(Narrator voiceover, in a hushed, British accent: “The annual blog post in which Anne waxes poetic on all things . . Cucurbita.”)
To celebrate my twins’ birthday, my kids and I have a tradition of picking out our pumpkins. (On the day the twins were born, my kids and I had picked out our pumpkins that morning. So the tradition stuck.) We drive out to a pumpkin farm in the area and pick out pumpkins from the pumpkins laid out on the lawn.
Yesterday, the weather was perfect: clear blue sky with warm, bright sunshine and a barely-there breeze. At the pumpkin farm, the farmer and his family arrange the pumpkins in long orange stripes organized by price, with the prized Cinderella Pumpkins, red and stout, topping the price list at just $4. Piles of Jarrahdales arrest attention for their unreal blue green hue. Red wagons full of pumpkins and squash rumble on a huge lawn that sweeps up to a white farmhouse. This is a perfect day in the country.*
As I look at the pumpkins that spread out before me, I want to capture their simple beauty somehow. I can draw, but I can’t possibly do a pumpkin justice in anything that I could make. I think, more than the actual form of a pumpkin, I’m after the feeling a big, happy pumpkin evokes for me. They’re nostalgic and unassuming. With rich, resplendent color that would be ostentatious if pumpkins weren’t so humble. And they remind me of Packer fans, too: goofy and quirky, but they’re in on the joke.
* Now dear reader, please do not think that this is simply some Big Happy Pumpkin Time. No no. To get to a farm in the middle of the country means that I have to drive on many miles of country roads, and I hate driving on country roads. As another car careens towards my car, both of us hugging our shoulder I think thoughts like, “Is this dumb green Chrysler going to be the last thing I see before I meet Jesus?” I hate country roads.