Saturday, October 11, 2008

smashing pumpkins...um, literally!

Copyright (c) 2005 Wendee Holtcamp
Joy! Sam splashing in Sexton Pond, Angelina National Forest, Texas


I think that I am going to have a very pumpkin-y Fall. I am at Matt's house right now, in the midst of Sam's birthday party, waiting for a friend to come help me get the boys back to my house. Matt (Sam and Savannah's dad) is very creative and comes up with these really cool ideas. So the first thing that he came up with was a pumpkin toss contest. Teams of two boys would throw a large pumpkin back and forth, moving further apart after every throw. The winning team (who were able to successfully throw and catch the pumpkin the farthest distance apart without it dropping) got $10. And the next thing they did was a Pumpkin Smash. Each boy took a large pumpkin and stood on top of the back porch and threw it with all their might onto a stump that came from where a giant tree had fallen in Hurricane Ike. Savannah judged whose pumpkin got the most smushed up. Next, they did a scavenger hunt.

What to do with all these smashed pumpkins? They won't go to waste in my household! :) First, I had the boys get out all the pumpkin seeds and we're going to roast them with olive oil and salt, which are soooo yummy. And then I put all the smashed pumpkins in a garbage bag for transport back to my house. I'm going to boil them or bake them, and then freeze it. I make a mean pumpkin soup! Not to mention, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes... you name it. Besides the 6 smashed ones, I also have 3 remaining fully intact pumpkins. Like I said, it's going to be a pumpkiny Fall. But hey since we're heading into Great Depression II at least I'll have some frozen pumpkin. That will last, from experience, about a week (if the electricity goes out, that is). Not to fear, I went out and bought a whole bunch of dried beans and extra water bottles yesterday too. I do not want to be paranoid, but some things do not come with warnings, like a hurricane.

I started to get seriously panicky the other day about this country on so many levels (hence the dried and canned goods and water shopping spree). The economy is worrying me, the election is worrying me, and the divisiveness and the anger and negative rhetoric on the (McCain) campaign trail is scaring me (though, thank God, McCain finally started to tell his angry riotous crowd to calm down and to not fear an Obama presidency, saying he was a good man, though then he goes on to continue inciting anger in his crowds). I am well aware that it's not hard to incite a crowd to anger and vitriol, but is that what we really want to do, and is that the behavior we want our leaders to encourage? It's also not that hard to inspire a crowd - or the country - to be united and generous in spirit to the point they want to give and help their neighbor. And remember Jesus in his parable of the good Samaritan said it's not just those like us who are our neighbor- but those most unlike us. We should help those we think are our "enemies" and certainly not hate them.

When I was talking about my worry, a friend last night told me not to get into that negative head space, and I think that is true. But it's also is difficult not to. Very difficult. As a self-employed person, the economic woes bring me a lot of uncertainty. What's the first thing to go when people's purses tighten? Donations to nonprofits and causes, like environmental groups - whose magazines I write for. Several of the magazines I write for have been reducing assignments already. It's just the way things go, and means I must work harder and stay even more focused. It's quite a challenge to stay positive. But I'm going to try. (Who by worrying can add a single day to one's life? Jesus once said... and it's so true. Anxiety only shortens our lives! But it's not always like snapping one's finger - or praying - and it goes away. Though I suppose one could pop an anti-anxiety pill... oops there goes my sarcasm valve, flapping open again - we all know how I feel about our overmedicated society!). :)

On another note, one thing (or one person) who makes me laugh and smile is... my daughter. The other night I was putting Savannah to bed and we were laughing about something or other (she cracks me up, and reminds me of the teen girl I once was who, despite the challenging times I went through, loved to crack up riotously with my friends). We got on the topic of the names I made up for them during the camping trip we took to Martin Dies Jr State Park and Angelina National Forest a few years back. We were playing around in a small lake in Angelina National Forest and I was trying to remember what I called them, and I said, oh I called you Sunshine Crazy and she said no that's what you called Sam. You called me Raisin Toadstool. I was like I did NOT call you Raisin Toadstool! Raisin Toadstool?!! Ha! I was cracking up, but apparently she is convinced I did at one point. But the name I chose for her was Mystery Magic. I think they decided my name was Bohemian Stupidhead. (This is the blog about that day: camping and making one's heart light as a feather).

2 comments:

Melanie said...

You sound like me on the economy thing these days. I think it's a good thing to be ready for whatever may happen, you know? That's why I stocked up our pantry a couple of weeks ago. It may just be for an ice storm in January, but I don't want to be unprepared, especially after I saw how uncivilized our local society became after three weeks in a gas shortage last month. And Pumpkins TOTALLY ROCK. Just don't put out any tiny ones and forget them and let them rot and petrify on your mantle;)...

WENDEE HOLTCAMP said...

eww that sounds disgusting! Petrified rotten pumpkin! I do have some tiny ones too. Note to self: do not put tiny pumpkins on mantle... :)