As you've seen from my Halloween flashbacks, pumpkins are an important part of our Halloween tradition. My mom informs me that she took Sam and a friend of his from Iowa to Carroll's Pumpkin Farm w/o me one year when he was visiting Iowa and I was working in St. Louis. I do vaguely remember encouraging them to keep up the tradition. She doesn't think she has any pictures of the trip.
I asked my mom if she had pictures of us carving pumpkins on previous Halloweens. She said that while we did carve them (and roast the seeds) nearly every year, she doesn't think we usually took pictures. Apparently, we didn't take pictures as often back then. I am thankful for digital cameras (Thanks, Jim & Liz for our first one.) and the way they let you take pictures of things you might not be willing to use film for or want to pay to develop.
This classic shot is one I am happy to have captured on film. Whether he knows it or not, Sam inspired all of this Halloween reminiscing. On our way to the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch, he asked, "Mom, do you remember that time we got that really big pumpkin? The one that was almost as big as me?" I didn't really know which pumpkin he was thinking of but I was so happy he was having fond memories I answered, "Yeah. Wasn't that great?"
I really wanted to remember. So, I dug out the photos (which I love to do anyway) and started looking at Halloween as a category.
Sam looks like he is straining so hard in that picture. I'm trying to remember if at this early age, I had already enacted the, "If you want it, you have to carry it." rule about pumpkins.
Sam always wants the biggest pumpkin and I would love to get it for him but I also know that I usually end up hollowing-out both his pumpkin and mine. The having to be able to carry it rule seemed like a reasonable compromise.
That first year, Sam and Trevor were most interested in the rotten pumpkins and the bugs on them.
Here is another one of those tiny pictures. It looks as if my child is trying to see if he is strong enough to be able to buy this pumpkin.
I figured this was the pumpkin Sam was thinking of when he asked, "remember when?" It was the one I was thinking of because of the picture. Pictures do so much to preserve memories. I don't know if he carried this pumpkin. It looks pretty big. Maybe I broke down and got a "big" one that year.
And while I usually, like to pick out our pumpkins during our trip to the pumpkin patch, it was dark this year and the place didn't take credit cards and we didn't have much cash on us.
These are the pumpkins we picked up at a nearby greenery this year. Sam's is the big one in the middle. He did carry it.
Unfortunately, we picked these pumpkins up late on a Sunday morning after running errands. Then, we had lunch and went to the school to play with the new balls we'd picked up at Target that morning. That afternoon, we made some phone calls, did some reading and started thinking about dinner. Sam wanted to carve our pumpkins that day. I had wanted to too but we just ran out of steam (and daylight).
I told him he could carve his if he wanted to. He started poking holes into the top, making this intricate pattern around the stem. Then, he tried diligently to use the tiny pumpkin carving saw to get the top off but it was to no avail. We'd told him he'd need to use a real knife to get it off and I meant to help him but was bushed and didn't get around to it. I thought we'd do it the next day but school and dinner/homework kept us busy every weeknight. By the time we were ready to carve pumpkins, last weekend, his original pumpkin was rotten.
Cam took Sam to Safeway to get Pumpkin #2 (seen in the background).
Sam watched Cam get the top off his pumpkin.
Then started with the intricate dot pattern again...
The guys are thoughtfully proceeding.
I didn't have a new idea for a face so I decided to carve something besides a face in mine. I'd carve a star. See Cam's blog for my less than stellar results. Then, I decided to carve a face on the other side. Except that the other side wasn't so pretty. What about on the side? Fine but it left my pumpkin a bit weak.
Cam's was shaping up nicely.
Finally, Sam broke through. Cam and I were done. I was on the phone talking with my friend, Melissa about possibly meeting up around her dad's house in Santa Barbara for Thanksgiving.
Cam ended up helping Sam empty his pumpkin out. Then, Sam decided he was done for the day.
The pumpkins glowed.