Not just anyone can fix a good pumpkin pie. Oh I know the recipe is simple enough, but you have to be paying attention or you can ruin it. That’s what happened on my daughter’s birthday a few years ago.
See, when you have a fall birthday in my house, you don’t always get a normal cake. Sometimes you get pie, which is not an altogether bad deal, unless, like I said, someone messes it up.
My wife meant well, but she had a lot going on. We were packing to leave town for a few days, and she was just trying to do too many things at once. When she pulled the pie out of the oven, the edge of the crust was almost burned.
She thought it was fine, but I couldn’t let it go. This was my daughter’s birthday cake for crying out loud. I wanted it to be picture perfect. “Don’t worry about it,” I said. “I’ve got this.”
I took my family to an arts fair at a local park on Sunday, and it felt like a thousand degrees in the shade. The place was packed with people, which just made it hotter. It was such a scorcher I had to carry my dog across the parking lot to keep her from burning her paws.
On days like that, autumn seems like a distant mirage. Who could imagine throwing on a sweater or making s’mores by a bonfire when the temperature is pushing 90?
Yet, there I was at the arts fair standing in line for ice cream, when I saw it. A single leaf see-sawing its way down from the tree above. It’s coming, I thought. Believe it or not, autumn really is on its way.
Last fall, I had a yard full of pumpkin vines but no pumpkins in site. My daughter wanted to plant them in the spring, but we got them out late so we knew it was a race against the clock. The vines were sprawling. They invaded a good-sized chunk of our back yard but didn’t look like they were doing much more than killing the grass.
However, I’m an optimist at heart, and I love my daughter so I let it go through October. By the day before Halloween, though, I thought it was time to give up the ghost, so to speak. If the vines hadn’t produced anything by now, it was game over.
My daughter was disappointed to say the least. She’d put all that time into planting, watering and checking on them for months, and by October she was emotionally invested.
I had to explain to her it just wasn’t in the cards. We’d have to try to again next year.