For me, there is no greater symbol of fall than the pumpkin. When my son was younger, I would always sign up to accompany his classes on their annual field trips to the pumpkin patch. There we would learn about the many varieties of pumpkins, sample a pumpkin treat and, finally, go on a short, bumpy hayride to the field itself. The ground would be muddy, but we would clamor excitedly out of the wagon to select our own pumpkins, paying little attention to the farmer’s instructions to “pick only what you can carry!”
Some of the children would quickly choose a small one and then turn their attention to the horse or tractor that brought us out to the patch. Others would go straight for the largest they could spot and then inevitably cry out for assistance, much to the chagrin of the teacher and the other parents. Quick to shirk my duties as a chaperone, I would set off on an exhaustive search for “the perfect pumpkin”; one worthy of gracing the centre of our dining room table (until it inevitably met its fate on Halloween).