I love pumpkins.  I’m even kind of crazy about the word pumpkin. It’s all bulbous and bursting, kind of perfect in its imperfection.

Pumpkins arrive in my favorite season, which doesn’t hurt – traveling in like a chubby, beloved family member who’s been off adventurizing the world (yes, that should totally be a word,) one who wants to just chill for a bit, maybe have a beer, sitting right there on the front stoop, checking the comings and goings of the 4,000 cats in the neighborhood.  And if you don’t mind cutting me up, maybe giving me some eyes or something, and sticking a candle inside me to show the glow, I’d kind of dig that, woman who seems to own this house.

Every fall here on Cedar Street, our friends, The Crabiels, host a pumpkin carving party, with pumpkins large and pumpkins small, one pumpkin per child (and one for Chip – our resident overgrown child), lots of carving utensils, all sorts of neighborhoodie shareable yummy dishes and a whole lot of laughter and fun.  This year there was an award for Most Wizard of Oz Pumpkin!  That was my favorite.

Hello, Tin Man.

Also, we had a “Grown Up Harry Potter” Award, one for “Prettiest,” one for “Most Creative,” “Best All Around” (because there were 4 faces all around that pumpkin) and “Biggest Headache” due to the carving tool stuck in the poor pie head.  I was partial to the “Picasso Pumpkin” and also “Most Mythological”.

Hey Scarface, light my cigar, will ya?  I’m so pretty, yes, I’m pretty!  Shut up and show me the money!

It is no small thing that kids – ranging in age from 3-13 – were solely responsible for the artistic awesomeness that was Pumpkin Carving 2012.  Every carver wins a (hastily found in the messy places in our houses) prize and the Pumpkin Master wins him/herself a darn tootin’ hat to boot!  Doesn’t matter what the prizes are – they just want to hear the silliness they’ve won their prize for.  “Best Effort.” “Most Puzzled.”  “Happiest.”  “Best Unibrow…” you know, those kinds of things.

Judge Me!

It’s just one of those events in our ‘hood that we look forward to every year. It’s amazing that this year, it was a last-minute thing, and almost every family came, in tact.

There were some kids missing this year, ones who have slipped up and away to high school.  As it happens to happen.  Soon Garrett will be in that group.  But this year he happily took part in the festivities, which made us happy.

Even if he is 5 inches taller than me now.