It’s a bit late to write about Halloween, but I am going to do it anyway.
You see, our “jack” o’-lantern project had not yet been attempted last week. It was too early. This subject of jack-o’-lanterns needs to be covered!
Have any of you noticed how advanced and clever the carving of a pumpkin has become? I have seen jack-o’-lanterns that remind me of sand sculpture: intricate, with designed surfaces that will rot away in a few days! In the case of sand sculpture, the artist spends hours, even days to achieve a beautiful result, and then the ocean either washes it away, or the wind and elements take their toll.
I don’t understand all that effort for a few hours of enjoyment. But, I can be a “fuddy duddy”, so don’t pay any attention to me.
I looked up suggestions for a simple, but attractive jack-o’-lantern on Pinterest. Pinterest is a site for about any visual subject you might want to find. There are pictures and directions. It’s fun.
Several pictures illustrated to me how it is done. I saw pumpkins that look like spiders, church windows, flowers, black cats, surprised faces, and more. Others could look like Spider-man, a pineapple, or even a pumpkin house. You might check out this site: https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?rs=ac&len=2&q=pumpkin%20carving%20ideas&eq=pum&etslf=5366&term_meta=pum
I also looked at the many Facebook pictures of pumpkin results. My gosh, there are many talented “friends” out there in cyber-space. I felt inspired.
Little 7-year-old grandson Hector wanted to make a jack-o’-lantern with me. We selected the “perfect” pumpkin at the grocery store. This kid had experience. He had already been involved in making one with his other grandparents. The results were really impressive.
Hector borrowed a little kit from his other gramma that included a scraper for the inside of the pumpkin, a little saw, another little saw, and so on. This would be a “hands-on” event for sure.
It was a gorgeous fall Sunday. No wind. Temperature was just right. Hooray. We can do this project outside!
We spread newspapers on the patio table. Great. Avoiding a mess in the house is the best way to gut a pumpkin! We then began this serious operation. Cut the top off. Saw, scrape, saw. Dig hands into pumpkin and dredge out the seeds and pulp.
It was a joint effort, and I, the leader, drew some triangles with Hector’s help. If you are wondering what happened to my “grand” plans, well, they evaporated. By the time we did the preparation, I thought, “Let’s just get this done.” I decided that yes, this would be a jack-o’-lantern from the past; three triangles and a big smile. Oh, but we did get complex. We carved two big, crooked teeth.
Next, I brought some acrylic paints to the table, and Hector painted the teeth. The artistry proceeded to the eyebrows and the mustache. To be honest, he wasn’t that interested in these “tattoos” being authentic or realistic. Just slap those babies into place, that’s the way!
The day was beautiful. The pumpkin mess was limited to the papers on the table. The wind was not blowing. It was warm. And, Hector was happy. This was all I needed to declare our effort to be a success.
There is no way for me to explain to you how very ugly our jack-o’-lantern turned out. The only way is to include a picture for you to see. But keep in mind that this face will live in infamy. But, we called it a success!
Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website juditabler.com.