a night of pumpkin carving
on sunday, cian and i went to town carving pumpkins, and it just made me so happy. carving pumpkins has been a prominent memory from my childhood, and it will always have a special place in my heart.
every year my parents, sisters and i would drive up to deerfield, ma to go to the yankee candle factory, and we'd stop to pick out the perfect carving pumpkins at the same pumpkin patch, before heading back home to agawam. this was never a fast process - my dad took pumpkin picking very seriously. the simplest things in life make him the happiest, and pumpkin picking was one of those things. my dad and i were best buds, so i admired how seriously he cared about this, and so i developed that same care and attention to pumpkin detail (whereas my sisters didn't, and just picked the first pumpkin they saw). my dad would watch the three of us as we searched for our little personal pumpkins - me being the one to take the longest. once we had ours, it was his turn to find the big one for carving. i always followed right behind him, helping him pick the perfect one. i'd say we would spend at least an hour trying to find these pumpkins (or, at least that's how long i remember it taking!).
once we got home, we'd get straight to work on carving our perfect pumpkins. my dad usually liked to make a classic jack o lantern on the big one, and let the three of us do whatever we wanted with our personal ones. over the years, though, he gave into the carving kits and stencils to create some really great pumpkin masterpieces. he always let us help get the pumpkin ready for carving, digging out all of the slimy, stringy insides and sending them off to my mom to pick out the pumpkin seeds for toasting.
another tradition we had for pumpkin carving night, was to break out the good ol easy bake oven (yes, the one that my oldest sister got for her birthday in the 90s)! we would take out the package of the classic pillsbury halloween sugar cookies and take our turns cooking our own single cookie in the plastic oven, while the rest of the cookies baked in our regular house oven. it sounds so silly that we took the time to do this, but (like my dad) the simplest things make me the happiest. every year we made new memories, took lots of pictures to document our pumpkin masterpieces, and they are memories that i will never forget, and hope to carry into my own traditions when the time comes to carve pumpkins with my kids.
cian and i got started on our own traditions this past weekend! all of my childhood memories came rushing back - i can't remember the last time a carved a pumpkin since leaving for college :( but we had such a good night together, and i'm extremely proud of the pumpkins we made!