Saturday, November 3, 2012

Apples to Apples (and Pumpkins)

     Time for another road trip! ... Or just a miniature one. When October finally starts, it comes with  a fiasco of Halloween costumes, parties, decorations, and, of course, pumpkins! Our special goal this time was to pick out the best and most carve-able pumpkins to showcase our Halloween spirit! Living in New York City, the options for driving are very limited. We don't own a car, since we walk or take public transportation almost everywhere. But when we need to get out of the city, a car is needed. Therefore, a rental is the answer. It took more than one hurtle to get over before driving upstate to go pumpkin and apple picking.
     My mom, my little brother and I parked our car on the outskirts of a pumpkin patch, and we were ready to scour the area to search for the perfect pumpkins to carry home. We actually didn't scour to a great extent, maybe the autumnal chill had something to do with it.
     I love this time of year. The air holds a fresh breeze with a slight chill, so it's cold enough for hot drinks but still allows for shenanigans or everything else during the day. When I was younger, my family called it, "Jacket Weather" to remind my brother and I to grab our warmer clothing as we headed outside. The season makes me very happy. No one is too hyper, running around to meet deadlines before the year is up; the general mood of people is very mellow, and I try to drink in as much of it as I can before I have to stress myself out. There's a song, actually, (there's a song for everything) from The Fantasticks, which I have actually never seen, which goes, "Try to remember the time of September when life was slow and oh, so mellow..." October is like September, only with more energy to make way for Halloween.
     That's what we were trying to do; we were retaining some of the mellowness. It seemed to be working, because we laughed and had fun making our way through the corn maze, strategically planning our escape route. Apple picking was more entertaining. Now that Dash, my brother, is taller than me, he continuously flaunts his height, especially when I wear high heels. He wasted no time picking the largest, highest apples he could, while I had to jump and drop more than my share. In the end, there were two bags of apples between the three of us that were filled to the brim. We paid for them all, and managed to wedge the apples and our pumpkins between the backseats of the car--New York style. Dash was unfortunate enough to have to sit in the back. Ha-ha. The apple cider doughnuts we snagged from the fame's market made everybody happy. My family and I are big apple cider doughnut fans, though the car company probably didn't much care for the crumbs left on the seats. We tried to be as careful as humanly possible while devouring the half-dozen we bought, but under the circumstances the feat was near impossible.

     When we got home, all of our pumpkins were shoved in one corner of our kitchen. In all, we had five: two orange, two white, and a green one. There's a funny story that comes next, it started when I got around to naming all of our pumpkins. I am, in fact, sixteen years old as I write this story. I named them Sheldon, Claire, Casper, Paul, Frank, and Benedict PumpkinPatch (in honor of my family's newfound craze for Sherlock). One night our entire family was sitting down to a dinner of potatoes and squash, prepared by my dad using a variety of herbs and fix ins. Then, I happened to glance in the way of the pumpkin corner and I noticed that the green pumpkin was missing.
     "Dad," I remarked, scooping up another forkful of the squash, "what happened to the green pumpkin over there in the corner?"
     He looked at me oddly, and said, "That's a squash, honey." A look of horror came over my face, and my eyes slowly moved downward toward my half-eaten plate of squash as my dad continued, 
     "You're eating it."
     There was a beat before my mom erupted in laughter, which was soon followed by my brother and dad. I had to put my fork down before I, too, joined in.
     A few minutes later, I managed to take a breath and utter, pathetically, "But I named that one."
     Between guffaws, my dad asked, "What did you name it?"
     It took a while longer before I was able to speak through my giggles: "Benedict..." I gulped, "...PumpkinPatch."
     The room roared with laughter, so much that tears came to my eyes. Eventually my laughter turned to hiccups, and I half-heartedly finished my plate.

Here's to Benedict PumpkinPatch, who tasted delicious and who's memory attunes to such a great time of year, and may many more memories come of it.