Getting my pumpkin hopes up

I got really excited for a few seconds this weekend when I thought I saw our favorite pumpkin stand on Route 5 had gone up! It’s too soon, of course — and there was nothing there but an old, crumbling building and an empty pick-up truck. But I’m slightly concerned because, after picking out our prized gourds last October, the woman working at our stand told my dad she wasn’t sure they would be continuing to sell on Route 5 anymore. I think she said her father, who technically owns the operation, was getting older and wasn’t able to keep up with it.

But what will I do without my pumpkin patch?! My mother has photos of my sister and I toddling along as children, pointing to the pumpkin we wanted so my dad could haul it off to the back of the van. We have the same pictures year after year — all of us standing in front of a scarecrow or witch or bale of hay. We pick out the gourds, then listen as they rattle around in the backseat on our way home . . . then pick a quiet evening, scoop out the “guts” and decide whether to make our pumpkin faces “scary” or “pretty.” In later years, as we’ve gotten busier and busier and somehow couldn’t find time to actually carve them, we’ve painted them with glitter. They’re always displayed at a place of prominence on the kitchen table or the bar.

A fall without my Route 5 pumpkin patch? Insanity! Unfathomable. The world will have gone mad! Here’s hoping it really does appear sometime soon . . .