Ray and I went to Clermont Ferrand in south central France in 1998. Clermont Ferrand is the capital city of the Puy-de-Dome area in the Auvergne Region. It is an ancient city and an artistic university town. Actually, I should say that I went to Clermont Ferrand—because Ray was tied up in meetings and in company business which took him to the Chateau de Mirabel by bus every day of our five day stay. That left me with plenty of time alone to entertain myself.
Our hotel was near the old town and I was able to walk to visit many of their landmarks, museums, and every bookstore in the old town. Alas, every book I flipped through was in French, but finally, I came upon one that required no language—'le carnival des fruits et des legumes’, a book on creative use of fruits and vegetables. When I got back to the hotel, I drew on my sketch book (which I always brought along with me wherever I traveled) six pumpkins inspired by that book. Those pumpkin faces remained dormant until almost four years later. I thought it would be fun to carve them into reality with my grandsons when I baby-sit them while their mom ran an errand.
I bought the pumpkins, but none of the three of us had any pumpkin carving experience. Landon and I were using small fruit paring knives and Ryan simply watched us on the side because he was still very young. Landon and I soon found out that without special pumpkin carving tools, we would not be able to create faces like what I had drawn. After struggling repeatedly with the mess we had created, we gave up. I left to console myself with a favorite cup of tea (then as is for now—Imperial Jasmine Pearl). When I got back, there was on my sketch book a little note written in the best script a five-year-old could manage. It read “Thank you for buying us pumpkins”.
Landon, ever the perceptive and empathetic person, wanted to comfort me in my frustration. Bless his heart, he could not find anything about the pumpkin carving exercise with which he could claim to be my accomplishment to encourage me, except for one—I did buy those pumpkins! 😄
Thank God, their mom has taught them now how to carve pumpkins!
Happy carving memories! Happy pumpkin carving days! Happy Fall season!