It’s Pumpkin Season!


There are really no other words to describe it. It was life-changing for this writer.

The “it” I’m referring to is my very first bite of a warmed, sweet, pumpkin scone last week. How I’ve lived this long and never had one, I have no idea. Pumpkin scones have finally arrived at our corner coffee shop with the green roof. And their arrival is just one of many signs around this town that lets me know it’s my favorite time of the year once again – it’s pumpkin season!

Let us go through just a few of the other things that make this time of the year so special. And you might find, like I did, that you just can’t do without a twelve-foot, freestanding skeleton for your front yard!

The crisp, cooler air of fall has replaced the heat and humidity of summer. And with lower temperatures come all those colorful falling leaves and the clogged gutters they cause, but not this year.

During the summer, we installed wire covers so our gutters are leaf free. Now all that cleaning time can be spent on more important things — like shopping for Halloween decorations and buying a twelve-foot, freestanding skeleton with flashing red eyes. And yes, assembly is required.

All my fire department medical training will once again come in handy. (The knee bone is indeed connected to the thigh bone.) Only one thing stood between my new best buddy, Slim, and me. The Wife. Somehow, I had to convince her that we should spend so much to make him part of our family — and our front yard. (Our neighbors are gonna be so jealous.)

After finishing my scone, I went to the giant hardware story with the orange roof where I reserved the giant skeleton. With a promise to soon return, I said goodbye to Slim and drove to our neighborhood “Play in the Dirt Again” nursery.

They too had a special to celebrate the start of fall: all the pumpkins you can carry for one low price of $19.95. What a deal! And what a challenge. As a firefighter, I carried folks up muddy gullies, across flooded streams during thunderstorms, and rescued them from burning buildings. Toting a few pumpkins out the front door of an air-conditioned plant nursery shouldn’t have been any problem at all. Next week I’ll let you know how many I tried to carry … and how my visit to the orthopedic surgeon goes.

I found the next sign the season had changed at our local grocery store. As soon as I walked in, the smell of cinnamon-infused straw brooms was overwhelming. For the last twenty years, one of the ways The Wife and I celebrated the pumpkin season is the placement of a cinnamon straw broom in our laundry room.

This year our grocery store had miniature cinnamon brooms for just a fraction of the price of a full-sized one. I bought one for the laundry room. After all, gotta save money where I can. Slim was gonna be expensive.

Last stop, the hobby store up on the hill. They already had Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff out, which meant all the Halloween decorations were 50% off! Now I ask you, who can resist paper plates printed with black cats and pumpkins and matching spider napkins? Or plastic knives, forks, and spoons modeled to look like bones? I know I couldn’t.

I also loaded my cart full of plastic skulls, leg and arm bones, grave markers, and “Welcome, Little Monster” signs. That was all I was gonna buy, but on the way to check out, a full-sized cat skeleton jumped into my cart right after a string of bats flew in. At least that’s the story I planned to tell The Wife when she asked why I spent so much. Expensive as it was, it was still less than the price of Slim.

Cooler temperatures, colorful leaves falling and filling gutters, Halloween decorations, pumpkin carrying challenges, and pumpkin scones are just a few of the signs of fall.

And this year, anyone passing by our house will hopefully see another sign of the season right in the middle of our front yard. He won’t be hard to see even from the street. His name is Slim, and he’s a twelve-foot, freestanding skeleton with flashing red eyes.

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories for The Citizen since 2001.]