Saturday, October 04, 2003

Nate's Date

No one was stung, but the yellow jackets were the decided winners. Our picnic was cut short by one, then two, then three persistent invaders. We've been stung before, and so we lost all courage. We hustled the kids back in to the mini van and finished our Easy Cheesy picnic with the windows rolled up, the fan blasting and (here goes my pride) Peter Pan playing on the DVD. Yes, it was humiliating, and it looked nothing like Martha's tailgate picnic in her October issue; no homemade tomato soup, no wool blankets across fall leaves, no wicker baskets with frittatas.

Out in the pumpkin fields neither man nor beast interfered with our mission: To find the tallest, or roundest, or most interesting pumpkins. We had many to choose from. At first Max and Nicholas were more interested in standing on the pumpkins or rolling them, but once we had a wheel barrow they were quick to fill it. Holly found a good tall pumpkin, which I know she will carve to blue ribbon quality. Max traded pumpkins several times before settling on an orange and round one with a stem. Really, they all look good and making a final decision is daunting. We did manage to find one very unique specimen for Geoff. It is somewhat flattened, and star spangled with green all over the orange.

Besides pumpkins, there were gourds and corn stalks, squash, sunflowers, chocolate coins (those are *grown* in the fun store at Bate's.) May I say, there were a lot of gourd and squash formations resembling anatomical features. Holly and I were giggling rather Beavisly. The banana squash were particularly huge, and fleshy colored. We refrained from identifying its resemblance, but the two year old, cute little girl declared, "Daddy, that looks like a penis." Large crowd, articulate child, very funny.

We had fun. It was a bit of a rough start. Alex still hopes to enjoy a genuine picnic, so we'll try that again. Maybe if we set out on our country day with an art director, location manager, film crew, a make-up artist and stunt doubles, we can achieve a Martha moment. Never mind. I'll take spontaneity, a little chaos, some tears and laughter. The wealth of joy from life's fullness... it's a good thing.

Here's my stand-in, for close ups.

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