Thursday, October 30, 2008

Slash & Gut


It's that time of year. Even though we are empty nesters, I still feel the need to carve at least one Jack-o-lantern. Used to carve close to a dozen when we lived in the city and could display them on our porch. It was fun watching the reactions or Trick or Treaters and their parents. Oh well. I'm typing this in the dark, late at night, as the owl silently watches me. Never grow tired of watching them flicker. Cost me many hours of sleep. When we lived in a smaller town with an active city recreation commission I taught pumpkin carving. Me with a room of 25 youth armed with saws and knives! That should have been a nightmare but the kids absolutely loved it, and came back year after year. They'd tell me what they carve at home and what they carved last year. Their energy level and excitement were a boost that made the HUGE cleanup effort even seem worthwhile. And teachers would have me come in and give a quick demo and tell the history of this holiday. They kids would send me neat Thank You notes. But we're in a larger city with a rec commission that doesn't need my services (I asked) and our kids are grown and gone. So now it's a personal venture. The wife and I quietly enjoy the simple pleasures of a family tradition that I can't let die.

12 comments:

bonnyracca said...

John, I love your owl carving!! We don't have children and neither of us grew up here in North America, so the pumpkin carving thing never became a habit with us. But we love looking at them around the neighbourhood!
There is a community up-island from us,where there is a long windy road out in the countryside. Every year on the edge of both sides of the road people place several hundred (really!) carved pumkins. The whole community does them and they all get placed on this road, where there are no street lights. Each year people frrom all over drive up to this community and do the Pumpkin Crawl. First driving slowly up one side and coming back down the other. Afterwards we go and have coffee or pumpkin spice lattes to warm up. It's a huge effort and it is so much fun!!
Thanks for sharing your awesome carved pumpkin!

john.p said...

I would LOVE to see something like the Pumpkin Crawl.

Quilt Knit said...

That's beautiful! I did carvings till the neighbors started destroying them. Halloween took on one of those "Your promoting demon worship" ridiculous attitudes. It came from no where, and the people that talked evil on my pumpkins--- I caught them at a party, the man was in that Nun's costume, and wife as Elvira! I was so angry - I was one Mean Mad Clown that night. They never knew it was me.
I love the pumpkin contest that are found all over the North East. Keene, New Hampshire has one of the Best, and of course on the Boston Common

winna said...

I left a comment early this am and I wonder who got it? Some Irish pub goer stopping off at the internet cafe maybe? At any rate John, you always treat us to great pages with your lively sketches and commentary. We used to use the owl in our family with the name being Fowler and there it was, right in the name--I'll bet many many people were dissapointed in not seeing your class this year--Smiles to you and yours, EJM

susan said...

John, I loved reading your blog. Brought back memories of carving pumpkins when my own children were little. Also, the times when I helped my daughter's preschool classes carve pumpkins and the little ones wouldn't touch the inside "guts" of the pumpkins! Such slime! Carving pumpkins seems to be going by the wayside...replaced by dazzingly lights, etc. I hope not...have an 8 month old grand daughter---hopefully, we will help keep this tradition alive. Thank you for sharing....your journalling pages are great!

Sandy said...

Abdsolutely Great journal page!

Barbara said...

What urban rec commission DOESN'T need volunteer help these days?????? I'm shocked, wish you could visit our local Boys and Girls Club and help out. Or come with me to Juvenile Hall -- but without the knives (we drew faces instead). - Barbara

Margaret Ann said...

You are a lovely storyteller John...You artwork and journalling is so dear. Thanks for another nostalgic trip!

I agree with you on that Pumpkin Crawl...What a neat idea!

Starr said...

I love your stories! This is great. A wonderful journal and owl. Your talents are endless.

Lisa Reed said...

You taught pumpkin carving?! Gosh, you are too cool! Love the one you shared with us, along with your stories about your passions. Good stuff!
Lisa

Lost In Wonder said...

Great little sketch page. Nice way to remember.

Cecelia said...

There are bound to be some group that would love to have you share your talents. Your woodworking, too. Wish I had someone to pass those thing on to my grandsons! The oldest one took shop in school and hated it. Too many tests and paperwork and very little hands on work. I was an art teacher and I see a lot of that even among art teachers. Maybe you could do private lessons.