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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

It is tradition. The carving of the great pumpkin. I have attacked this task with gusto every year except for one that I can remember. Shopping for a pumpkin is like shopping for clothes. I am choosey and meticulously study each pumpkin in the bin until I find the one that is just right. Even then, I may press my ear to one side to see if that pumpkin "speaks" to me. Then I'll spend days turning it this way and that while studying the curves and lines and bumps before deciding on the face I will carve into that pumpkin. It has been this way for as long as I can remember, even back before I was allowed to do the carving. All of this makes it sound like I am a pumpkin carving artist who creates miraculous works of art on a pumpkin. I am not. I don't go for the printed templates that you can get these days to help you turn your pumpkin into a whatever character that is popular. I am a traditionalist. The pumpkin gets eyes and a big grinning mouth. One year I even went back so old school as to do the generic triangle eyes and nose face. Each pumpkin has a face, a face that is inspired by the pumpkin itself. 

This year, there was a Martha Stewart Pinterest thing going around social media where she had turned small pumpkins into vampire pumpkins. I am not crafty. I mean, I have my moments. I can be crafty if I have to. I am the princess of a crafting queen and I know how to use a gun. The glue kind of course. I tend to avoid attempting things I see on Pinterest because I am not confident in my glue gun skills any more. I did a bazillion craft projects in my youth. I'm over it, but I saw those dang vampire pumpkins and I fell over laughing. I wanted them. I wanted a front stoop full of little vampire pumpkins. When I said this to Michael, he said "OK. Let's make it happen." We bought four small pumpkins, a package of glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth and a box of pins. Then the two of us spent an evening making our vampire pumpkins. And they were not a Pinterest fail. I arranged them carefully on our front stoop and giggled at their silly vampire faces. 

I carved a traditional pumpkin as well. I did that Friday night while Michael watched the World Series and did his best not watch me dangerously jabbing a knife into a pumpkin. He's always amazed that I haven't chopped off a digit by now. Saturday, we all went out to run some errands and get lunch. We pulled into our driveway just as our mail carrier was starting her rounds. As I reached out to get our mail from her, she said "Hey. I have to say, you guys have the best pumpkins in the neighborhood. And I should know! The first time I saw those, they made me laugh so much. Really. They're the best ever." I was so moved and replied with a very genuine "thank you." As Michael finished unlocking the door and we all shuffled inside, he leaned in and said "Did you hear that? We have the BEST pumpkins." It's been a thing for days with us. The Royals won the World Series and we have the best pumpkins in the neighborhood. 

Happy Love Thursday.