Today is and end the end of an era. I’m sad. You see, up until this year, we’ve invited friends over to our home for a Pumpkin Carving Party. It was an event everyone looked forward to when we turned the page of the calendar over to October. In fact, some of the participants planned what their pumpkin would look like for much of the year, so they would win one of the coveted prizes that were given for the Scariest, Funniest or the Overall Best Pumpkin.
My friend Jackie, who is a wizard at decorating, would transform our basement into a fun Halloween space with lights, garland and other “spooky” stuff to set the mood. We’d play “scary” music, like the Monster Mash as we’d enjoy dinner together. Then, for an hour, we’d act like children as we carved our “gourds,” making a mess, teasing each other, and carving some pretty terrific pumpkins. When the carving was done, we’d turn off the lights for the “Grand Lighting” ceremony so everyone could get the full effect of the Jack-o-Lanterns before we would judge who would win the prizes. it was a great time.
But like all traditions, at some point they must end. Yes, in 2012 not only the world cease to exist, our pumpkin party will, too.
You see, it’s a practical matter. Pumpkin carving has become impossible for several friends this year. My husband’s Multiple Sclerosis has gotten to the point where it’s difficult to go downstairs, and the nasty tremor in his right hand doesn’t allow control of his favored hand. Our friend, Patrick has undergone surgery to put a pace maker in his heart, and friend Kay was told she needed knee surgery very soon. All of this makes standing in the basement to carve pumpkins out of the question.
I thought about calling off the whole thing, but Ken and I love entertaining our friends. They energize us. We’re happy when they’re here. Besides, it wasn’t the pumpkins or the prizes or even the decorations that made our event for the past 15 years special to everyone. It was the fact that we took time out of our busy lives to be together.
Change begets change, so, this year we’re sponsoring a “Halloween Hullabaloo,” a pot-luck dinner with the same friends, who’ll get a chance to enjoy each other and laugh at a silly Halloween flick we’ll put on the Blu-Ray.