Monday, October 4, 2010

Ushering in the Fall Season...Activity I

Visiting the Pumpkin Patch

   From as far back as I can remember, my children and I visited a local petting farm and pumpkin patch as soon as the fall season came upon us. Snapping photos of them in overalls sitting amidst the sea of orange pumpkins was so precious. Deeply treasured are those times.
   This family doesn't take a trip,sir. A picnic lunch full of yummy, home baked goods was always packed for the occasion; sandwiches on home made bread, fresh fruits and veggies with drinks- a few of those chocolate chip cookies, of course. When we go, we plan to spend the day; enjoy ourselves and not be in a rush.
   These days our kids are well past the petting zoo/farm/pumpkin patch days. Yet, the memories linger. Each of us treasured a different piece of the trips we made. For some, the little train ride around was the best thing, picnicking on a quilt under a tree, hand feeding the gentle beasts...or meeting a new person and sharing the day with them. Special moments, each different, each important.
   Now then...the pumpkin. Let's go there a moment. The trip to the patch was a huge event, but the fun (or the activity) wasn't over until the pumpkin was done. Usually each child brought home a carefully chosen pumpkin. Around this home, nothing is just for show..we have to do something with it. For us, pumpkins were always cleaned, cut, and cooked.
   You know, the messiest things are always the most fun..and few things are messier than cleaning a pumpkin. Scooping out the stringy, seedy insides...cutting it into pieces..baking it up in the oven. The sights, the touch, the smells...mmm. The immediate favorite for us was toasting the pumpkin seeds into a salty snack. Afterwards came pumpkin breads or pumpkin muffins or pumpkin pies. It may have been hard, messy work, but, the rewards were well worth it.
   These days we grow our own pumpkins; last year we cleaned fifteen. Pies and breads were made...even some pumpkin butter. The kids laughed and talked about our yesterdays- the visits to the pumpkin patch. I believe we will have this conversation again and again reminding me that memories were made of those days.
   What about you? Do you have a special trip you make when the air turns cooler and the leaves start to fall? Have you considered a pumpkin patch? What about pumpkins? Have you ever made a complete mess with your family..just to experience it make something different? Let's grab our littles and make some memories...visit a pumpkin patch and usher in the fall season.


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