The Old Pumpkin and the Sea. 

Isaac has designed a pumpkin to represent one of the most famous characters in American literature.  When he brought home a sheet of paper the other day announcing the 2nd grade Pumpkin Book Character Contest, I envisioned Curious George or Henry Huggins, maybe even Ribsy, but then he said, “I either want to do The Old Man and the Sea or Jonathan Livingston Seagull.”  Ummm… OK.

“Dude, do you think anyone in 2nd grade is going to get who your pumpkin is supposed to be?” I asked.

“You can display the book with the pumpkin.”

“Oh,” I said.  I don’t think he understood what I was asking.

I realize that I am a HUGE literature nerd—I mean, I DID name my kid Harper Lee–, but I swear this pumpkin thing was not my idea.  I admit that I introduced the idea of Hemingway at the beach one year, but it was Isaac who asked to read it and who, subsequently, fell in love with the story.  I mean, it’s Hemingway—who wouldn’t???  But then he found my old copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull on a dusty bookshelf and asked to read it when he was in kindergarten.

I remember saying, “I don’t think this book will be what you’re expecting.”  It’s the quintessential 1970’s “positive thinking” book on our potential as human beings.  Yeah.  A perfect kindergarten book.  We read it three times.  Three!

I have never quite figured out the fascination, but those two stories have remained favorites to this day.  So this evening, he put the final touches on the pumpkin and stuffed a pink construction paper fish, which looks more like a salmon in drag than a giant swordfish, but whatever…

This is just one of many projects that are underway around here.  Isaac, aside from literary pumpkins, has also created a fierce (and extremely messy) science lab in his bedroom.  There is red paint on the carpet and a heavy stench of cider vinegar this evening, and I’m just trying to maintain some small sense of order without squashing any great scientific discoveries.

Then, in the living room, Harper Lee has her new dressmaker’s dummy (a favorite birthday gift) set up by the dining room table where she has, quite adeptly, designed and made my Halloween costume, which I debuted on Friday night at the Early College Halloween Dance and will wear twice this week as we continue our 30 Days of Halloween around here.

Mother Nature

My date to the Surry Early College Halloween Dance.  

Super cute and she can dance too!

And, as I write, there are 23 Halloween ghost treat bags that Harper Lee and I made for Isaac’s class party, a recycled wine bottle craft, and my finished painting that I began working on this summer.


Aside from creative pursuits, this weekend, I organized my winter clothes, and while I did not meet my friend Rebecca’s (the organizational guru) mandate that I only include 33 items, including shoes and accessories, I did cut back on some things and feel, for the first time in a while, like my closet is manageable. 

I like projects.  Everything from mad scientist labs to creative pumpkin decorating, projects give us something to look forward to and are often the result of some creative stirring that can’t quite be contained any longer.  They’re often therapeutic and the birthplace of some pretty great creations and innovations.  

What projects are you currently working on?  Or if you’re not working on any, what project would you like to start?  What are you waiting for?


Who knows what great catch is lurking right beneath the surface.