Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tale of the lost pumpkin and the amazing dad

On Saturday afternoon, the weather was so beautiful I decided to load up the kids in the stroller and walk to our grocery store to get some mums. While we were there, we were side-tracked by the adorable little pumpkins and at $.50 a piece, who could resist? Rylan picked one out for himself and one for Caroline, then we selected a beautiful gold and rust colored mum and set off for home. Rylan's pumpkin bounced out of the stroller a couple of times, but he finally figured out how to hold his treasure extra tightly so it wouldn't fall out any more. At home, he was excited to show his pumpkin to daddy and play with it in the yard.
We were both standing at the top of our sloping driveway when the terrible accident happened. Rylan's pumpkin slipped out of his hands and started rolling, fast. It bounced down the driveway, narrowly avoiding a moving car in the street, and continued its course across the road and headed straight for the....storm drain. One more bump and that precious pumpkin disappeared into the black hole under the road! I am ashamed to say I didn't even try to run after that rolling little gourd. Maybe I could see the car coming out of the corner of my eye, or maybe I realized the pumpkin was just moving too fast too be caught. Either way, I was resigned to the fact that Rylan's prize was gone for good and just tried to comfort his hysterical sobbing.
Charlton heard Rylan's crying and his father's heart would not accept defeat. He quickly sized up the situation and disappeared into the garage. A few moments later, while Rylan and I were sadly peering into the drain to catch a glimpse of gold, Charlton appeared with his contraption, a paint cup cleverly duct-taped to his hockey stick. He stretched out on the road on his belly and reached as far as he could down into the drain, but was having trouble getting the pumpkin scooped up into the cup.
I can't imagine why, but we started drawing some attention from our neighbors at this point. Miss Yvonne, our elderly next door neighbor offered some moral support, then recruited another poor neighbor who was just trying to leave to go out to dinner with his family. This guy had kids of his own, so he must have understood, and he soon offered a long wooden 2x4 to help our efforts. It proved to be exactly what we needed. In a few seconds, Charlton used this long pole to tap the pumpkin into the cup. He carefully lifted it up and through the dark opening of the drain and we joyfully extracted Rylan's pumpkin. It was a little wet and dirty, but overall none the worse for its crazy adventure. What a celebration we had! That pumpkin immediately found itself in a safe place inside, and later even spent the night on Rylan's pillow!
Good thing, because it is not safe to be a pumpkin in the Clarke household. The next day, two of our four pumpkins disappeared off our front porch. They were the two smallest, so I thought some kids walking home from school must have swiped them on a whim. Charlton warned me to put the two large remaining pumpkins in the back yard, but I didn't listen. They looked so pretty with our mums and fall decorations on the front porch and they were so heavy, I didn't think any school kids would bother to try to haul them away. I should have listened to my smart husband. This morning I woke up to see our last two beautiful pumpkins had disappeared! I am furious and can't believe someone would steal them off our front porch with the lights on! I know they are just pumpkins, but they were special to me, we had hand-picked them on our wonderful day at the pumpkin patch, and were planning to make jack-o-lanterns with Rylan soon. So, we are brainstorming on some creative ways to catch the pumpkin thief. Stay tuned to hear any new updates on our pumpkin drama...

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