Wednesday, October 31, 2007

All Hallow's Eve

I must be getting old. I feel really boring. To celebrate Halloween this year I carved a pumpkin (not the easy task I recalled from childhood). I didn’t even venture to put on a wig. In some blast of nostalgia, I wore an orange sweater to work today. Who knew I had it in me?

But back to those orange gourds we like to carve every year. “We” being Americans, not me. My friend Heidi hosted her annual pumpkin carving party last Friday. In years past, I’ve skipped the actual carving part for socializing and eating. This year, I decided to carve. I started tenderly scrapping the innards of my pumpkin with a spoon. Carefully avoiding getting too mucked-up with pumpkin guts, but after a few futile attempts, I remembered why I always stuck my bare hand into the pumpkin. It is just plain easier, and honestly, more fun.

All the tricks starting coming back to me. The spoon handle kept getting caught on the inside lip of the pumpkin making it difficult to scoop efficiently. This little thing brought me back to the kitchen floor of my childhood. Unfortunately, not enough to recall how to design a good jack-o-lantern face.

I’d forgotten to not only look for the smooth side of the pumpkin, but the side that tilted up. I came up with a lame attempt that sort of resembled an alien face but not really. My only saving grace was the star I dug out last minute at the urging of the only person there who had never carved a pumpkin before, and chose to stay that way.

After everyone is done carving, Heidi judges a contest and gives prizes. They judging is based on her criteria like the obvious best jack-o-lantern, but also the best effort, best recent return to carving effort and so forth. It’s a contest everyone wins.

The winner of it all? My German husbands mini-white gourd that he turned into a gorgeous candle votive. I had no idea he has it in him to create such beauty. Given, it was very symmetrical, but still. I had no idea I married an artist.

(And no pictures to show the results!! I accidently deleted them. Oops.)

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