It is thoroughly Fall around here, and domestic life has been overtaken by talk of Halloween costumes (with great reluctance on my part) and what kind of soup we’ll be having for supper (with great reluctance on at least one kid’s part).
Just down the road from us, Seaview Farm has a pile of pumpkins for sale, ones they grew themselves, which isn’t all that typical these days for a small farm. Seaview also sells their own meat and a bunch of other stuff, grown and raised on what is, as far as I know, the last working farm in our small New England town. It’s a burden, being the last of your kind, and we are grateful that the owners of Seaview Farm are hanging onto their acreage, in spite of the developers of multi-million dollar homes that are always circling around open space in Rockport. Instead, the owners choose to keep Seaview Farm a working farm, which is probably a harder task than I can imagine .
Today we stopped by Seaview Farm to pick up our fall pumpkins, a stop that included the acquisition of a giant head of cauliflower and a loaf of pumpkin bread (one for health and one for guilt and both for taste). Once we were home, and after we promptly split one of the giant pumpkins from dropping it, my younger son set to work with paper napkins and a marker. I had no idea what he was up to until he announced that he had made ghost pumpkins, dressing each of the smaller sugar pumpkins up in their own Halloween costumes. By the way, unlike most DIY projects, this one is really easy. So easy a 5-year-old can do it.
Materials: 1 paper napkin, 1 little pumpkin, 1 marker. Instructions: 1) Open up the napkin, 2) Shove the center of the napkin over the pumpkin stem, 3) place two dots on the napkin using the marker, roughly correlating where eyes would be on a real ghost. And that’s it: you have yourself a ghost pumpkin. Or several, if you’re feeling exceptionally crafty and in need of a good time-waster (though this project won’t satisfy on that last score, since making each ghost takes around 30 seconds).
Since making his three ghost pumpkins, my son spent the day lugging them around the house so that they can join us in our activities. Thankfully we have more or less been planted in the same spot, as it turns out that pumpkins are kind of a pain to carry around. One of the ghost pumpkins even joined us in reading Stuart Little. I think he liked it. I know the rest of us did.
Childhood, including ghost pumpkin-making, is fleeting. Everything around us is waning, the sunflowers hanging low and the leaves turning brown, all of it disappearing into ground just in time for the long winter. But in the meantime I am thankful, because there is Stuart Little and Seaview Farm.
I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.
The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.
The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.— Carl Sandburg, 1918