Here’s a Public Service Announcement for you - if you live in warm weather spots like Arizona where the weather is still in the 80s and will probably creep back into the 90s at some point before the end of the month…don’t carve pumpkins a week before Halloween.
Not unless you want to do Round 2 of pumpkin carving!
Growing up in Washington State, not only could we grow our own pumpkins but we could also use them as decoration around the front door. We would carve them, set them out with candles, and enjoy the Halloween spirit well before October 31. Therefore, when we had kids, we set out to uphold the same tradition.
Naturally living in Phoenix, growing pumpkins was out of the question. A trip to the grocery store, along with plenty of patience as each child picked out the "perfect" pumpkin, solved this dilemma. Armed with fancy carving tools, the kids dug in. First removing the guts and then moving along to design phase. Those who chose the biggest pumpkin rue their choice as they had a significant amount of gut work! Nonetheless, they pressed on and soon each pumpkin took on a unique artistic look.
With our masterpieces on the table, we dug out the candles and matches, and then exited for the front patio with our treasures in hand. We arranged the pumpkins along the front step and lit the candles. That familiar glow through crookedly carved mouths brought an eerie and perfect appearance to the stoop. Before the end of the evening, Bob blew out the candles. We were satisfied with our efforts.
As visions of jack-o-lanterns danced in our dreams, the real horror was taking place outside. It wasn’t until the next evening that we realized that Arizona was about to trick us!
What happened to our beautiful pumpkins? The ones so diligently carved by our kids? There, on the porch, in place of fearful jack-o-lanterns, were fallen gums Ma & Pa Pumpkin! The heat from the desert toppled our treasures. Instead of being scary, they were soft shrunken piles of pumpkin.
Arizona happened. Instead of cool crisp days and refrigerated evenings, our pumpkins were cooked!
So what does this have to do with Remembered Well? Perhaps nothing but it is wisdom of sorts. And it’s the kind of wisdom any parents moving to Arizona need to have. You see, we all pick up a little something of value each day. We learn something, we experience something, and we simply get wiser about life. Sure, everything we learn isn’t earth-shattering but we are all ultimately a culmination of our experiences - big and small.
Our kids are now grown and on their own. Yet, sometimes my husband carves pumpkins for decoration for the night of trick-or-treating. I find no need in gutting and carving any more pumpkins myself. After rocking a Miley Cyrus pumpkin years back, I’m pretty sure my skills hit their pinnacle!
Carved pumpkins in Arizona are fleeting. This is something we learned. The time we spent with the kids, the laughs generated from our carved creations, the burnt pumpkin seeds, and Miley Cyrus – now those memories all live on in us!
Make it a most memorable Halloween.