Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Blues

I can see how most people would feel rather fond of pumpkins. They are kind of cute. Round, colorful, a symbol of fall, thanksgiving, cornucopias and all that.

But to me, pumpkins have a whole different significance. You see, I live on the San Mateo coast about 7 miles north of Half Moon Bay, the pumpkin capitol (darn it - is it capital with an "a"? or capitol with an "o"?) of the world.

Each fall we witness the grand pumpkin mecca to our scenic coast. 

The flower farms along highway 92 (ONE lane each way, mind you) place thousands of pumpkins in their fallow fields. They set up orange bouncy houses and inflatable slides. And pumpkin seekers numbering in the thousands journey here to have a "country" pumpkin experience (even though they are probably buying the exact same pumpkins that their local Safeway sells). 

They clog the highway with their sheer numbers. They turn slowly in and out of the flower farms. They WALK across the highway for petes sake. Highway 92 is the ONLY outlet from the coast to  the peninsula (unless you count super long, twisty roads that make you barf and take about 2 hours). 

Every fall, beginning in late September the ride over 92 gets slower and slower until it is stop and go the whole way (until you pass the flower farms, of course, then it's a straight shot). From mid October through Halloween it's just a mess. We basically have to avoid 92 for a month,  by driving north and coming over and down into Pacifica (an addition of 15 minutes).

All this complaining for 15 minutes? YES! 

Why should 3 flower farms get to hold the entire coast hostage for a month each year? Why do people insist on coming here for their pumpkins? 

It has always bugged me, and now I'm venting.

Don't even get me started on the pumpkin festival. Can you say millions of people in way too small a space? Eeesh.

Then there's the whole pumpkin carving saga. My kids always want to get some and carve them. Right. Like I'll let my 5 year old carve anything or get near a sharp knife. So it means that I have to carve. Blech. And I have to follow exact directions from the kids on how the jack o lantern must look. There will be tears if I don't get it right. Oh joy.

So you can see, pumpkins are not my favorite things.


Beth said...

Wow. I find this so interesting. I love Halloween!! When my kids were little, we worked hard to come up with original ideas for costumes. My all-time favorite was when Ben went as a lymphocyte, complete with his "antibody" sword.
I see all the dressing up as a way for kids to face their fantasies: either take control of their fears or live out a dream--much like in fairytales, but in a more concrete way.
Also, it's one holiday that is aimed at being with friends more than with family...and I think it is kind cool to have a holiday like that.
Granted, walking around in the cold and the dark has its drawbacks--but again, when the kids were little, we went in groups and the parents got to hang back and watch their little ones venture forth, squeal with glee at their loot, and generally just have fun.
My husband and I took turns begin the one to stay home and hand out candy and accompanying the kids. I love both. It's so fun to see what the kids dress up as--some are truly creative!
I look at the candy as a small price to pay to get their creative juices flowing. (See here for what my kids did last year.)
I can't wait to see what they do this year!