Friday, October 12, 2012

Gathering Grandpa's Pumpkins

Yes, this is a blog about cookies, but those of us who craft these sweet creations know it is really not that elementary.  It is more about the people behind the cookies.  The key ingredients are love, support, friendship, and memories rather than sugar and flour. We create them to welcome babies, celebrate birthdays, honor accomplishments, and sometimes . . . to ease pain or sadness.   I've been out of the kitchen for a few months following the loss of my husband to cancer.  I just couldn't make cookies until now.

Gregg had a huge garden and loved to drive the grandchildren out there with his lawn tractor and trailer.  Kendra, Kylie, Jack and Ben would fight for a position on Grandpa's lap or snuggle together in the trailer.  The grandkids didn't eat the tomatoes or onions but were so proud when they appeared on the dinner table.

Gregg also planted pumpkins each June and watched them grow in anticipation of Columbus Day weekend when our son and daughter would bring their families out to the lake to harvest the pumpkins.  The little ones would select the pumpkin they wanted for themselves and which ones they thought their parents should have.  It was surprising that no one argued or fought over pumpkins.  Once one was claimed, they would simply search for another.  We loaded them into the trailer, hauled them to the house, and made a big production of washing and lining them up.  It was our favorite Kodak moment, capturing beautiful fall colors and the joyous interaction between cousins in cherished photos. 

At the end of this special weekend, each family would drive away with their four pumpkins. . . tall, chubby, squatty, and monstrous.  Later in October, we would get pictures of everyone carving them at home and the final jack-o-lanterns staged on front porches.

Unfortunately, this is our last Fall Harvest of Grandpa's treasures.  He left us 14 huge pumpkins and 9 buckets of the funkiest gourds, but we had to collect them without Grandpa.
Here is what the girls did with their pumpkins this year.  Anna always tries to match the costumes that the girls will be wearing.  Quite creative, wouldn't you agree?  It's Belle and a butterfly fairy.

Kendra and Kylie helped decorate a few of the pumpkin cookies earlier in the month.

Aren't they the cutest assistants?

Little Kylie refers to me as "Cookie Grandma."  How could I not return to the kitchen and live up to my name?  I decided to make pumpkin cookies for the Women's Club bake sale to honor our fall family tradition of Gathering Grandpa's Pumpkins.  I kept it simple.  My only requirement was that they had to have happy faces . . . to remind me of all the blessings I gathered with Gregg.

Peace, Joy, Cookies . . . and Memories of Gregg


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I am so glad that you are back to baking cookies, a hobby that you love and a family tradition that should continue. Your children had Grandma Carroll's cookies and now the grandchildren have their own Cookie Grandma. The photos of the family in the pumpkin patch and your cookies with Gregg's gourds will be cherished family photos. Gregg would say, "you did good."

  3. My first comment was removed because I discovered a typo. I need to proof my comments before publishing :)

    1. Good spelling and accurate typing are highly overrated :-) Love you, Girlfriend and Sweet Sugar Sister!

  4. What a beautiful tradition. I'm sure your husband is smiling down on you all picking his pumpkins and making cookies again.