Hello, Pumpkin Patch

The first year we lived in our current house, it felt as though we’d been transported to Disneyland for Halloween–people up and down the street decked out their homes with oversized decorations and all sorts of curious items that spewed mist or growled sporadically or otherwise scared trick-or-treaters. Spooky music was blasted from various houses and neighbors dressed in elaborate costumes. There was a fantastic joyful, over-the-top vibe in the air. We felt somewhat out of our element, given our low-key decor featuring a tiny pumpkin patch. In the following years, we experimented with an array of monsters, skull lights, and other things that came and went. Over time, families moved away and the carnivalesque vibe dwindled. But still we have our pumpkin patch.

It brings back so many memories: when our kids were younger, we’d celebrate for weeks leading up to Halloween. We’d attend fall festivals, run through corn mazes, enjoy hay rides, and make candy apples. We’d comb through the store aisles–trying on as many silly hats as possible along the way–until we found the perfect costumes. We’d carve pumpkins and roast the delicious seeds. Now the boys are older and no longer trick or treat or wear costumes. But still we have our pumpkin patch. 

It’s nothing fancy, though once we propped up a sign that said “Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Patch,” which gave it some literary flair, but said sign mysteriously disappeared the very same night [insert scary organ music and goosebumps]. 

There’s no art to the process: we just put a bunch of pumpkins in the garden. Today, we added the first row, the Hanging Pumpkins. There are more to come–and the overall number seems to grow each year. Suffice it to say that by the 31st, our pumpkin patch will be overflowing. 

There’s something about this that lifts our spirits. Perhaps it’s just taking a moment to be fanciful, to not think about all of the things on your to-do list that must be done. That’s something worth doing.

Hope the pumpkins lift your spirits too.

Happy Halloween Season! Do you decorate and, if so, what is your favorite decoration? 

37 thoughts on “Hello, Pumpkin Patch

  1. I put a wreath on the front door and I have a few black cat collectibles I put out in the living room but that’s it. We live in a neighborhood that is mostly retirees and some years we don’t get any kids. I always buy a bag of candy, something that my husband and I like.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was just admiring someone’s door wreath yesterday–they’re so lovely! (Secret: there’s a house with a black-cat motif in the upcoming bookstore mystery…I am drawn to them too.)

      And buying candy that people in the house would like to eat = so smart.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. One year I let The Girl decorate. We had a witch who’d flown into the (now gone) tree in the yard, a sign off the lamp post near the walk, pumpkins, etc.
    This year, with the kids gone and almost no trick-or-treaters, we let the spiders decorate for us (webs all over the mailbox). 🙂

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  3. I love Halloween, Cynthia. So many great memories of it from when I was growing up. When our kids were young, we decorated quite a bit and had a lot of fun doing it. Good times!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This is so sweet! I used to decorate our front yard like crazy. We were pretty much the only house that did. We live in the hills and it’s not a great area for trick or treating. We haven’t even got trick or treaters for a few years. I haven’t done anything to decorate for a few years either.

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  5. What a cute pumpkin patch, Cyn! We have trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood, so we usually have candy and at least a few decorations (if I’m not too lazy). Otherwise, we have an annual tradition of carving *one* family jack-o-lantern. And we all get to brainstorm ideas and vote on the winner!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh that’s such a cool idea–a competition!! I bet your family jack-0-lantern is gorgeous, with all of you contriburing to it!

      I always love seeing the elaborately carved ones. Ours are amateur for sure but made with love, ha.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. We’re pretty low key for Halloween these days, as our poor pooch freaks out every time the doorbell rings and some freakishly-dressed small humans are standing outside. (Goodness knows how she’d react if the trick-or-treaters were dressed as the MAILMAN!) So we try to discourage such visitations by having no decorations and turning out the lights on the Big Night and hiding away in the back of the house to watch something on Netflix.

    But I do love to wander the neighborhood and admire what everyone has done to their yards–and yours sounds marvelous, Cyn!

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  7. I decorate a little for it. I’ve bought a few of Hallmark’s Halloween decorations over the years. And last year, I put up some orange lights on my balcony. But I put a lot more time, effort, and money into decorating for Christmas.

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  8. I know what it feels like to be outdone by the neighbors on holiday decorating. We experienced it when we moved, with a new baby, into our house in Austin, TX. One neighbor felt so sorry for us and brought over a strand of lights. But love that your pumpkin patch has endured!!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. We used to do all the Halloween stuff when the kids were little. Our neighborhood was full of kids, but as the kids grew up and away, it seems as if none moved in to take their place. Our neighborhood is very stable so it’s just all of us old fart parents and none of the kids! We don’t get trick-or-treaters because just down the street, the businesses in town have created this really fun and extravagant event which grows every year. Just as well, because like Leslie’s dog, Nala loses her mind when the doorbell rings. I mean, Halloween is for scary stuff, but nobody needs THAT coming at them on the porch!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. First and foremost, the businesses give away spectacular candy and swag! They close off Mainstreet and have face-painting booths, art stations, pumpkin carving, and stuff like that. I think the senior center has dancers do the Thriller Dance most years. Lots of fun, small town stuff.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Our neighborhood in Tennessee was one where parents would drop off van loads of trick-or-treaters. Some of the neighbors decorated up big, but the most I did was put a pumpkin on the porch and put on a witch hat. Just leaving the porch light on attracted scores of kids!
    Where we live now, you have to be buzzed in to the building and none of our neighbors have kids. But I always buy some peanut butter cups — just in case, lol!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. So adorable!!

    We used to go ALL OUT for Halloween. We had tons of decorations, plus faux scary music and a fog machine. My favorite decoration was a huuuuuuuuuuge inflatable/animatronic spider. It elicited a lot of attention–and squeals!

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  12. I used to totally decorate all over the yard, porch, mailbox, flags, candles sputtering flames in the window, Halloween music on the cassette, and I dressed as a witch with a huge hat, colored hair, skeleton earrings, Harry Potter’s wand, Halloween pins all over a Halloween vest, etc. My dog dressed up. Then two years ago, no one came and last year was covid. So I have put out few decorations, but I like my life skeleton and critters and my candles in the windows. If I could figure out how to post photos here, I would show you.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I love this! I don’t decorate, but a couple of the neighbors with kids do. They did a great job, too. Lucky me, I get to enjoy the fruits of their labor without ever lifting a finger!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. When we lived in NYC, there were parades and parties and events, but no trick-or-treating in our building. One year we went to a wedding on Halloween night (yep, in costume!). Here in NH our house is set back pretty far from the road, so our only decoration (other than harvesty fall stuff) is a jack-o’-lantern. When we lived in TN, though, we had a neighbor who surrounded his home with crime tape, left a car on the lawn with the door open and a strobing light, and played the theme from the movie Halloween on endless loop. Then he hid in the bushes, dressed as Mike Myers, and jumped out at any kids brave enough to approach the door. (He actually chased the older kids.) Usually they ran for our house in terror, and we’d do our best to assure them there really wasn’t a scary guy with a chef knife trying to kill them. I still hear that theme song in my head now, every Halloween.

    Liked by 1 person

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