At the onset of October, Wife bought three pumpkins for the older girls’ school projects. Observing the child to pumpkin ratio, you might see a few children were not carving pumpkins this year. Their grandmother also saw this fact, and could not bear any of her grandchildren missing out on the Halloween tradition. Planning to give all the children part of the season’s festivities, she bought the rest of the children pumpkins. And while she visited with her daughter, I found myself elbow deep in pumpkin guts.
I had not planned on carving pumpkins this year, but what am I to do when half a dozen pumpkins are dropped in my lap?
After sending each child back to the dining room table with their personal pumpkin, I swiftly set to work like a beaver. And so the usual happened. Plenty of ideas that where more in-depth than the tools at hand were capable. Plenty of grimaces when clawing out the pumpkin innards. And plenty of paint thanks to their aunt.
To ease my labors, the school assigned a pumpkin project to our older girls. They were to paint, carve, or otherwise impress an image of the Earth onto their pumpkins. As I am about as handy with a paintbrush as a chimp spaced out on pain medication, their aunt assisted with globe making.
Our Saturday progressed about as well as their grandmother planned. We had five little pumpkins carved and painted for the little boys, and the girls had started to paint their pumpkins. But as important as good planning is, timing is everything.
About a week later, and two before Halloween, our carved pumpkins began to sag.
#5’s was the first to lose its malicious grin and begin to frown sadly. #6’s followed shortly, sprouting gray hair. We caught #7’s when it was only softening, avoiding the mold that was about to grow. A few days later, #8’s and #9’s were also disposed of. Only the pumpkins that had not been cut into were still solid.
It seemed that the painted pumpkins were the only gourds that would see Halloween this year. In the end, the school girls were quite fortunate that I lacked the skills and tools to carve their pumpkins into globes. Somehow I doubt their teacher would have accepted a rotting pumpkins as a passing project, even if they claimed it was the Earth after the end of time.