Originally posted by Trudy in Illinois View Post
The first time the children and I went pumpkin picking, I had no idea just what an adventure lay ahead. First of all, I'm not one to enjoy the sun for a longer period of time other than 5 minutes; nor, do I enjoy dirt at any time. Well, both of these elements are present when you go pumpkin picking. The kids were thrilled especially since they'd seen the fields of pumpkins around us and people out walking among them. The tractors and wagons would slowly move up and down the rows as the wagons' beds were loaded with the seasonal orange globes. We'd pass the semis loaded with them as they drove to the pumpkin factory about 25 miles from us. Always there was a discussion about how big they were, how many pies would be made, and the guessed weight of them. I'd just listen not thinking I'd find out soon.

We drove to the farm, parked on the grass where all the other vehicles were, and walked to the stand to get a wheel barrow. Of course there was the "discussion" between the kids as to who had the strongest muscles to "drive" the wheel barrow. We took turns so everyone could get the hang of it, experience the gravitational pull of the Earth/Moon/Newton, and learn some basic physics along the way, too. I thought it would be a good idea to look at the smaller more manageable sized ones. Well, you know kids. "OH NO!!!! We NEED to find the biggest one!" So, with wheel barrow in hand, on foot, over here, over there, we surveyed each row and more than 50 pumpkins. Letting out a shout louder than the Light Brigade and which could wake the dead, they found one. I maneuvered the one-wheeled monster close to it and stood looking at it. The distance from ground to bed of "monster" didn't seem too high. I, also, tried to calculate the weight of it, my strength, their strength, and level of water in my bladder. We worked together and just about had it to the top of the wheel-barrow, when I started to laugh. It was a chain reaction and the "bigger than a Volkswagen" globe ended-up on the ground again. Did you know you lose strength when you laugh? Trying to be serious, and instructing two champion gigglers to do the same, we tried again. It was at the top of the wheel-barrow and just about to be rolled in when Stephen announced there was a snake. I hate snakes. I guess the story of Adam and Eve did it to me when I was young. With delft foot precision and hip movement to the tune of GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT, I side-hip butted it into the "monster", grabbed the handles and started running defying all laws of physics for moving this sort of equipment and globe. The kids yelled for me to wait, I yelled, "You have to be kidding!!" When I was sure I was far enough away to stop and turn around, I saw them coming quickly. Getting to the scales, the pumpkin was retrieved by the helpers and weighed. It was a whopping 78.3 pounds. It got loaded into the back of the van and off we went to show Grandpa our "harvest". It was easier to manage getting it out and onto the palate waiting for us on the garage floor.

About an hour later, as I sat relaxing in a chair, Stephen came to me. Standing in front of me I noticed some pencils sticking out of his pocket. Stephen has a need to have something in his pocket at all times. I've told him how dangerous the pencils can be. With that in mind, I reached in and pulled out 2 pencils and A SNAKE!!!! Like any normal woman, I dropped the pencils and snake and started screaming. Tara was glued to the chair in front of the computer her brown eyes glazed over, and Stephen just stood there afraid to move. I put my size 10 shoed foot on its tail and screamed for him to get me the trash basket. He ran, retrieved, and brought it to me. I coaxed/demanded---the kids learned some new words, folks---the snake into the bag (thank God for Wal-Mart bags), grabbed it, twisted it shut and tied a knot in it---the bag, not the snake. Then, I threw it in the trash. I didn't realize until I went to sit down---I had almost fainted, but I was sure with my luck, I'd fall on the snake---that my pants were wet. The fear scared the Q out of me. Stephen overheard me tell Grandpa what had happened. With all his innocence he said, "Ohh, Grandma, I just wanted it for a pet." I told him we had a 75 pound dog and that was enough. I have my reservations about going pumpkin picking again. If we do, Stephen will wear very tight biking pants with no pockets. I don't want to take any chances.