Family traditions are often both wonderful and dreadful. (No dreadful ones in this post--maybe later.) Steve and I discovered early in parenthood that anything we did two years in a row was fun, but anything we did three years in a row was a tradition not to be messed with.
Carving pumpkins, for example. That was easy when the kids were growing up. Buy a pumpkin, carve it in the kitchen, set it on the porch with a candle inside. Easy tradition. But then, due to people’s schedules, we often found ourselves in the Smokies on Halloween, and that required that the pumpkin be carved there. (The Smokies in October is another tradition that no one will alter, even though it’s an 8-hour drive for Josh’s family.)
That works well, as a rule. But this year everything got a little hectic. We hiked all day Friday, the first day, ate dinner late, and didn’t feel like starting the Pumpkin Project at that point. The routine since grandchildren arrived is that Kinley designs a face on paper, Kelsey draws it on the pumpkin, and Steve carves it. So all hands have to be available and the little ones, having arrived at 1:30 a.m., were desperate for bed.
Then we were gone to Marcus’s memorial service on Saturday, missing from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., so all hands were not on deck that day. On Sunday, we hiked and picnicked after church, then rushed back for the children to get in costume, for that was actually Halloween. We walked the Parkway in Gatlinburg, where stores were generous in their treats, and surely most of Sevier County was there as well as out-of-town visitors. It was crazy. Stephen even videoed part of it and posted it on Facebook.
Knox, as Woody from “Toy Story” got quite a bit of attention and would strike a pose at a moment’s notice.
Kinley, dressed as a Sri Lankan princess, was beautiful, but didn’t get the raves she might have received in her own neighborhood. (We tried to get her to say she was an Indian princess, but she protested that she had bought this outfit in Sri Lanka and it wouldn’t be accurate to say she was Indian.)
But the hit of the evening was Finn, dressed as a box of popcorn.
His other grandmother and his mother, Kelsey, had made this adorable outfit and they were stopped constantly as people wanted to take pictures.
We finally had our dinner and returned to the hotel—and to the pumpkin carving. So late on Halloween, the pumpkin finally was designed and carved. We put it on the balcony, as usual, and admired its glow. But its glow was nothing compared to ours as we wound up our lovely traditional weekend together.