Pumpkin Patch Americana and a Happy Halloween

The first time I set eyes on a pumpkin patch in California, I was utterly mesmerised.  This was my idea of true ‘Americana’.

My boys having fun picking out their pumpkins for carving. Los Osos,California 1990 (c) Sherri Matthews

My boys having fun picking out their pumpkins for carving. Los Osos, California 1990
(c) Sherri Matthews

For me, growing up in England, pumpkins belonged to fairy tales and I had certainly never carved one to make a Jack-O-Lantern.  Plain and simple,  we just didn’t ‘do’ Halloween.

Thinking of it, we probably didn’t need to, at least where I lived. Life was spooky enough, never mind bringing on the extra thrills and spills of this time of year.  The noises that emanated from the woods surrounding my house out in the middle of the English Suffolk countryside gave me more than a few shivers down my spine as a girl.  I wrote about this in my post last year and how I eventually got into the ‘spirit’ of an American Halloween.

Some of my happiest and most fun-filled family memories are from this time of year when we lived on the Central Coast of California.  As a boy, my eldest son loved it for another reason: the sight of all those deep, orange pumpkins ripening in the fields that we drove by on our way to town signaled that his birthday was just around the corner.

It also heralded our annual visit to our local Pumpkin Farm, a visit that became a family tradition.  There, the kids not only got to select their pumpkins but sit among them…

Nicky at the Pumpkin Farm Paso Robles

I know which ‘pumpkin’ is my favourite… Nicky at the Pumpkin Farm in Paso Robles, CA 1990s (c) Sherri Matthews

…as well as on them.

Aspie D making sure this pumpkin wasn't going anywhere - 1994 Paso Robles, CA (c) Sherri Matthews

Aspie D making sure this pumpkin wasn’t going anywhere – 1994 Paso Robles, CA
(c) Sherri Matthews

There, they got to climb through haystacks…

Kids love Haystacks CA 1990s (c) Sherri Matthews

Kids love Haystacks CA 1990s
(c) Sherri Matthews

…and sit on those too…

On top of the world in Blue Sky California in October, Paso Robles Pumpkin Farm, 1990s (c) Sherri Matthews

On top of the world in an October Blue Sky California – Paso Robles Pumpkin Farm, CA 1990s
(c) Sherri Matthews

After drinking apple cider (non-alcoholic of course, we’re not talking Scrumpy here) and eating their way through little bags filled with homemade popcorn, we returned home to carve their pumpkins and experiment with their Halloween costumes…

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Halloween at Home. Paso Robles, CA 1990s (c) Sherri Matthews

One year, we grew our own pumpkins which I proudly displayed on our front porch.

Nicky and home-grown pumpkins on our front porch, California 1990s (c) Sherri Matthews

Nicky and Aspie D with home-grown pumpkins on our front porch, California 1990s
(c) Sherri Matthews

Today, the boys are grown and moved away but will no doubt be celebrating their Halloween tonight with plenty of apple cider. And this time I do mean Scrumpy.

As for us, hubby and I look forward to seeing what creation Aspie will come up with for this year’s Jack-O-Lantern.  Will it be like this…

Halloween 2010 (2)

Aspie D’s ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ creation 2012 (c) Sherri Matthews

Or this:

Jack-O-Lantern created by Aspie D (c) Sherri Matthews

Winged Skull Jack-O-Lantern created by Aspie D
(c) Sherri Matthews

It might even be that she will get Eddie to help…

Eddie helping carve the Jack-O-lantern  (c) Sherri Matthews

Eddie helping carve the Jack-O-lantern
(c) Sherri Matthews

Whatever design she comes up with or without Eddie’s help, we will place it in full view to welcome the visiting Trick or Treaters as we used to when we lived in California.

Halloween has changed dramatically here, with today’s kids knowing all about it, but we are still one of the few in miles around to display a Jack-O-Lantern outside our home.   I love it when the kids come to our door and not only say a polite thank you for their sweets, but also tell my daughter that they think her carving is really cool.

Happy Halloween!!

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
This entry was posted in Childhood Memories, Family Traditions, My California and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

113 Responses to Pumpkin Patch Americana and a Happy Halloween

  1. WOW! I’ve never seen that many pumpkins in one spot. It’s lovely to see your babies having such smiley faces – you’re a wonderful mother, and it’s fantastic the amount of photographic memories you’ve kept for them. It looks like a lot of fun dressing up though. LOVE and HUGS and Happy Halloween to you and your family lovely Sherri! ❤ XXXXX

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…you are so sweet Jo, bless you. It’s a good job I did take all those photos! When I look back over that time there aren’t too many of me as I was the one doing all the shooting but I have always enjoyed snapping away (no kidding, ha!). The kids didn’t mind too much, sometimes a bit cheesed off, so I tried not to push it by sneaking in a few quick ones 😉 It’s nice too as now I can say ‘hey guys, are you sure you don’t mind me posting these on my blog?’ and they are cool with it 😉 The dressing up part and our trips to the pumpkin patch/farm were so much fun, I really got into it. In my post from last year I wrote about that and how I had to learn the ropes about Halloween and the way they do it in America. Like you, it just wasn’t something I did as a kid! And thank you for all the love and hugs lovely Jo…same coming right back to you 🙂 ❤ xxxxxxxx

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  2. Love the carved pumpkins. Aspie, these are fantastic carvings! Kids have so much fun on the pumpkin farm even our 10+ granddaughter. This is the time to have fun–when you’re young.
    The excitement of dressing up doesn’t seem to be like when I was a child or even when my daughter was. The costumes cost a fortune and no-one wants a homemade anything. Too bad Halloween is so commercialized.
    Happy Halloween, Sherri.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      I will tell Aspie D that, thank you Tess 🙂 I loved that part of our American Halloweens, the carvings, trips to the pumpkin farm, dressing up. I loved making their costumes too, with whatever I could rummage up. It became a challenge as in ‘what can I make for as little money as possible’ 😉 So how sad to know this Tess. Half the fun was in the homemade costumes never mind all the store-bought expensive ‘perfect’ outfits. I think you read my post last year where I wrote about making my son a pirate costume out of old clothes and he won a competition with it. But that was 20 years ago :/ Things have changed so much, as you way, too commercialised. It’s very sad. We are missing the real things of life and teaching our kids that money and designer is all that matters. I hope people come to their senses one day…but until then, we will make darn sure to have a Happy Halloween no matter what and I hope your granddaughter had a fab time. We barely had any trick or treaters last night after all that…oh well, more candy for us 😀 😮 😛

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  3. I hope that you, your husband, and Aspie have a wonderful Halloween together! I can’t wait to hear about what pumpkin carving creation you make 🙂 I must agree that apple cider is one of my favorite parts of fall, along with pumpkins. Matt and I have a couple pumpkins sitting in our living room! Hope you have a spooktacular day Sherri!

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Heather, we certainly did have fun, very spooktacular and hope yours and Matt’s was too 🙂 My daughter got a few compliments on her carving this year, very simple with round eyes and a four-paned ‘window’ for a mouth…I know, that sounds strange but it worked 😉 Our neighbour’s little boy (he’s 5) said ‘I like its window mouth’!

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  4. tieshka says:

    Happy Halloween Sherri! We are getting ready for the big day here in LA!!! I just posted on the kids’ costumes and wrote the other week about a visit to a pumpkin patch in San Diego County! Hmm…. maybe a weekend drive to Paso is in our future next year… to visit the pumpkin patch of course- not wine tasting! Have a great weekend.

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    • Sherri says:

      Happy Halloween to you too Tieshka, hope you guys had loads of fun, loved your posts 🙂 Ahh…yes, but sadly this pumpkin farm is no longer there in Paso. The top photo was taken at a pumpkin patch in Los Osos which I think is still there. It was that patch we used to drive by all the time when we lived there for 5 years before moving to Paso. There is another place in Paso we used to go to that had a ghost house and a corn maize which was lots of fun too. Maybe look out for that! Thanks Tieshka, you have a great weekend too and no doubt rest up from a very busy night last night 😉

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      • tieshka says:

        Thanks for the heads up that the patch is no longer in Paso… things are always changing. Yes, maybe we’ll do a fall break up that way next year! I’m always looking for a new pumpkin patch. Halloween was excellent and we celebrated the Day of the Dead this year too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        You’re welcome Tieshka. Hope you have a great week and things are going well for you 🙂

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  5. sknicholls says:

    Too cool, the memories. A couple of years ago, my son (38) carved a bunch of pumpkins from the pumpkin patch for my granddaughter. He was eating the seeds and teasing her with big globs of pumpkin guts (she was two). An hour later he came inside and was covered in hives. His tongue and eyes swelled. I hit him with a heavy dose of Benedryl and the itching subsided, but he was a mess for a day or so. Never knew you could be allergic to pumpkin, but that was his Halloween horror.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks SK, glad you enjoyed this trip down pumpkin memory lane 😉 I just read your post and commented, what a story, yikes o_O. So glad your son was okay and able to enjoy the next day, but that must have been a real horror for him. I’ve never heard of a pumpkin allergy but I never did like the ‘guts’ inside. It was great when I was able to hand that part of Halloween over to the kids and let them go to it! Hope your Halloween was a good one 🙂

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  6. What lovely memories and pics, Sherri. Nobody does Halloween like America. 🙂 Love the photo of Eddie helping out. Too cute! Aspie is a great pumpkin carver. Please show us her creation for this Halloween. 🙂 Happy weekend to you. xx

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Sylvia, and yes, very true 🙂 Haha…yes, Eddie does like to get involved. He is more like a dog than a cat sometimes 😉 Will do…watch this space! Hope you are having a lovely weekend too 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Imelda says:

    What lovely memories, Sherri. Judging from how my boys look forward to Halloween, too, I know that your children who have grown up having tradition count all of your celebrations as cherished memories.

    I did not grow up with Halloween in the Philippines so it does not mean much to me. That changed when my children started looking forward to it.

    Your daughter’s pumpkins are really nice. I look forward to see to what she comes up with this year. 🙂

    I’ll be back to catch up with past posts. Oh, life is just a little crazy here. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thank you Imelda, I’ll tell my daughter that 🙂 Lovely to see you as always and please don’t worry about catching up, I fully understand. Life is busy and you have a very busy family to take care of and enjoy life with. But you know I always love your visits, the summerhouse is always open 😉 Yes, I was just the same as you growing up in England, Halloween didn’t mean anything to me as we just didn’t do it, but it was through my children that I started to enjoy it once we moved to CA. I’m so glad to have photographs of that time, reminders of so many wonderful memories. I hope you and your family had a great time last night making many new wonderful memories 🙂

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  8. Happy Halloween Sherri. I remember the fun and games we got up to when I was much younger in the UK. (Must keep secrets here😉)
    When my children were young we carved the jack-o-lanterns here in Australia but it was something I did for them. It was fun to have a neat way to teach them something different since they couldn’t have Guy Fawkes either.
    They’re definitely trying to bring Trick or Treat in here but it’s slow to catch on.
    Love the photos though….brought back lots of memories. Thank you.
    Susan 💖

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    • Sherri says:

      Happy Halloween to you too Susan, thank you for your lovely comment ❤ Haha…yes, mustn't divulge too much, I quite agree 😛 Yes, I was glad to share the American Halloween traditions with my children and learn as I went along since we just didn't do Halloween when I grew up in England, but as with you, I couldn't share Guy Fawkes with them which was something I treasured from my childhood.When we moved back here some years ago it was such a thrill to be able to celebrate it with them 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the photos and your own happy memories. I loved reading about your experiences and always so interesting to know what goes on in other parts of this wonderful planet of ours 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Denise says:

    I’ve been told twice on blogs in the past few weeks that the English traditionally carved turnips and swedes! The big soft pumpkin is an American import… and I think we are all glad it made its way over.

    These are gorgeous pictures. Claire looks really happy.

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    • Sherri says:

      That’s so interesting. In my post from last year I mentioned that the only time I remember doing any thing remotely ‘Halloweenish’ from my childhood was when we took a couple of swedes from the edge of the field bordering our house, scooped them out and put tealights in them. We scared ourselves silly walking around outside in the middle of nowhere, making spooky sounds and never did it again! I’m not sure where we got the idea though! Must have heard something about old English lore somewhere 😉 Pumpkins are still magical to me, funny isn’t it?
      Ahh….thanks Denise. I’m glad the kids don’t mind me plastering photos of them on my blog but I’m also glad that they are old enough for me to ask their permission first 🙂 And yes…I thought of you when I looked back at these and our conversations about our girls and how happy they look in younger photos and how bittersweet it is…thanks for understanding that.

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  10. Isn’t it funny how holidays can be bittersweet. Memories of our children and what might have been. We didn’t do much with Halloween as we were always moving. I”m assuming your boys are in the states and your daughter is obviously with you in England carrying on the pumpkin tradition. Have a very Happy Halloween too, all of you.

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Marlene, they certainly are bittersweet, I say with a sigh. As happy and carefree as my daughter looks here, she was so innocent of the awful challenges she would one day face, and still does, having been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when she was 18 (she is 22 now). But I do still catch her same happy smile today 🙂 Oh the joy of childhood and the happy memories we can cling on to through the passage of time. My boys are both here in the UK, they live about 4 hours away, both returned with me from CA and both ended up in the same seaside town on the south-west coast, loving it there. Who knew that would happen? I certainly didn’t. We get together regularly and I love nothing more than when all three of my chicks are back in the nest 🙂 Thank you Marlene and I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy Halloween to you, too, dear. ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you dear Tracy…I hope yours was a happy one too 🙂 ❤

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      • Hi, Sherry — we didn’t actually do anything to celebrate, and I’ve been dealing with a sticky computer issue, spending a lot of time on the phone with an advisor trying to get to the bottom of the problem. Right now, I’m testing to see when my cursor goes crazy, in which applications. It’s fun, hanging on the phone with a tech advisor all day while I try out different applications on my computer to see whether I can make the problem happen.

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      • Sherri says:

        Oh Tracy, what a pain, I do hope you got your computer problems resolved. I had a bit of a nightmare time last week with my email server. Sooooo frustrating isn’t it 😦

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  12. Hi Sherri! I love that you grew your own pumpkins in CA one year!!!!! And that since Eddie is black, he is the perfect Halloween pumpkin advisor this year too (apparently his advice was used one year already) I admire you for carving a jack o lantern now that you are back in England! Have a Happy Halloween!!!! I think we will. My husband really gets Into it. He makes a haunted house!!!!(sort of). The kids love it!

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Hollis! Haha…yes, nothing like a black cat for Halloween is there? He is very experienced now with his advice, that photo was taken when he was quite young, he is 8 now 😉 Well, I was determined to carry on the tradition for my kids, especially my daughter. It was hard finding pumpkins when we first moved back but now I can grab one from the local supermarket no problem. Halloween is catching on here in a big way! Oh how wonderful of your hubby to do that…I bet you are the hit of the neighbourhood.I hope your Halloween was hauntingly happy 😀

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  13. Never carved a pumpkin my entire life! I was planning for us to do it today but work happened. LOL I’ll do better next year! Great memories Sherri!

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…well, get ready for the mess and the smell when you do Jhanis! Still, it’s all worth it and I do hope you get to do it next year and Iook forward to hearing all about it when you do 🙂

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  14. cardamone5 says:

    Wonderful pics and post. Scrumpy? That’s funny. Happy Halloween.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

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  15. I once grow some pumpkins the size of oranges. They just couldn’t be made to look spooky, whatever I did to them, so I ate them instead. Happy Halloween, Sherri 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh no! Reminds me of the tiny gourds that were also on sale at the pumpkin farm 😉 But you know, this was the one and only time I ever grew pumpkins and they turned out great as you can see but after that? Well, I never managed it again. Haha…I don’t blame you for eating them. And that’s another story…when I was first introduced to another American tradition – Pumpkin Pie 🙂 Thanks Sarah and I hope yours was a Happy Halloween too 🙂

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  16. bulldog says:

    Not sure I’ll ever understand this Halloween thing and carving pumpkins… we eat our pumpkins.. not play with them…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…and if I hadn’t lived in America so long I would have been just the same as you Bulldog, I’m sure. But this reminds me of another American tradition I had to learn…the making and eating of pumpkin pie. But that’s a whole other story… 😉

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  17. TanGental says:

    Damn those aren’t pumpkins you grew they’re mini planets. I bet they wouldn’t pass a random drug test. As someone whose D in art was a sympathy vote I can only bow my head in admiration at the sculpturess in your house: chapeau, Aspie D.

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…you got that right Geoff! Mind you, my pumpkin-growing efforts failed miserably after this. Ahh…thanks, I will tell Aspie D that, she will be really chuffed. Last night she had the usual rounds of compliments even if her design was, how shall I say, rather unusual. All I’ll say is the neighbour’s little boy told her ‘Oh cool, I really like your pumpkin’s window mouth!’ He is 5 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I am so pleased you left a comment on my blog as I went in search of you and discovered you missing from my list of blogs I follow ….. I’ve had several strange things happen on that list in recent months. Any how, I got to pop in for this lovely post!

    We don’t ‘do’ Halloween here in NZ either, though commercial interests would like us to. Debate rages amongst the purists as to whether it is a seasonal or global celebration and I tend to err on the side of seasonal, so really we should celebrate Halloween at the end of April.

    Your lovely photos of pumpkin gathering in years past are a joy – those pumpkins are huge! Ah, the joy of happy annual celebrations – Halloween and birthday – lots to smile about!

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    • Heyjude says:

      It’s not seasonal, it is from the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers. All Hallows Day is 1st November so Halloween comes from the Scottish word for eve ‘even’ – ee’n or een. All Hallows eve. The commercialisation of the feast is something to be avoided. Trust me!

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Pauline! I’ve had the same problems with followers and following, not sure what’s been going on lately. But as you say, what is lovely is you are here now and thank you for that, so glad you enjoyed the read 🙂 I love sharing memories of joyous and carefree times such as this and the traditions we celebrate as family. Helps to remember the good times 😉 Growing up in England, we always had Guy Fawkes night on November 5th, which of course I couldn’t share with my children in California. Now we are all back here in the UK, we have that to look forward to, next week as we speak 🙂 As for the debate raging in NZ, I’ve never heard of Halloween being considered as a ‘seasonal’ event. Jude gives a good history lesson and I think I’m right in saying that the American Halloween of today is rooted in Irish folklore. For instance, the Jack-O-Lantern was meant to keep evil spirits away on Halloween, as was the dressing up….I think, but don’t quote me! But this would be a whole other blog post 😉

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      • The celebration origins and meaning of All-Hallows I understand – but the celebration of Halloween as it is done in the US requires, among other things, a glut of pumpkins and an early dusk – neither of which we have at this time of the year.

        We still have Guy Fawkes here – and there is even more of a debate around that one 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh yes of course Pauline, you are in spring now aren’t you!! Pumpkins in the US, swedes here and daffodils there 😉 A debate over Guy Fawkes too? And so it goes… o_O

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Rachel M says:

    We’re all waiting for some trick or treaters this evening but so far all is quiet. Maybe it’s not such a big thing in Scotland? Or perhaps I should have carved a pumpkin and put it out on the street?

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    • Sherri says:

      Did you get many Rachel? We had very few, less than ever before. Strange, since it was a Friday. In Scotland, I would have thought it was as popular as here but yes, maybe, having the Jack-O-Lantern outside your house would help for next time. Hope you had fun 🙂

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  20. Happy Halloween! Off to make sure we have one here. 😉 Love the pumpkins!

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  21. I was in America last year on Halloween. Genuinely think it’s scarred me for life. I’m so glad we don’t ‘do’ Halloween over here. I hate it. Still, I hope you have a good night with your numerous pumpkin carvings 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh dear…that’s a shame but I can fully understand and relate to it. In last year’s Halloween post that I linked to in this post, I wrote about my first time in America with my little boy, then four, and my fears for a tradition I didn’t understand. We were all alone, having only moved there a couple of months before (son’s father worked the night shift) so I locked up the house and stayed indoors, terrified the house would be vandalised after all the horror stories I heard. Thankfully nothing like that happened and as the years went by I really got into it for my children. When in Rome and all that. I loved our trips to the pumpkin farm and making them their costumes from next to nothing. Eldest son won a competition in his pirate’s costume that I scrabbled up, was so proud I admit 😉 It was the only time they got to dress up like that and I have so many happy memories from those years. But what I really missed was not being able to share November 5th with them, something from my childhood. Now we all get to enjoy it and I can’t wait for next week 🙂

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      • Aw, well I’m glad you could get into the swing of things and enjoyed it eventually! I wasn’t scared or nervous for Halloween there, I just found it too much. Waaaay too much. So overbearing for me, like much of American culture to be honest 😉 I’m a quiet, out of the way person, and American Halloweens are so in your face and you cannot escape it. Besides, I just hate Halloween anyway, as I’ve said haha. I traipsed after them all when they did their trick or treating, overwhelmed by the mass of horror-dressed children and sheer noise of it all. Deary me. Definitely an experience, though! 😛
        Aaaggghh, Sherri! I’d be utterly heartbroken if I couldn’t share Bonfire Night with my children! 😦 My heart wholly goes out to you. Sounds dramatic, but I’m sure any Briton will agree that it is a slight tragedy.

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      • Sherri says:

        I loved our Halloweens, it was nothing like the mass produced way it’s done now. When we lived there it was a wonderful neighbourhood kind of thing where everyone knew everyone else and I’m so grateful for the experience with my children. But yes, I did miss November 5th very much. So glad to be celebrating tomorrow…here’s to a wonderful Bonfire Night for us both 🙂

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  22. I don’t get trick or treater where I live in the country. When our girls were small and there were a few neighborhood kids who would stop by. Now all our neighbors have grown old like us and no one gets trick or treaters.

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Donna. We didn’t get many trick or treaters out last night either for some reason. Maybe something was on in town since it was a Friday. Times sure change with the passing of the years…

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  23. Pat says:

    Oh, I love this, Sherri, and the photos. It really does depict the Americana Halloween and brings back so many good memories with our children and grandchildren. Fun times going through the pumpkin patches, corn fields and fun houses. I don’t know but it brings it all out in the crisp air and the smell of harvested fields. Makes the holiday and season blend together so perfectly. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      It really does and thank you Pat! This time of year is wonderful isn’t it? I love autumn ‘fall’ and changes this season brings. I’m so glad you enjoyed it…you know how much I love my Americana 🙂 I hope you had a Happy Halloween and are enjoying a lovely weekend. I’ll be over to you as soon as I can 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pat says:

        You’re welcome, Sherri. I love this time of year with the lovely colors and smells. I’ll bet is really beautiful there in the UK and imagine it can be pretty spooky, too, with the older places and outlying woods. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          It is a lovely time of year here Pat. I’ll be posting some photos later in the week. And yes, there is a fair share of spooky! I’m so sorry I haven’t been over to you yet, I’ve fallen behind yet again but I will later today, I promise 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Pat says:

            Hi Sherri – I can only imagine how it’s like over there with the thick woods and old buildings — perfect settings for Halloween, for sure.

            I’m behind, too, no worries. I haven’t been on the internet as regularly myself nor writing all that much. It’s all good, though, and have a lot to be thankful for. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Yes, that’s for sure Pat! I hope you have a good week my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Luanne says:

    What an enjoyable set of photos! I have always loved Halloween and have many decorations to go with the seasonal additions like real pumpkins and gourds. I think it’s true that so many of us grew up in new houses, new neighborhoods, etc. that it never felt like we were shackled with ghosts to the same extent as a place with lots of old buildings. Happy Halloween, Sherri!

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Luanne! I’m glad you enjoyed them. Ahh…happy memories 🙂 ! I lived in that old house (a 14th century, oak-beamed freezing cold farmhouse) for ten years and the frights I had there would tell a few stories! I have a few decorations too, all brought over with me from the States, and as for Christmas, well… 🙂 Hope you had a Happy Halloween too Luanne 😀

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  25. Oh Sherri, I love all of these photos! The boys are adorable and Aspie D is just so animated. What memories and feelings these photos must ignite for you. I always loved pumpkin patches and kind of got sad when a pumpkin was carved. Happy Halloween! xo

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks so much Jill! Yes, poor pumpkins…I know what you mean. I didn’t like the carving part, the smell and the mess…yuck. I was glad to palm that off onto the kids’ dad. Then of course I also had to learn all about Pumpkin Pie which is a whole other story 😉 These photos certainly do ignite a lot of emotion my friend. Every year, for almost ten years, we went to that Pumpkin Farm. Sadly, and rather ironically, this farm closed down in the last year we lived there. It now belongs to a time long gone, held only in photographs and happy family memories… Hope you had a Happy Halloween Jill and a great weekend to follow 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Heyjude says:

    I guess we’ll have to agree to differ over Halloween, but I can see that you’d be hard pressed to not get involved living in the USA! I have carved a few pumpkins in my time (and I actually love pumpkin pie) but that’s as far as I went. No dressing up and no trick or treating. I didn’t mind the little ones coming around the neighbourhood, but the older ones could be too aggressive and make trouble. Fortunately here it is very quiet.
    Have a great weekend Sherri! I’m off to OZ on Monday so communication may be sporadic over the next few weeks. But I’ll do my best to keep up!

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, well, yes maybe Jude but it’s good to have both sides of the coin 😉 You are actually the only Brit I know so far who likes pumpkin pie! I had to learn all about that too and hated it the first time I tried it but got to really like it. I’ll be making one for Nicky’s birthday as a surprise at the end of the month as daughter has discovered that we can get Libby’s pumpkin puree from Tesco online…who knew?
      Goodness, that came around fast. You must be really excited now, have a wonderful time. I’ll be keeping an out for you. Happy safe travels Jude, see you soon 🙂 xx

      Like

  27. Sherri, your children are so precious, and these pictures of them with the pumpkins when they were younger are wonderful. Yes, Americana is an apt word for massive pumpkin patches! 🙂

    Like

  28. jennypellett says:

    Lovely pictures of your kids. Sherri, and happy memories for you. I love the skull carved into the pumpkin, clever daughter!

    Like

  29. Gwen Stephens says:

    Darling photos and memories. It seems Halloween is catching on in Jolly ol’ England nowadays, too!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Gwen! And yes, you are right, Halloween is definitely catching on here. I was amazed at the change when we returned home in 2003 after living in California for 17 years. Now my kids get to share a tradition from my childhood every year on November 5th – Guy Fawkes Night where we get to let off fireworks and burn bonfires in honour of a man who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Our crazy, bloody British history, ha 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Yolanda M. says:

    lovely pics Sherri! what is it about pumpkins? love them! We didn’t celebrate Halloween in Africa – it was Guy Fawkes for us – so the whole thing is still ‘newish’ to us. Our boys though really got into it when we came here but they’re teens so I missed out on making costumes (loved your batman outfit!) 😀 They seem to stick to the zombie theme year after year..

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh thanks so much Yolanda, so nice to know you get my ‘thing’ with pumpkins, haha 😉 We had the same thing going on as with your family but in reverse – Guy Fawkes is what I grew up with too (and I wrote about that last year as well!) and I was sad I didn’t get to share that with my kids when they were growing up, but I was able to eventually when we moved back here even though they were older. Ahh…thank you so much for going over to my other post and checking out the outfits! Haha…yes, the Batman outfit…oh the memories 🙂 My kids did just the same when they got to their teens…no more outfits made out of felt for them lol 😀

      Like

  31. Eddie’s a beauty, Sherri – and completes the Halloween picture nicely! Enjoyed your trip down memory lane!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…yes, my Eddie is a lovely chap I admit, very personable too. He was quite young in this pic, he’s 8 now and still as ‘helpful’ 🙂 Thanks so much Shel, lovely to take this walk with you 🙂

      Like

  32. Great photos and memories Sherri, I’m particularly impressed with the ‘nightmare before Christmas’ pumpkin! When I was growing up Halloween was very low key, but we did carve lanterns out of turnips – pumpkins didn’t come on the scene until I was an adult, but they’re definitely easier to carve! I’ve celebrated Halloween as a seasonal festival for many years now, though I do still like to have light-hearted fun – which is part of the festival’s spirit. No pumpkin lantern for us this year, instead, I made stuffed pumpkin for our Halloween feast.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Firstly Andrea, I must say, I love your new photo, you look great 🙂 Secondly, thanks so much as always for your lovely comment and also for your shared Halloween experiences. I’ll tell my daughter that! I remember last year when we both discovered that we loved Gobolino The Witch’s Cat, remember? It was so nice to meet someone else who knew what I was going on about! Ahh…a Halloween feast and stuffed pumpkin, now that sounds tasty. I’m guessing it’s savoury? I first made pumpkin pie in the States which is very traditional for Thanksgiving, another American holiday I knew nothing about until I moved there as you know. But I used tinned pumpkin puree for that, taking the easy route 🙂 Now my daughter has discovered that we can get the very same Libby’s American brand through Tesco online so guess what we’ll be having at the end of November (for Nicky’s birthday, not Thanksgiving)? 😉

      Like

      • Thanks Sherri, I’m not one for posting pictures of myself but I decided if I’m serious about writing it’s time to completely come out of the closet 🙂 I’ve been re-reading Gobolino! Poor thing, he just can’t find a home at the moment…You might be surprised to know, given how much I love Halloween, that I’ve never had pumpkin pie – shocking I know 🙂 I’ve got a funny thing about keeping savoury things and sweet things separate, but I’ll have to try it one of these days!

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        No more hiding Andrea, this is YOUR time my friend 🙂 I’m not surprised about pumpkin pie as I don’t think I would ever have tried it had I not lived in the States. I hated it when I first tried it and I know what you mean about sweet and savoury. I love it now, prefer it chilled rather than warm though. With some ice cream, yum 😉 As for Gobolino, oh poor thing…I was entranced by that story 🙂

        Like

  33. Sherri thank you for taking us down memory lane. The photos are precious and the jack-o-lanterns that your daughter did are spectacular. I dreamed of Halloween as a child watching American TV shows in Australia but it did not take off here until recently.

    Like

  34. Happy Halloween Sherri. Like you we didn’t grow up with Halloween but in the last couple of years it seems to have hit our shores. The pumpkin carving doesn’t seem to have happened – maybe we don’t have the right kind of pumpkins growing here. There have been some wonderful carvings put on FB and it seems a real art form is happening. The Halloweens your kids had in the States look like great fun. I think the hay would be my favourite. Great photos as always with a wonderful memoir to go with it. cheers Irene

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Irene! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and yes, I was glad to have the opportunity to enjoy this kind of fun Halloween with the kids. It sort of made up for missing out on Guy Fawkes night which of course I wasn’t able to give them and missed terribly. I was so glad to have the – unexpected – chance years later to do so, and in that respect they got the best of both worlds. Yes, carvings are definitely an art form for some. We had a happy but quiet Halloween as it turned out. Hardly any trick or treaters in the end. Oh well, all the more sweets for us 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Our Halloween was much quieter this year as well with left over sweets which we didn’t really want to consume but of course did. I had the sense to sit in the front garden so that I caught approaching witches and ghoulies before they could ring the bell at the gate. This meant that the dogs shut in the house had no idea their were spooks about and so didn’t bark. Yes a much quieter Halloween. 🙂

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Ahh…sounds like you had things well under control there Irene. How nice of you to sit outside like that. Glad too your dogs weren’t spooked and all in all a nice peaceful night…lovely 🙂

        Like

  35. I’m so sorry, Sherri, for having missed your post. Too much going on! How much do I relate to you memories! This is just crazy. My kids look like yours on the pumpkin patch! So little and so happy.
    We used to go to Half Moon Bay since we lived near San Francisco in the early 90s. But same rituals. Since Halloween is over, I wish you a lovely fall. Pumpkins here are in until Thanksgiving.
    See you soon.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I know how much we share so many of the same kind of memories Eveylne, those years gone by, making our way in a foreign country so far from home, learning to embrace a new culture, trying to merge our home-grown traditions with those of our new home. I missed out on Guy Fawkes Night which is this week on November 5th and couldn’t share that with my kids but did get to years later, unexpectedly of course. So I was thrilled to have shared these happy Halloween times with the children. I remember too Thanksgiving and learning what that was all about and the first time I made pumpkin pie 🙂 Thank you for sharing your Halloween memories with me and I will also say this – at one time in the 90s we seriously considered moving to Half Moon Bay but in the end we decided to stay closer to the grandparents who lived in LA 🙂 See you soon Evelyne and please don’t worry, life is busy, I am just happy to see you here any time and I wish you a lovely fall too 🙂

      Like

      • Guy Fawkes Night is totally foreign to me. I need to look this up, Sherri.

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        If you get the time Evelyne, my recent post is a re-blog of my post from last year about Guy Fawkes which hopefully will give you a little bit of background. I also wrote about how I felt when I at last got to share this special night with my children when we returned to the UK after living in CA for 17 years. Not in the way I planned but all part of life’s rich pattern.

        Like

  36. Ste J says:

    When did Halloween become a thing over here? I don’t remember when it did, I never really experienced it in my town either but these days there are hordes of people roving around. America really goes to town on it, although the 10 foot inflatable turkey that worried me last year was for Thanksgiving but it had the desired effect.

    I know I say it all the time but your style of writing, your memoirs are just brilliant, I love coming here and spending time getting to know you and your family.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      When I left in 1986 it didn’t exist as a thing but by the time I returned in 2003 I was surprised to see kids trick or treating. Haha…a 10 foot inflatable turkey? No wonder 😉 What used to get me were all the inflatable, giant snowmen bobbing about in front ‘yards’ against the backdrop of a December 80 degrees California blue sky. Just didn’t feel the same somehow…
      Oh what a lovely thing to say…makes it all worth it when I read your words. Really does, thanks so much Ste…I’m just so thankful that you enjoy the read and get something out of it. What more could any writer ask for?

      Like

  37. swamiyesudas says:

    It was Fun reading all this, Sherri! Thanks. 🙂

    Like

  38. simplyilka says:

    Wow Sherri! Over 100 comments. Your popularity is on the rise. You have really built an audience here and developed your own special writing voice 🙂 Well done my friend!

    And I agree that Halloween is great. My kids came home with so many candies that my son’s bag broke. The community we live in is fantastic I have to say. And my daughter won ‘best costume’ at her Halloween Party at school.

    I love the pictures too. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Like

  39. Sherri says:

    Ahh…well I think there’s been a few ongoing conversations here Ilka which would account for the numbers (I didn’t realise it was 100 until just now!) but thank you as always for your wonderfully kind words. Oh I remember those days…my kids used to come home with masses of candy, haha! It’s so lovely and refreshing to read your happy, positive and community spirited comment. Your experience captures just the same as the ones we had all the years we lived in California. I’m so grateful for those memories and I’m also so glad you enjoyed the post and the photographs. And many congratulations to your delighted daughter! As always my friend, you make my heart warm and put a very happy smile on my face, thank you so much 🙂

    Like

  40. Pingback: Grave Encounters | Book to the Future

  41. prior says:

    your d is quite the deft carver 🙂
    and I love pumpkin shots with children – and the ones here look like some fun was to be had!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Pingback: Spooktacular Snacks For A Healthy Halloween | A View From My Summerhouse

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