Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Now That Was a Busy Weekend: Part 2 – Mom's Birthday and Pumpkin Festival

After the Pooch Parade, my wife took Riley and her owners home while Kai and I drove separately. Kai wanted to stop at a Target to get Mom a birthday present.

I asked Kai what he wanted to get Mom.

“I don’t know. Maybe Angry Birds.”

I mildly scolded Kai, explaining that when you buy a present for someone, you look for something that you think they would like, not something that you want for yourself.

I suggested that we could look for music, movies, or clothes. He chose music.

I found a couple CDs that I thought my wife would enjoy. But Kai did not like the selections.

“Let’s look at the movies.”

Kai asked me what movies Mom would like. The reality is that there are very few movies that I would think of buying for my wife. First of all, our public library has a very good selection. But also because we watch almost every movie just once so it’s not really worth owning them.

I saw Kai eyeing the latest animated feature that I knew he would want to get for himself. But after my earlier scolding, he knew better than to suggest it for Mom.

After much dithering going back and forth between the music and dvd sections, I was getting impatient. Kai’s boxing class would be starting soon so I wanted him to decide on something.

I asked him if he was sure that he did not want to get the CDs I picked out. He said he was sure.

So I suggested that we go over to the section that sold women’s clothing and look for shirts. Kai thought that was a good idea.

And when we got there, he quickly picked out a nice pink long-sleeve top.

“This looks good.”

Yes, it does, I agreed.

And with that, we were finally free to move on to the rest of our activities.

Kai had his boxing class and soccer game.

And after he took a bath, it was time to go to the Highwood Pumpkin Festival.

This is the fourth year for the festival in which our tiny neighboring town attempts to break the Guinness world record for the most lit jack-o-lanterns.

It was raining lightly when we made our way over to the festival. Kai usually gets upset with any amount of rain, but he didn’t complain at all on this evening.

The festival covered several city blocks so started walking around and taking in the sight of all the pumpkins.

We came to an area that was set up for carving. To break the record, they would have to carve and light over 30,000 jack-o-lanterns, so they needed all the help they could get. Kai insisted that I pitch in.

I carved Kai’s name in a large pumpkin.

After that, we walked some more and saw people starting to light the jack-o-lanterns. Kai wanted to help.

We let Kai hold a lighted candle for the picture, but most of the time he gathered the small, unlit candles and placed inside the jack-o-lanterns for lighting. Then, my wife or I would light them.

It was hard work. After I lit a row of pumpkins, I looked back and saw that the wind had blown out nearly all of them. After three or four attempts at the same row, I was ready to move on. We had done our part; let someone else try.

But Kai didn’t want to quit.

“We have to keep going!”

It was cold. My wife and I were tired. But we kept going for longer than we wanted, as Kai was still enthusiastic about lighting as many pumpkins as he could. We found a spot that wasn’t as windy and was able to successfully light the pumpkins.

Eventually we convinced Kai to leave as we still had Mom’s birthday to celebrate. I think it was the thought of birthday cake that finally got him to agree to go.

On our way out, we saw a lot of lit jack-o-lanterns.

But I was pretty sure that it wasn't going to be enough to break the record. We later found out that they had over 28,000 lit jack-o-lanterns, but another town, in New Hampshire, set the record that same day with over 30,000. Oh well, we'll try again next year.

Back in the warmth of our house, we celebrated Mom's birthday.

Here’s a picture of the pink top that Kai picked out:

Kai enjoyed watching Mom open her other presents, too.

It was a long day. But a good day.

And our weekend fun wasn’t over yet.


  1. I'm exhausted just reading about your weekend! haha...although, it was all good things, you probably felt like getting to work on Monday so you could rest. lol....

    Happy Birthday to your wife!

    And..I do believe Kai has given up his fear of the rain!

    1. It was fun, but very exhausting. I wish I could have taken a nap at work, ha!

      We've had better experiences with the rain lately... hope it continues!

  2. Busy weekend! An article of clothing is always nice. Momma looks happy.

    One question...why not use larger versions of metal incorporated wick candles (auto relight candles used for gags in birthday cakes)? The wind wouldn't be a factor. The candles could also be designed to burn for longer times, through mass, shape, and material used.

    Although I don't know the official rules by which they must abide, another simple way of increasing the efficiency of the carving process is through pre-made, and varying geometrical shape cookie cutter type devices for the pumpkin faces. Used in varying combinations, an intentional design may be made.

    With some co-ordination, the makers of such candles could sponsor the event through the donation of such candles, and the press, a YouTube video of the win, and especially the company's own filming for a commercial, would give the makers more than their money's worth of advertisement. Just a few ideas which might help Highwood take the win next year. :)

    1. Ha, I think the town needs to hire you as a consultant for planning next year's event! I'm guessing the cost of the re-light candles might have been a factor, though with your ideas of a donation for the publicity, that would work well. The carving itself didn't seem to be as much an issue... it looked like they had plenty of carved pumpkins, they just couldn't get all of them on the shelves and ready for lighting (or to stay lit afterward).


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