For various and sundry reasons, I do not like Halloween. Indeed, much like a trip to the gynecologist, I view it as something that I have to get through.
Of course, my heart and head aren’t entirely closed to the holiday. I don’t begrudge others for engaging in Halloween frivolity. What’s more, I enjoy seeing the younglings in their costumes and I have adorned my fake fireplace with holiday décor. Oh, and I also have a cauldron.
But that’s pretty much been it … until this year.
For reasons that even I don’t understand, I decided to purchase a pumpkin. If that comes as a surprise to you, my dear readers, you are not alone. Upon hearing my out-of-character plans, my sister assumed she was hallucinating.
I felt poorly on pumpkin-picking day, however, so my sister selected my gourd. And – even on a good day – I have no idea how to carve a pumpkin, so my beloved niece was entrusted with that esteemed honor.
Since I wasn’t feeling my best, I didn’t have the energy to create a spectacular pumpkin design. I had not lost my cleverness, though, so I asked my niece to carve a pumpkin into a pumpkin. I’m sure we were making a serious artistic statement with that design. I’m just not sure I’m smart enough to understand the statement.
On pumpkin-carving day, my niece sent me a message to let me know the double pumpkin had arrived on my porch. Then, she asked if I had a candle.
Although I was still unwell, I checked my temperature. I was not running a fever. So, I asked her for an explanation and promptly learned that one is supposed to illuminate a pumpkin with a candle so that one’s neighbors can view the shining gourd.
Imagining a hungry critter knocking my glowing double pumpkin onto the ground, I informed her that the suggestion was too dangerous.
Her response went something like this, “LOL! Haven’t you ever had a pumpkin before?”
No, smarty-pants, I haven’t, which is proof that a person can appreciate new experiences at an advanced age.
Nonetheless, I refused to leave a burning torch unattended on my front porch, so we decided on glow sticks. Yes, I had to look up glow sticks on the Internets so I would know what to buy at the Dollar Store. And, yes, my niece had to instruct me on how to use glow sticks, but everything worked out. I placed said glow sticks in the double pumpkin and, whilst I snapped photos, a member of my cat army jumped into the frame.
However, for various and sundry reasons, this might be my first and last pumpkin. The double pumpkin adds a splash of color to my life, but between coming up with a design and an alternative to candles, I’ve found the experience to be entirely too stressful.
Besides, glow sticks burn out after a night or two and those things cost a dollar a pack.
This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.