Pumpkin time.

It’s October! Oh, boy!

I generally love October. (This month is a bit of an exception.) I love the weather, especially this year with its mist and rain. I love Halloween decorations. When the kids were young, I loved planning Halloween costumes. They were always homemade, if not particularly impressive. (Unlike my mother-in-law, who once lost a costume contest because the judges believed that the Scarlet O’Hara outfit she had made for her two-year-old niece had been storebought because of the quality of the workmanship. Once the judges were told that no, she actually made it, they awarded her a “Special Grand Prize,” the only time in the history of the contest they did that.)

I like pumpkins.

I like selecting pumpkins. I like living where getting pumpkins can be a quest, an adventure. Yes, I could simply go to Safeway and select one — and I have before. Much better, though, is braving the traffic to Half Moon Bay to Bob’s Pumpkin Patch (where we always go) to pick out special pumpkins.

When the kids were little, we would go to a local pumpkin patch that had a straw maze and a little train that went around the fields. The pumpkins were more expensive than at the grocery store, but the experience was worth it. We might still be going there, except now it’s a subdivision.

As years have gone by, my pumpkin consumption has increased. I get a large pumpkin for a jack-o-lantern, which will be trash by November 2. I get smaller pumpkins — white or orange – for use in cooking. I seed them and roast them and divide the flesh into roughly two-cup units. They’ll be there for pies at Thanksgiving (although I have not generally been a fan of pumpkin pies). More importantly, I’ll have the pumpkin for my Not Quite Fruitcake, which gets rave reviews even from people who do not like fruitcake. To quote one bar patron who had a piece one Monday trivia night, “This is what fruitcake should taste like.”

This year I have also gotten tiny pumpkins and gourds which will be part of a fall display (along with colored ears of corn) until time to put the Christmas wreath up. I don’t decorate for spring and summer, but I do for the time between the autumnal equinox and the second week (or occasionally, the third) when the Christmas decorations come down.

We have been lax in getting pumpkins this year, although I did get a smaller orange pumpkin (plus the gourds) from Safeway in late September. I wanted to celebrate fall — and I am glad I did before everything fell to pieces. I still have to get my Jack O’Lantern pumpkin and another small pumpkin for cooking.

Tomorrow is the trek. Oh, boy.

Pumpkin time. It’s a great time of year.

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