I like carving pumpkins. Hey, I even like hollowing out pumpkins, using a big spoon to scoop out the gunk and seeds and stringy wet orange threads, and then scraping the insides until they are dry and white. When you prepare a pumpkin correctly and scrape it out thoroughly, the resulting carved jack ‘o lantern will glow with a very satisfying inner light when a candle is placed inside and lit.
This year we did our carving Wednesday night, with the help of our neighbors, Dave and Amy Taylor and their daughters, Grace and Jane — as well as a host of other neighborhood kids. We have some good carving implements that are serrated but not sharp. They are perfect for kids to use in carving the soft tissue of a ripe pumpkin.
All of the kids got to carve a pumpkin or two and let their creative juices flow, and even Dave and Amy got into the act. I carved two jack ‘o lanterns myself. Why not? How often do any of us get to do something even mildly artistic?
This year Kish got an interesting selection of pumpkins — some were your standard pumpkins, but there were a number that were almost like gourds, with thick skins and warty, pebbled surfaces that were not easy to carve. Still, they spurred your imagination, as you thought about how to incorporate the warts and raised surfaces into your finished product.
After we were done, I set the pumpkins out to dry. The next night was trick or treat night in New Albany, and we filled the jack ‘o lanterns with votive candles, lit them, and placed them by our door, on our stoop, and along the pathway to our door. We ended up with a pretty impressive pumpkin walk that garnered a few compliments from our visitors.