When our 86 year old neighbor proudly opened the door of his barn to show us its secrets, countless memories flashed to my mind at once. I remembered how, year after year, he'd invited us to see the gorgeous collection of pumpkins he'd just harvested, from varieties that cross-pollinate and produce a beautiful range of shapes and textures. I remembered the years of abundance, when he'd break a pumpkin open outside the barn and leave pieces there for any neighbor to take.
I also remembered the autumn about seven years ago when the boys, dressed in their homemade Halloween costumes, knocked at his door to trick or treat, leaving him and his wife utterly bewildered: they'd never heard of Halloween before, and never really understood my explanation of why my boys had been roving the night in costumes, "begging" for candies. We never went back trick or treating in the neigborhood again, but each year, around the end of October, we go to the barn to admire its secrets: the bumpy, smooth, orange, green, long, or rounded pumpinks, and receive a gift of them from our neighbor, which we enjoy in soups and winter dishes for weeks to come.
Happy weekend to you all!