I don't think I'm going to be able to carve a pumpkin this year for Halloween :-(
Every year when I was a kid, Dad would get the most enormous pumpkin, and we'd carve something Christian in it. Back when I was really little, he experimented with words like "God is Love", but they were too difficult, so after a couple years he settled on carving a big cross. I was always Dad's enthusiastic helper with this project. Although he got to do the actual carving, I got to scoop out the squishy, slimy insides. My little brother Johnnycake, on the other hand, loathed scooping out the pumpkin -- we have pictures of him when he was probably three years old, standing next to the pumpkin with a handful of innards and bawling. He never has liked getting his hands dirty.
Anyway, when we moved here to Ruralsburg, I picked up the pumpkin carving tradition again. I don't get enormous ones like Dad does (when I was two or three, he carved a pumpkin that was big enough I could sit inside it!), but I usually get a nice one that I can get a good-size cross out of and stick a candle stub inside. One year I even got a cool idea for a story while carving my pumpkin here, and it turned into a Halloween fanfic story called "The Carver".
But this year we had this ferocious hailstorm at the beginning of this month, and I think it ruined the pumpkin crop. All I can find are little stunty pumpkins, and most of them have pockmarks from the hail. We did get in some nice-sized ones at work last week, but they want $14 for them! No way! I can usually get that size for like $6!
So it looks like I won't be sitting on the cement floor of the garage wielding my trusty knife this year :-( I was hoping the price might come down after a few days, but no such luck.