Monday, December 5, 2011

Deck the Halls with … Pumpkins?

I realize Christmas is just around the corner. Retailer music has been reminding me since October. But the tall, strangely narrow pumpkins that grace my window ledges still look so great that I don’t have the heart to remove them.

I paid WAY too much for the pumpkins, and the woman selling them knew it. Then she warmed to me and started telling me about her life.

She raised her daughters the “Country Way”—that is, to be self-sufficient without electricity, plumbing, and running water. When she married, she told her husband she’d do anything for him except cook chicken. She’d had enough of it, for it was her job at the tender age of 6 to kill three chickens every morning. Her uncle—who, with his wife, raised her and her many older brothers—loved to eat chicken. It was served every day for breakfast and supper; the children were spared chicken for lunch because they ate at school.

From this point, the tale turned dark and uncomfortable as it focused on the wrath and unsavory desires of the uncle. While the woman shared the grim details of her hardscrabble upbringing, she insisted on cleaning my pumpkins in bleach water—“They’ll last longer.”

She was right. Those pumpkins look as shiny new and orange as they did the day I bought them. And really, with the woman’s storytelling thrown in, I got a bargain.

Even so, I’ve grown accustomed to their Stan Laurel–like visages outside my windows. I’m thinking a couple of Santa hats atop them could help their transition to the next holiday.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...