with hay rides and a corn maze. Positively Rockwellian in the best of ways.

The weather was threatening, in fact had it's beginning of the season pour earlier in the week. Friday was warm and sunny and today was the last of the sun forcasted for a while. Prime chance for getting out to pick out gourds for fun and destruction. The Verbalist was full of big plans for a big pumpkin, while the Muralist decided to wait for the spirit to move her. She would keep a weather eye out the perfectus one.

We pulled up and piled out of my Sis' mini van. Next to us, my folks rolled up in thier pick-up. Glancing around the parking lot I was uneasy, if the puddles were bad here, how bad would they be in the field? The tractor pulling the hay ride sat idling by the produce stand ready to load the last few people it's wagon could hold. As the adults stood palavering about the availability of seats the Muralist pipes up.

"I have to use the potty!" she intones, using the premptory note a tot uses when toilet usage is a Big Deal. I handed the Infant off to Sis and hay ride was forgone for Port-a-let. So we trooped out to the patch instead, a good choice considering the wiggles stored up in the car ride out. We pause enroute examining carrots and winter cabbage in situ, discussing the virtues of washing off vegetables before consumption. Across the ditch into the patch we wandered.


"Found mine!" cried the Verbalist.

"Are you sure?" I ask looking down at the small pumpkin he has claimed. "What about the big one you were going to get?"

"I'm sure. This one is the best." Confidence exudes from him. "The best for a boy like me."

"Ok," say I, already scanning for the Muralist and spying her considering a pumpkin the same size as she. "pick it up." The Verbalist was having none of that. "Pacah!" he calls to my father. "Can you carry this for me?"

To and fro we went looking for the Pumpkin perfect for each of us. The Muralist ran all round looking for the sincerest pumpkin I guess finging one with character - tall and oval, perfectly orange with a dimpled face. Pacah and the Verbalist trekked back to the sales area to retrieve a wheel barrow to tote the 11 pumpkins chosen by our entire party. Alas they returned with a barrow with a flat tire. It fell to my brother in the Navy to muscle it back, for which we were all grateful.

From the patch we retired to the "buffalo" (as the Muralist calls the Chinese buffet) where hungry as lions, we ate our fill. Bouyed by our successful hunt, my mother promised small toys to her grandkids. God help us, in a kung pao chicken haze I let the Verbalist have a pump action shot gun that propells suction darts. What hath I wrought?

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