October 9, 2009
My Creative Pumpkin Juices!
It’s pumpkin time, and with that comes stories and folktales that run a shiver down your spine. Celtic tradition claims that today’s Jack-o-lanterns began as carved gourds that invited deceased loved ones in and kept ghosts out. Then later, there is the old Irish tale of Jack, who tricked the devil and was banned from Heaven and Hell. Poor Jack had nothing but a burning lump of coal to light a pumpkin with as he wandered the Earth.
Halloween pumpkin carving has been around since the pilgrims settled in the Americas and found the perfect medium. American pumpkins were easier than gourds, and tasty, too! Anyone who celebrates Halloween knows there is nothing like the sweet smell of burning pumpkin on a cool Halloween night.
I love this fall tradition. It invokes happy memories of my childhood, especially that rite of passage when I was old enough to handle a butcher knife and carve my own jack-o-lantern. It was the one time touching something cold and slimy was cool! Plus, it was an opportunity to delve into my creative side.
Today, pumpkin carving is changing with the times. While traditional patterns still resonate with the young, artistic patterns that play with light and shadow have made carving quite the art. Though I still love a fresh pumpkin, the rubber and foam craft pumpkins now available have become my personal favorites. They keep well in storage year after year, so I’m able to “grow” my own collection.
I hope you enjoy a couple pictures from my “pumpkin patch” in today’s blog post. Every October if I’m not writing, you can find me out of the office with a pumpkin on my lap, a happy smile on my face, and no ghosties about! I’m sure my jack-o-lanterns chase them all away.
Author of THE PRIVATEER and TURTLE SOUP
Historical and Contemporary Sweet Romance
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