Halloween is my husband’s favorite holiday. It has nothing to do with ghosts and goblins, and everything to do with pumpkins.
As of last count, we have 17 pumpkins so far this year. Luckily – this being Halloween week – I think it’s (almost) safe to say we might finish the season under 20.
What is it about pumpkins that Hubby finds so fascinating? I mean, seriously, we spend quite a chunk of money on those orange orbs!
Whatever the fascination, shopping for pumpkins with Hubby has become more than just picking up a few at the grocery store. It’s become a major tradition for us, and has pushed our neighbors to collect pumpkins as well. My husband has single handedly boosted the pumpkin industry to new heights.
I go outside to get the mail and run into the neighbor lady across the street… “Uh-oh,” she says. “I see you’ve added a sixth pumpkin to your collection. I better get a move on, I only have four.” She confesses to me how every night, when she drives home, she counts the number of pumpkins we have. It gives a whole new meaning to “keeping up with the Jones’s”. (I LOVE our neighborhood. Entertainment central.)
Every few days Hubby comes home with a new pumpkin from one place or another. On weekends, we go pumpkin shopping, looking for the best deals. (When you buy in quantity, you can’t afford pricey.)
Several years ago we found a place called Bob’s. Or maybe it’s called Dan’s. I can never remember. But who can blame me for forgetting the name of the place when it’s located between Frank street and Tom’s pumpkin farm? Whatever… Bob’s is a pumpkin man’s paradise. It’s entrance is a skinny little dirt road tucked in between tall trees. If you’re not careful, you’ll miss it and pass right by. (And end up at Tom’s. Something Tom is probably happy about.)
Once you turn into Bob’s, just beyond the trees, is a wide clearing in the woods, filled to capacity with pumpkins. HUGE pumpkins. Bob’s pumpkins are all the same price… $6.00 each. It doesn’t matter what size you choose, every pumpkin is $6.00, from pie size to monstrosity. But here’s the funny thing… they’re ALL monstrosities. There are no little pumpkins!
Plus, it’s all self-serve. Bob is not there. Nobody is there. A shabby looking, beat-up wood box is set up at the far end of the clearing (surrounded by huge pumpkins, of course), with a sign that says you are on the “honor system”. You total your number of pumpkins by 6 and feed your money into the slot on top of the box. One glance up, and you see a number of security cameras sitting in the trees, some of them conveniently located to catch the license plates on your car.
So apparently Bob is not as trusting as his sign would leave one to believe.
Bob’s is a great place. Hubby looks forward to our trip to Bob’s every year. He roams around from one huge pile of pumpkins to the next, trying to decide between them. “They’re all so beautiful!” he says. (Obviously, orange is Hubby’s favorite color.) Of course, we never leave with just one. Usually we have our dog in the back seat (he needs a pumpkin outing too) so Hubby is limited to how many king-sized pumpkins he can fit in the trunk. He thinks the dog should be able to share his seat with a pumpkin. I put my foot down on this. The dog is 95 pounds. He needs the whole seat. (I also refuse to carry a pumpkin on my lap all the way home.)
By the way – in case you’re wondering – yes, we do carve a few of them. Our neighbor lady comes over (brings her own pumpkin) and we have a little carving party, during which Hubby reads “The Great Pumpkin” by Charles Schulz. It’s another wacky part of our pumpkin tradition.
But mostly, all those pumpkins just adorn the outside of our house. When they start to soften we move them under the trees or back into the compost pile, where the wild critters have come to depend upon them for winter food. Every time the weather warms up enough for the fruits to thaw, you see squirrels sitting on top of the pumpkins, eating handfuls of orange.
Some people may think this pumpkin obsession of Hubby’s is a bit out of control. But it doesn’t bother me. Pumpkins make Hubby happy. Besides, I’m hardly a stranger to obsessive behavior myself (see My Family Intervention). The year I ordered well over 2,000 flower bulbs, Hubby helped me plant them. He never complained and he hauls stuff around the garden for me all the time. I figure what comes around goes around… I don’t complain about his pumpkins.
There was, however, that one year when the neighbors did (The Great Pumpkin Patch). But given some of the crazy things our neighbors have done, I have no worries. Like I said, I love our neighborhood.
Isn’t this what makes life so much fun? Happy Halloween everyone!