Posted tagged ‘pumpkins’

“The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween.”

October 22, 2017

My back is pure misery. I grab things so I can move from room to room. I keep wishing for a Star Trek doctor with his medical tricorder to knock at the door and with one button take the pain away. I guess I’ll just have to keep wishing.

We are again blessed with a warm, sunny day. The house is even cooler than outside. The blue sky is striking. I figure I’ll make my way to the deck in a bit to enjoy the day.

When I was a kid, we always carved pumpkins. I loved to pull out what we always called the pumpkin guts. Every year the pumpkins looked the same when we were done. They had triangle eyes and a triangle nose and a wide grin with a few teeth up and down. The pumpkins went on the front steps. We’d put in real candles and light them. The wind was always blowing them out, but we’d keep lighting them. There is something magical about lit pumpkins grinning in the darkness.

We loved being afraid, not actually afraid but afraid of scary stories we knew weren’t real. My dad told great stories. We all know the hook. I swear it is a universal story. Small parts of it change, but the hook is always on the car door.

I remember walking on the sidewalks and seeing my shadow. It looked tall and eerie this time of year. Add the sound of my footsteps, and I’d keep an eye out to make sure I wasn’t being followed. I never was, but my imagination worked overtime. Ghosts flew.

I still love the old black and white horror movies. They were always on this time of year. When Dracula hid his face with his cape, we knew, without seeing it, that he was about to bite some poor victim. Renfield was one of my favorite characters. He’d do his master’s bidding and eat flies to keep up his strength. Bela Lugosi had the best voice. Frankenstein wasn’t as scary as Dracula. The doctor’s creation never really had a chance. One of my favorite scenes is when the villagers carrying torches and pitchforks follow their dogs to where the monster is. I always felt bad for Larry Talbot who turns into the Wolfman. His fate was decided by Bela, the Gypsy. I still love these movies. Lots of blood and slashers do nothing for me.

I am resting my back today, not that I need an excuse to be a sloth.

“There are three things that I’ve learned never discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.”

October 24, 2016

I was snuggled under the covers, and Gracie was right beside me with her head on the other pillow. She is my thermometer so I knew the house was cold, but I got out of bed anyway. The temperature was down to 63˚. I turned on the heat for a bit. I also put on socks and a sweatshirt. This is the time of year when the house is colder than outside. Last night it rained. I heard the drops before I fell asleep, but the morning was sunny. The day is rather pretty.

We have a couple of errands today. The most important is for dog food. Gracie seems to expect to eat every day, and I always oblige. When she’s ready for dinner, she sits in front of me and stares. Sometimes she is hungry early and other times much later. I used to keep her to the clock, but I realized I eat when I’m hungry and so should she.

When I got home from Ghana, I was really worried about Fern. She seemed so delicate. I could feel her bones when I patted her, and she didn’t have much energy. Lu, my house and pet sitter, said Fern didn’t eat much. I knew she had gotten her medicine as another pet sitter came by every night to give it to her, but usually she is quite the eater. I started giving her treats, lots of treats, and I bought several cans of her favorite food. Fern has bounced back. She demands treats and eats her canned food. Yesterday she wouldn’t let Gracie go by her. She just sat in front of Gracie immobile and threatening. Gracie went the other way. That’s my Fern.

I’m thinking I need to do a bit of baking. Apples and pumpkins are two stars of this season. Time to go through my recipes.

I have been avoiding it, shutting down the deck. It seems like giving up, giving in to the change of season, admitting winter has its toe inside the door. Turning on the heat this morning was another admission that summer is really over and fall is starting to pack.

“Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.”

October 22, 2016

The clouds and the on again off again rain have put a damper on my day, literally and figuratively. I just can’t seem to scare up enough energy to do anything but sit and watch television; however, I’m watching Syfy, not MSNBC.

It is warm right now, but that will change. By the late afternoon, we’ll be down into the 40’s, sweatshirt weather. It will be autumnal (I love this word).

When I went to get the papers, I was struck by how quiet the morning was. There was no breeze to rustle the leaves, no one was outside and no cars traveled down the street. I stood outside for a bit.

This is my favorite season. I used to think the Cape didn’t have much color until my first autumn back from Africa when I found the color so beautiful, so bright with reds and yellows. I saw cranberry bogs filled with deep red, ripe berries and watched when they were harvested. Pumpkins and sheafs of wheat decorated front steps. Mums in autumn colors came alive in the gardens. I fell in love with fall.

I have a couple of errands to do today. Gracie will come along to keep me company. She loves rides. She stands on the console between the front seats and looks out the windshield. When we stop at lights, she sticks her head out the back window. I swear she smiles.

I am losing my mind. I bought a bag of anise bears. The other night I ate so many I decided to put the bag away to eliminate temptation. Last night, I went to get the bag. I couldn’t find it. I looked in all my usual hiding places and in some odd places like the fridge just in case. It seems I did a remarkable job at keeping temptation away. I never did find those anise bears.

“Shedding late-summer tears for the end of cherry season. Patiently and hopefully waiting for pumpkin pie season.”

August 25, 2015

The weather has broken. We have sun and a breeze. It is still hot, but the breeze makes the deck the best place to be. I’ll sit under the umbrella, read and watch the birds. The feeders need attention so I’ll fill them again today. The red spawn was on the deck rail, but it jumped onto branches then scooted away when it heard me. I guess all the hosing worked.

The summer is nearly over. There are fewer cars on the road this week. Some schools have opened and others open next week. Labor Day is in two weeks. That used to be the official end of the tourist season here when most motels and restaurants closed, but not anymore. The season now extends into October and the Columbus Day weekend.

The fall, the nicest time of year here, is probably called the shoulder season, but I always think of it as bus season. Tour buses, filled with older people, retirees, take over where the cars used to be. You can usually see the guide standing in the front of the bus chatting with microphone in hand.

The mums are here, one of the first signs of the changing seasons. They are on display at every garden center, and the ones I’ve planted the last few seasons have buds and flowers. I never noticed flower garden when I was a kid. I don’t even remember mums or a local garden center. I do remember farm stands selling pumpkins and corn stalks. We used to pass them on our Sunday drives to my grandparents. In those days much of the ride was on side roads until we connected with Route 1, but even then we drove through a few neighborhoods before we’d hit the oil tanks where the ships were moored. I remember the farm stand in Revere right near the church. The stand was set at an angle and pumpkins in piles filled both sides of the front. Inside the stand we could see those oblong fruit baskets filled with apples and vegetables. We never stopped there. We never even asked. We just knew my father would say no. He hated stopping. He was a straight here to there sort of guy.

“Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!”

October 2, 2014

The rain started Tuesday and continued throughout Wednesday until well into the night. The dog’s outside water bowl was filled with rainwater. We’re talking inches of rain here. The ground is still soaked. With the rain came cooler temperatures. It is only 57˚ and with the dampness it feels even colder. The wind has picked up and the trees are being blown. More rain is predicted for later.

I’d vote for October as my favorite month. The weather is lovely, fall flowers are in bloom, pumpkins adorn front steps and fill wagons at farm stands, leaves are in such an array of colors even the most boring road is ablaze in yellows and reds and the best of all is that October finishes on its very last day with Halloween. Christmas has Santa and elves and flying reindeer, but I love even more the witches and ghosts and monsters of Halloween. There are no scary Santa movies except maybe Santa Claus Conquers the Martians which is frightfully bad. Nope, hands down, Halloween has the best scary movies. I love them all especially the classics. I’m not talking blood and gore movies. I want to be scared by subtlety. We never see Dracula bite into Mina’s neck. He uses his cloak to hide it, but we know what’s going on. Our imaginations fill in the void. One of my all time favorite movie scenes is in Frankenstein. It is when the villagers hunt the monster. They are sent off to, “…search every ravine, every crevice. The fiend must be found.” The black and white of the movie enhances the scary scene. Wide-eyed women huddle and hide. The dogs who lead the pack of crazed villagers are barking and pulling at their leashes. The men wend their way down a hill their torches bright in the darkness. Their garbled shouts echo in the night. We sense their fear. It touches us and scares us. That’s the best part of Halloween.

“Listen! the wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”

October 5, 2013

The Cape Times gave me a chuckle this morning. The Sox beat the Rays 12 to 2, but the headlines on the Times sports page announced Breakthrough for Sandwich who beat Falmouth in football. The Sox were relegated to the bottom of that first page.

It rained yesterday and must have rained again in the early morning as the streets were still wet when I woke up. I’m not complaining as we haven’t had rain in a while. Today will also be chillier, in the 60’s. Again, I’m not complaining. This is, after all, October.

The houses around are all decorated for fall. Corn stalks stand next to front doors, pumpkins are on steps, a few stuffed Draculas sit waiting for victims and colorful gourds fill baskets. My neighbors across the street always put out a scarecrow and some pumpkins. My front step has a basket with gourds and I have hung out my fall flag, the one with apples. This is such a pretty time of the year.

Today syfy is presenting scary monsters like the boogeyman. My sister always thought he lived under her bed. Lots of kids did. If he wasn’t under the bed, everyone knew he was hiding in the closet. The boogeyman only came out at night. Things just aren’t scary in the light of day. If I hear a noise and the dog barks, I throw caution to the wind in the daytime and throw open the front door to see what might be going on, something which made Gracie bark. At night I proceed far more slowly. I turn the outside light on and look out the windows at the top of the door. Gracie is usually right behind waiting for that door to open. She’s as curious as I am. When I open the door, we never see anything.

I remember one night when Maggie, another Boxer of mine, jumped out of bed, stood at the top of the stairs and barked her scariest, deepest bark. I jumped out of bed and turned the hall light on and was ready to go downstairs. Just as I did that, Maggie turned around and jumped on the bed. She had scared the bejesus out of me but there she was unconcerned and back to sleep. I wondered if maybe a fox or a coyote had walked by the house. I never thought about the boogeyman.