What an incredible season for writers! I recently returned from a visit to a pumpkin patch. It was awful, but that was mostly my fault. You see, we were having a bout of what we Ohioans call Indian summer, which means it’s still above 60 degrees in October. Well, I dressed my family for a fall family fun outing. That was my first mistake, or arguably, my first mistake was taking three small children to a pumpkin patch at all. That’s a subject worthy of debate. Either way, we were all in long pants, long sleeves and miserably sweating bullets all day. Hello internet? Would it have killed me to check the weather?
If you’ve never been to a pumpkin patch, you’re missing all kinds of crazy. This particular patch offers a 30 minute hay ride around the farm, unfathomable numbers of pumpkins, gourds and other things that look like those. They open their barns and call it a petting zoo, roll in one of those hot dog trucks from the fair and charge a reasonable rate. They cut out a big picture in the corn, which can only be seen from the sky, so you have to take their word for it and call it a corn maze. You get a map to help you through it if your kids aren’t screaming about pumpkins and you skip the line for admission to head straight for the fun. There’s a hay bale maze for little likes, red wagons for hauling pumpkins and children, lots of large wooden pictures to stick your face in from behind too. We bowled with pumpkins, putted miniature gold with little gourds and raced rubber duckies down PVC pie using water pumps. Did I mention there was a DJ? It was a spectacle to be sure, an afternoon of memories and ever the writer, I dreamed up a head full of stories.
There’s just something about this season, the colors, the shorter days, cooler nights, added wind, falling leaves, everything about it screams “tell my story!!!” to me. I see shadows and think of ghost stories. I hear children laughing and fathers raking leaves and I think of all the fabulous children s stories I’ve read over the years, and a few I’d like to tell too. There are hunters wearing orange in the front of every pick up truck I see, and even the pastor has grown a bit of a beard.
If you live in small town America like me, there are pumpkin festivals, apple cider festivals, and bonfires galore. Families spend more time together in this season than most others. Its never too hot not quite too cold and the opportunities are endless. There’s even a town near my college alum where kids tote stolen pumpkins from fields all over the county and roll them down a big hill until the asphault is covered in slime and seeds, then we those naughty kids will fling themselves down the hill on anything that can sit on, plastic bags, sleds, pumpkin parts. Whatever. Its such a thing around here that the local news always seems to have the chance to cover it before the police arrive. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.
So, what is my point? you ask. I don’t know I guess I’m saying that there is a time to write and a time to live. So, before the snow has you fighting cabin fever and typing some version of “All work and no play makes Julie a bad girl,” get out, have fun, make a memory, hop a ride on a pumpkin, do the Monster Mash – (its a graveyard smash). But, be sure that winter is coming and you can use a break before its too late!
Come back later and tell me what you got into!!
I’d like to make a suggestion: (I’m FULL of suggestions- but this is a great one). You can make a difference this fall in the lives of others. Did you know? There’s an incredible site out there that I want to share with you. It’s called Book or Treat. Book or Treat is a fundrasing site for UNICEF, and your donation will help children gain access to clean drinking water, immunizations and education. Please. Stop by and take a look. It’s one fall memory that makes more than just your family smile