I am tradition-and-ritual resistant.  I hate feeling obligated to do anything and kids have made it worse, they leave you little wiggle room.  But Halloween seems to be the only place I’ll allow it.  When Julianna was little, we always went to Summers Farm pumpkin patch and I had photos of a rapidly growning and changing Schmoo in the same setting year after year.  Much like the lake photos.  For the last 3 years, though, we’ve switched to Jumbos Farm and we share our tradition with the neighbors.  We meet at the farm, ride the tractor out to the pumpkin patch, select the pumpkins (average time for selection–Julianna: 30 minutes.  Steve: 30 seconds), go back to the Donalds’ house for a potluck and pumpkin carving.  Finish up with a bonfire.

The weather forcast was for rain all day Saturday (and it was right.  Oy, was it right), so we decided to do it Friday night.  We’d all worked all day (I had Kindergarten art.  More on that later) and were shattered, but Tradition Must Stand! so off we went.  We had fun though.

Ben, Julianna and Molly, on the trailer to go to the patch:

Lily and Brooke:

Steve takes a meeting on the hayride:

Finding the perfect pumpkin:

Where, oh where is the return wagon?

I can’t remember where I left my pumpkin…

If the trip was a Project Runway field trip for inspiration, I’d use this photo:

No trip is complete without drama.  She tripped on a vine and fell and no one came to fuss over her.  The horror.

Molly and Julianna return from the far reaches, triumphant:

The hunters and their prey.  Ben chose his b/c he liked the blood-like drip of pokeberry bird poop on it:

Lily’s design, ready for carving:

Blair at the bar, Ben and Julianna, ripping out pumpkin guts:

After the carving, the kids watched Ghostbusters while the adults went out for some well-earned wine and a bonfire.  It was a perfect night for it.  Love a fire in the fall.  When the movie was over and the fire out, we went in to light the pumpkins before heading home:

Mine is the one with the Mr. Yuck face.

It was late:

Molly’s cute little gourd:

Steve’s very creepy pumpkin:

Now it is Saturday, and pouring, so I’m glad we went yesterday.  It’s 3:30 in the afternoon and all I’ve managed to do is go to the farmer’s market.  I hope to wash dishes before nightfall.