Fall in New England is pure splendor. All of the heat of summer fades and leaves us with crisp blue skies and an explosion of color.
The maples go first, all fiery red. All of the other trees seem to take their cues from the maples and like dominoes they all begin to turn.
This morning we woke up to find that our street had turned gold over night. The leaves had begun to fall in earnest. With every cold damp breeze there were more on the car, the stairs- I found a few in the house having hitched a ride in Rebecca's hair and on my boot heels.
The day never seemed to brighten and the heat was turned on for the first time this season. It was a message from winter- "I am coming, prepare."
It was the right day to carve pumpkins.
So much planning goes into carving jack-o-lanterns. The children draw pictures of possible garish faces. Many are discarded.
Once the final choices are made the real work begins. The pumpkins must be gutted.
I gut mine in record time with Rebecca not far behind. Lily tarries knowing that eventually someone else will pull the sticky mess of seeds from the orange fruit.
Finally it is time to carve and this a job that falls to me. By now the children have wandered off, allowing the factory of mom to turn their designs into truth.
There are seeds on the floor and now bits of fallen carved pumpkin walls are gobbled by the dogs who wait beneath me.
One by one I complete the faces. In go the candles. Off go the lights.