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Today, we did not watch a giant pumpkin fly

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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.


8 responses »

  1. A rare hot-air balloon floated just over our neighborhood – very low – last Friday at dusk. . .mid-bedtime storybook with kids in pajamas mamma made the sudden decision that we must go see it land. . . which became a bit of a drive around the countryside, as they need permission to land in each farm field, so would almost land & then pull up again. . . but finally caught it coming down in the almost dark down a farm road, with a few other neighborhood vehicles doing the same hide-& seek route. . . Fun!

  2. Thanks for the eyewitness report. I almost feel as if I watched a monstrous pumpkin hoisted on top of a silo this morning. It’s good I’m easily amused. Wow, you’re boys are well behaved to wait 2.5 hours. Not sure I could!

    • I guess when you’re anticipating a flying pumpkin, the time just flies. It really didn’t seem that long at the time. In retrospect, I’m a bit horrified. =)

  3. So many things here to comment on that I don’t even know where to begin. In the oral version of the story (yes, folks, I am lucky in that I get to enjoy Robin in person and on the blog… I am certain this makes many of you jealous as she is just as witty and delightful in person, and she sometimes brings donuts, a perk that is hard to replicate over the computer) you never mentioned that this time was spent standing on the side of the road. For this your children deserve some sort of medal, not just some tongue depressor you scraped off the bottom of your car floor. And why did the Pumpkin need window eyes? Is it a spy pumpkin?

    • You’re too sweet. Technically, I suppose we were by the side of the road, but I like to think that since we parked in the gated driveway, we were closer to being *at* the farm than the folks in the ditch. OK, so that’s fuzzy logic. I swear the children did not complain – the weeds were stellar. Stellar weeds will conquer any situation.

      The pumpkin eyes are for the possible future option of climbing up the inside of the silo and looking out. This is apparently not the current set-up, but the woman we spoke to said they want to keep the option open. I believe, however, that they actually live in the pumpkin. I mean, wouldn’t YOU?

      • oh my god. i was just struck by an awful thought. peter, peter pumpkin eater had a wife and couldn’t keep her so her put her in a pumpkin shell and there he kept her very well? there is a poor, poor woman locked in that pumpkin and must be saved immediately. though on the bright side she apparently has windows.

        (and could someone please tell me what that nursery rhyme means? so, so strange. or am i misquoting it?)

        • I think you’re right.
          Let’s launch a rescue on the next full moon.

          The first piano song I learned to play, by the way, was a tune with those lyrics. I thought it was disturbing even as a 3rd grader.

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