January Jack-O-Lantern

An out-of-season smile for you! Pumpkins are for Halloween and Thanksgiving. But this pumpkin carving was deep in the month of January.

Our tradition is to buy two or three pumpkins as soon as they’re available in October to set out on our front steps as decorations for the autumn season. Rather than bring in the pumpkins to carve for Thanksgiving pies we use pumpkin frozen in measured amounts the year before. Then, after Thanksgiving, we carve the pumpkins, cook, and freeze them for the next year. This year the pumpkin process was delayed by various circumstances. So last week, past the middle of January, Charles cup up a pumpkin–with lots of help!

I heard squeals of laughter and commotion in the kitchen. Leaving my desk, I found Charles, our two great grands, and a pumpkin having a hilarious time.

Charles had carved a jack-o-lantern with a smooth smile. The kids insisted he (the Jack) should have teeth. So Grandaddy accommodated. By the time I came on the scene, the assistants were replacing teeth they’d knocked out in their enthusiasm and sticking them back in place. They declared themselves dentists right then and there. But that wasn’t all. As the activity developed, Charli, first to start digging out the insides, discovered she could shoot seeds out of old Jack’s mouth. Then, of course, Kaison made it even more fun by shooting seeds as far as they would go. Both kids’ hands were covered with seeds and pumpkin innards. They even pretended to eat the slime! All in all, the pumpkin carving was more fun than a trip to Chuck E Cheese. Grandaddy and I sat down to enjoy the show. We had to dodge flying seeds and, finally, call for a washing up and sweeping.

Charles finished the job of cutting up the pumpkin for stewing. Now it’s mashed to a nice puree and packed in ziplocks for next Thanksgiving. Or, who knows? We might have an out-of-season pumpkin pie just any old time.

I’m thankful for beautiful orange pumpkins with perfect seams down their fat sides, pumpkins who waited patiently in a dark corner until carving time. I’m thankful for a Grandaddy who will apply his strength to carving and turning a chore into a frolic. I’m thankful for grandchildren who find such joy in simple things. Yes, way past the “official” time to be thankful, I’m so glad.

God never tires of hearing our praises!

Oh Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. Psalm 104:24

1 Comment

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One response to “January Jack-O-Lantern

  1. Suzanne Dover

    Yay for the pumpkin!

    Sent from my iPhone


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