My kids are getting excited about visiting the pumpkin patch this year. While they have all already taken a small trip this week (fall break) to a local patch where they all decorated a small pumpkin; they are anxiously awaiting the trip to the “Big Patch” where we will pick our pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns. I haven’t decided what “Big” patch we are going to visit this year. Even with how busy this time of year starts to become, their excitement is contagious, and I find myself looking forward to it almost as much as them. With five kids (two with special needs) these kinds of trips…well, sometimes they go without a hitch and other times, not so much.
A few years ago, we decided to drive north and make a day trip out of our annual pumpkin patch trip. We drove 3 1/2 hours to a particular pumpkin patch, stopping to picnic at the Mongollan Rim on the way up, and made it to the pumpkin patch. That day was a comedy of errors…ever have one of those?
Initially we bought tickets online for a different pumpkin patch than the one we went to. As we were leaving town, I suddenly had a panicky intuitive feeling that we needed to double check if that patch was open. So we called them (again) and yep, it wasn’t open that day. On to Plan B.
Once we finally got to a patch that was open,and as we pulling in we see the sign “Cash Only”. We had forgotten most patches take cash only. So to our children’s bewilderment, we pulled back out of said pumpkin patch and went bank searching. And hooray, we found one! Then BACK to the pumpkin patch we went!
The patch we went to that year was great (making it a strong contender for this year), and it was a perfect one for the boys as it had wide open spaces, no crowds, and to me and the kids delight it had all these different gourds and pumpkins that we had seen on our favorite Martha Stewart Halloween video so we were excited with the crafting and decorating possibilities.
That year, we hit the jackpot and ended up with a wagon full of gourds and pumpkins. But the fun wasn’t over…We are a family of 7, and at the time had two kids still using booster seats, and one still in a full car seat; so on a regular trip day we are pretty much stuffed in our vehicle like a Life game pawn piece that has hit “congrats you’ve had a baby” on each possible space~~ and were then faced with the realization that we literally had 130 pounds of pumpkins and gourds to get home. It wasn’t easy; and took several configurations of kids, seats, and pumpkins, but we got everyone in and everyone home.
I’m looking forward to this year’s trip. I’m going to call the patch to make sure it is open on the day we want to go, and I’m going to bring cash. I also only have one booster seat to deal with which means more room for pumpkins. I’m also going to enjoy the day. My kids are getting older. The pumpkin patch trip of this tale was four years ago. The two year old I took in the car seat is now a big 1st grader. My twin boys who were twelve then, just turned sixteen this summer. I hope when they are all older they can look back on these memories and know that I did my best; that it was fun…even when things didn’t go as planned.