My daughters and I poured concrete pumpkins. It was several years ago, before their littles joined the family. It was that one short fall between the move from their childhood home to a big home in the house my ex wanted and his announcement he wanted it without me in it. And there was a beautiful Saturday when everyone descended on that home. We ate good food and enjoyed some time outside. The girls decorated fall gingerbread houses, and we made concrete pumpkins.
We’d seen the idea on Pinterest or somewhere. It took some effort to figure it out, but we each ended up with a concrete pumpkin the size of a trick-or-treat plastic Halloween bucket. I enjoyed how mine looked on our front porch brick. But I didn’t take it with me when I scurried to leave months later. And that was okay. A concrete pumpkin isn’t high on the priority list in a chaotic crisis. But I’ve thought about it several times since. It’s not that the concrete pumpkin is a spectacular fall decoration, but it doesn’t rot, it’s difficult to smash, and, most importantly, it is connected to a fun memory with my girls. And I decided to make more this year, with a twist.
Instead of the regular size buckets, I found some smaller options. I could give a few away and make a small arrangement with varying sizes. I decided they’d look best if painted in fall colors to stand out against the sidewalk.
I filled the pumpkins by myself one beautiful Saturday afternoon, but I wasn’t really by myself. That hour was sandwiched between the memories of a fun day years ago and the anticipation of sharing a few colorful pumpkins with family and friends. They would take several days to fully set and some time to paint them just right, but the patience required reminded me even more of those relationships with family and friends. Those relationships take persistent effort and spurts of patience. I’m willing to offer both.
I have some colorful pumpkins to remind me.