The pumpkin farm we subjected Pea to on his first full day in the United States is known for the enormous fiberglass pumpkin that sits on top of its silo. The pumpkin could be seen for miles until a windstorm swept it from its roost last August. The pumpkin has sat in sad, smashed pieces beneath the silo ever since.
Kyle, with his connections in the news room at work, learned that a replacement pumpkin was scheduled to be lifted to the top of the silo this morning. We dashed out the door on a whim, hoping to see the giant pumpkin lifted high up into the air. In retrospect, I questioned my reasoning. I’m not exactly sure why this would be an interesting activity, but Kyle reminded me that one does not witness a 2000 pound fiberglass gourd dangling in the air every day.
We arrived at the farm one minute after the lift was scheduled to begin, afraid we’d miss the action. We jumped breathlessly out of the car to see the pumpkin attached by cables to a large crane. The morning was cool, windy, and bright. The boys requested sweatshirts which I could luckily provide from the never-emptied trunk. A handful of reporters and photographers milled around the area. I met a woman who’d driven over when her son called from the freeway to say he saw the pumpkin hooked to the crane.
Minutes ticked by and the sun got warmer. Sweatshirts were shed. Someone on a ladder was working on the eyes of the pumpkin. Tea took pictures with his camera. I leaned that my new friend’s twin great-grandchildren are a handful at 4 months old. A small crowd started to gather.
An hour passed. Someone from the farm stopped over to inform us of the problem: the company who made the pumpkin had forgotten to install plexiglass windows in the eyes. They were to have remedied the situation by 9am but were behind schedule. The eyes of the pumpkin were fitted, slowly, with windows as a woman crawled in and out of the eyes. Pea played with a (clean) tongue depressor he found in the car. I learned about my new friend’s grandaughter, who is currently honeymooning in Italy.
There was a flurry of action and a brief moment of excitement when the crane lifted the pumpkin just enough for someone working inside to scoot out a hole in the bottom. Then the pumpkin was set back on the ground and work continued on its eyes. Another hour melted in the hot sun. A videographer from a local news station asked to interview me. As I couldn’t think of anything to say about watching a crane lift a giant pumpkin that didn’t sound utterly ridiculous, I declined. My new, talkative friend was happy to oblige. Tea collected a boquet of weeds to share with her.
Finally, after nearly two and a half hours of (amazingly! incredibly! miraculously!) patient waiting, we pouted a bit and piled back in the car. We were sorry to leave the company of our new friend, but it was not our fate to witness this great event. We had places to go, people to see. Exciting plans awaited us in the afternoon, which included Nana, Auntie M, and cousin Cricket picnicking in the shade along the shore of Lake Menona. (That picnic felt divine after an inpromptu morning under the hot sun without sunscreen.) But I do not regret the morning. We actually had fun. Watching a giant pumpkin. On the ground. Doing nothing.
And besides, we of course drove by tonight to check it out.
Somehow or other, the pumpkin made it up there. We almost feel like we watched it happen.