Doing annual family traditions has been a key part of the Carroll family; things like carving pumpkins, decorating the Christmas tree, coloring Easter eggs, etc. As a new father myself, I was not about to see the next generation miss out on all the memories that continue to strengthen our bonds and keep us close. This chapter in my Autoblography is dedicated to a very special (my personal favorite) family tradition.
Before my daughter Madison had made it to her second birthday, I began a family tradition of taking her to the pumpkin patch! No, we don’t go to the grocery store to pluck a pumpkin out of a bin, but instead head to Peter’s Pumpkin Patch. It is a family owned business on the outskirts of Shakopee, MN. It’s the kind of place where you could take a tractor hayride out to the patch and get to select the perfect pumpkin still on the vine. Great for getting into the spirit of the holiday and getting back to the basics of family fun!
Each subsequent year the weather would be a little different out at Peter’s. We have now been going for over 7 years and we have enjoyed beautiful Fall crisp weather. Some years there is already a little snow on the ground, others it still feels like Summer upon arrival. Regardless of the weather we grab a wheelbarrow and head out to the patch in search for the elusive, perfect pumpkin. We take our time being picky about finding the one, it has to have 1) a perfect stem, and 2) the shape has to be nice and round. There seems to never be a shortage out at Peter’s and we usually make our way back with more pumpkins than we really needed, lol.
Throughout the trip we like to snap pictures, tell stories and laugh about strange looking pumpkins we see along the way. When we get back to the decorative shack where you pay, Madison usually gets a pumpkin painted on her cheek and asks me for a few of their signature honey straws. She sucks the sweet flavored honey out of the straws on our way back to our home in Brooklyn Park.
As a family, we try our best to coordinate and come together to participate in a mass pumpkin carving contest. The event is filled with the excitement of Halloween, trick-or-treating and our family famous ‘Witch’s Brew’. Normally we get our carving stations prepped and ready for a pretty intense pumpkin carving competition. My old man always thinks he is going to have the best pumpkin, usually falling short of the champ, MarathonJake! With our knives, templates and markers in hand, we get down to business.
Below are several picture collages of our pumpkin patch adventures and our creatively carved pumpkins! Enjoy!
Looking back on it all, I cannot believe how fast time has passed. My daughter started going when she was 2 years old and is now approaching the big 10, where has all the time gone? I feel truly blessed to have these experiences and to share these good times with Nellie, Madison and my family and friends! Cheers to many memories to come!