I met my worst nightmare Thursday.
No, I didn’t stumble across a munchkin costume, no matter how much my family and co-workers would have liked. I stood toe to toe with the insides of a pumpkin, a sight I hoped would have stayed in my childhood.
I avoided the annual pumpkin carving last year, despite grabbing a few pumpkins from the Pride of the Wapsi. Since my daughter was only 1, I avoided having to mess with pumpkin guts.
This year was a different story.
We once again trekked to Long Grove to partake in the games at the pumpkin patch, and returned home with four pumpkins. Since my daughter still can’t slice and dice a pumpkin with a knife, I thought maybe we might stick to using markers, instead of digging through a mess.
I was wrong.
We started off our project just as I had remembered. I grabbed a big knife, and cut out the bottom of the pumpkin. My daughter appeared ready to get dirty, until we removed a piece of her pumpkin, allowing the smell of pumpkin to waft into the air.
She gave me a worried look and we told her to dig in. It had been about two decades since I carved pumpkins, so I was unaware of added tools, other than the trusty big knife. But our carving kit came with multiple little knives to go along with scoops, designs and an assortment of other tiny tools.
She grabbed the small shovel and slowly inched her hand toward the hole. She gave me another wince before digging in. After getting a spec of orange goo on her hand, she said “yuck,” and showed she had a little bit of my personality, at least when it came to getting messy.
Even though I would have loved to join her, I had to live up to that parent role model garbage, so I dug in and raced through removing all the junk from my pumpkin. When I finished, I received help from my daughter who was more interested in carving than cleaning.
Once I picked a design (which I hadn’t noticed was toward the top of the difficulty scale) my daughter and I taped the design to our pumpkin and started. Art definitely wasn’t my forte growing up, and as I was slicing through my paper that was supposed to read “Welcome,” I began to think choosing an easier model would have been more my speed.
Paper and pumpkin juice flew everywhere. But eventually, we made progress. When we poked out the parts that were supposed to be cut, we were amazed that it actually looked somewhat similar to the picture.
My wife joined in the fun and created a ghost, while we finished off my daughter’s project by going old school, and focusing on the triangle pumpkin.
I’m still not too fond of digging through the pumpkins, and I’m definitely not that fond of cleaning up the mess, but when next year happens, I won’t be too apprehensive when grabbing the knife and carving pumpkins in anticipation of Halloween. Hopefully next year, my daughter will be just as excited about getting messy as she was about carving.
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor of the Clinton Herald. He can be reached at email@example.com.
I met my worst nightmare Thursday.
Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer
The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.
- Race card season again? After years of mostly hedging any suggestion that racism has anything to do with President Barack Obama's ferocious opposition, there's a new racial etiquette in town. Top Democrats are slipping off the kid gloves. "To a significant extent, the Repub
- Report suggests a reasonable approach Illinois has long had the most units of government in the nation - 6,963 at last count. Do we need so many taxing districts to provide governmental services across the Land of Lincoln? Supporters and opponents of the status quo can both find somethin
- Stand up against child abuse April is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to take a moment to share that our children are precious and Clinton County has one of the highest in the state when it comes to children who have been abused. You are able to check the statistics
- Bills to move quickly in final days Tuesday marks the 100th and last day of this scheduled session. After Tuesday, clerks will be sent home and legislators driving and living expenses will no longer be paid by the state. That usually means remaining legislation and Fiscal Year 2015 bu
- Reducing money's influence in politics The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald There's no doubt that money influences politics -- in big ways. Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption. That's why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone c
- Looking for love in all the wrong places This classic Dear Margo column was published in April 2008. DEAR MARGO: I'm 30 years old and have been married to an incredible, loving, caring man for 10 years. We have a beautiful family and we adore our children. Our sex life was pretty boring at
Letter to the Editor: Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract
Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton:
The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled “‘Fair offer’ differences” in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate statements regarding our negotiated contract proposal with the city. These incorrect statements could impact the use of your city funds negatively and unduly influence our elected representatives. So, we would like to address these points, as follows:
- Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton: The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled "'Fair offer' differences" in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate state
- The lesson of 'Camp David' The line between determination and delusion can be obscure. Sometimes, the distinction emerges only in retrospect, like a Polaroid image slowly appearing. In other instances, the difference between productive grit and self-defeating obsession is an a
- More Opinion Headlines
- Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer