The other night I had a dream I was chasing snowflakes and experiencing what I call “pure joy.” I also experienced that kind of joy in my waking hours last Saturday when my adult kids and I returned to a local pumpkin patch for our annual pumpkin-hunting trek.
The other night I had a dream I was chasing snowflakes and experiencing what I call “pure joy.” I was just glad it was snowing. It was a happy dream. However, I’m not always so happy in real life about snow.
In the dream, I was feeling like a kid again, like when there were blizzards in Wisconsin and we’d run outside and play after the snowstorm.
I also experienced that kind of joy in my waking hours last Saturday when my adult kids and I returned to Walters’ Pumpkin Patch near Burns, Kan., for our annual pumpkin-hunting trek. We were doing something for the pure joy of it — hunting pumpkins and jumping on the air pillow.
On our way there, I said, “Who’s excited about going to the pumpkin patch? Who’s quivering with excitement?”
“You are,” my eldest, Rodger, said.
I’m glad my sons humor me by going, and we always have a good time.
I don’t know exactly how we do it, but every time we go (three times in all now), we manage to purchase 11 pumpkins. The pumpkins are sold by the pound with the fancy Martha Stewart-type orbs selling for, I believe, 50 cents a pound this year. I’m not positive about that, though. The regular orange pumpkins sell for less per pound, I think. The prices were kind of a blur to me this year.
Opening day at the patch was Saturday, and we brought along our pumpkin-hunting supplies — knives and gloves. When you go, bring gloves for whoever is cutting the pumpkins off the vines and something with which to cut the pumpkins. Also, wearing long pants is a good idea. The pumpkin vines have prickly things that can get into your skin.
Another word to the wise: Pumpkins appear smaller in the field than they do on your front porch or on your dining room table, so be careful when picking them out.
This year, I purchased two medium-size orange pumpkins with cool stems Rodger and Andy picked out; two grayish green orbs (my favorites); one each of medium-sized and large white pumpkins; two small orange ones; a very bright orange orb with funky bumps on it for my sister; a small peach-colored pumpkin with bumps; and a white one shaped like a ghost. What a haul!
When we arrived Saturday, the patch was hopping with visitors and workers. When you arrive, you pay admission, which gives you the run of the place. From the admission booth, people can visit the gift shops that have holiday items for sale; buy refreshments and sit outside in the very nice eating area; take a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch or grab a small hand-pulled wagon and take it to the patch themselves (we did that); and take part in a variety of other activities.
Also, it’s a good idea to bring a camera, as the patch Web states, “We're not just for kids, and we're not just a field of orange pumpkins ... We harvest memories.”
And they do, in more ways than one. There’s a variety of locations for people to pose for photos with scary creatures, like witches, and a pumpkin with a chart to show the growth of children year after year (or possibly the shrinkage of adults).
It was fun for us to take advantage of the “photo-op” settings. The place does make memories for the Nugent family.