You didn't think pumpkin carving was done for the year, did you?
My friends established an annual pumpkin-carving party a few years ago. Two? Three? Four? No one is quite sure. Regardless of the timeline, we are all quite enthusiastic about it. Paul and Christine host everyone and set out long tables and lots of cardboard and garbage bags. Paul cooks a big pot of soup, and we all get started. BYOCarvingTools.
Each year, the whole production gets a little more elaborate. Case in point: this year, power tools came out.
Over time, we have debated the integrity of stencil use time and again and realized it's not unlike debating politics or religion over a holiday dinner: best to simply agree to disagree.
[Cue photo onslaught.]
Josh and I arrived around 7:00, and this was the scene that greeted us. I told you it was serious.
We got to work, with the World Series game on in the background. Texas won!
Paul was trying to collect the pumpkin seeds to make pepitas. It looked more difficult than he originally anticipated.
I am astounded by how talented some of my friends are, in both carving skills and creativity. This is Mike's pumpkin, representing the United States. But the amazing thing is that he carved this pumpkin free-form - no stencil, no design. He loves geography.
Trash-talking commences mid-carve and keeps going until the lighting ceremony. See, there is a grand prize awarded each year, plus a Viewer's Choice/Spirit Award. The stakes are high. I can only imagine what someone was saying to Sara. Also noteworthy: Sara's pumpkin was the only green one, and the only one that was grown in the carver's garden! She argued that she should win because she had technically cultivated her pumpkin for about four months longer than the rest of us. I liked the cat stencil.
But as soon as the lights go down and the candles go up, we pipe down. It's a beautiful sight.
Any guesses on which one is mine? I'll reveal the answer shortly.
These are three of my favorites. Josh did Woody from Toy Story (a front-runner in the stencil category). Another carver worked on a QR code image, next to Woody. Above them is the pumpkin on which Hannah and Christine were drilling away.
The house in the middle of the image below is the official grand prize winner. It's Paul and Christine's house! You can also see Sara's cat pumpkin just above it.
And which masterpiece is mine? I'll proudly share that this bad boy even garnered a few Viewer's Choice votes for its classic jack-o'-lantern look:
This morning, I brought the new additions to our pumpkin ensemble outside.
That's the strangest, sweetest little quartet I'll see this month. Have you carved a pumpkin yet?