Halloween’s Unintentional Ghouls

There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch. ~Robert Brault

This is my second Halloween as a TSA deep in the heart of an unnamed location. Later on today we’ll be passing out candy to the boys, who don’t wear costumes, and we’ll bake some colorful cupcakes.

Last year, we were in the midst of a drought down here in the south and there wasn’t a pumpkin to be found! This year, while not plentiful, a few popped up at the grocery store and Walmart.

For some reason, I like to carve pumpkins. I don’t know why since I have no artistic ability and I insist on drawing my own faces, even though they aren’t cool and artsie like most of the stenciled pumpkins nowadays.

SAH has no interest in this activity but she puts up with me, just like my love for coloring eggs at Easter. She was very kind about procuring my pumpkins and even had the stock boy dig through dozens to find two that still had stems.

I thought about a week ahead seemed like good timing for pumpkin carving.

I was wrong. For starters, when I cut them open they were empty – really. Just a few seeds and strings. I don’t now if they have a different strain of pumpkins here in the Big state or if these two were just malnourished. It did make the scooping out go a lot faster, though.

They look pretty regular for the first few nights.

Then, they began to simply fall in on themselves.

I think they’re only a day or two away from squishy.

They’ve gone from grinning to ghoulish – not by design. Just by inertia. Today’s pumpkins will be tomorrow cattle fodder.

May Jack-o-lanterns burning bright
Of soft and golden hue
Pierce through the future’s veil and show
What fate now holds for you.
~Author Unknown

Maybe not so much with these fellows…

Not Great Year for the Great Pumpkin

Linus will have to find a patch somewhere else – there’s nary a pumpkin to be found here in Wharton – and not many in Texas.

Ghosts of Pumpkins past

The drought has affected even the hallowed practice of  carving a jack-o-lantern on Halloween.

The Texas pumpkin crop is down an estimated 50%. Texans are being forced to buy out-of-state gourds, if those can even be found.

Few things scream Halloween like a jack-o-lantern, but it proved impossible to scare one up this year. I had my pumpkin carving tools ready and even bought special pumpkin lights that would be impervious to the Texas gusts. I set up the little wooden table, thinking happy pumpkin faces would be a pleasant gate greeting. But after scouring the town there were none to be found.

I can’t explain why I like to carve pumpkins. As you can see from the photo above, I have no artistic ability. The pumpkin on the far left was Heidi’s last year. You’ll notice a striking resemblance to that one in each of the photos above. She’s a firm believer that there is one proper pumpkin face and that’s it. Most emphatically, Heidi believes the jack-o-lantern should never have a nose. It must be an Iowa thing. Ours always had noses in Indiana.

My Mom and Dad really loved holidays. All holidays! I guess I’ve never quite recovered from their joy of celebration! 😀

Backward, turn backward,
O Time, in your flight
make me a child again
just for to-night!
~Elizabeth Akers Allen

You might think you wouldn’t have many trick -or-treaters if you’re working as a gate guard on an oil rig. But even though it’s barely Halloween – a little after midnight, I just opened the door and sure enough, the trick-or-treaters are lined up as far as the eye can see. We have cement trucks, chemical trucks, torque trucks, trailer trucks, water trucks and some I’m not sure about yet.

I don’t know that there are real ghosts and goblins, but there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighborhood kids.  ~Robert Braul

I’m ready for them with my Dollar Store pumpkin and WalMart treats. Penny candy seems to bring a smile at any age and all the commotion is keeping the mice at bay!  Note to Heidi – even the plastic jack-o-lanterns have a nose!

Happy Halloween!