A Cowboy’s FaithBy Frank J. Buchman
Jack-O-Lanterns are everywhere.
Tis the season, and for the first time it’s a homegrown one at the ranch.
Well, the face making hasn’t actually been done, and likely won’t ever get finished.
But, there’s a pumpkin that could be carved, plus a half-dozen more very green ones on the vine.
Problem is rabbits, deer or other critters have been mincing. Perhaps, those “damaged squash” ought to be whittled into gruesome Halloween creatures, too.
Now, pumpkin production on the ranch was not intentional. Evidently, we threw a rotten pumpkin away sometime, and a seed sprouted. The volunteer plant grew prolifically, six-feet sprouts every direction.
The first large orange pumpkin, far from being state fair biggest champion, was harvested earlier. Wrongly thinking it was the entire crop, blossoms began blooming as additional pumpkins soon set, and continue to enlarge.
Decades ago, Aunt Lu always returned from an annual deer hunting vacation to Wyoming with our pumpkin. It’d usually be large, but easily carved with butcher knives at the grocery store meat block. A candle lighted the finished Jack.
When our children were young, they’d get a pumpkin, too, but generally small, significant of our tightwad ways.
Not our favorite, pumpkin pie is appetizing sometimes, especially with homemade whipped cream.
One time, we figured it’d be economically efficient to buy a real pumpkin, instead of getting pie ingredients in a can.
Despite attempting to follow cookbook directions, that pumpkin never could be prepared to be made into pie. Obviously, we’d have been a very poor pilgrim.
However, the seeds oven roasted were tasty to eat with a dash of salt,
Decorating “Jack-O-Lanterns” comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack, who carved large turnips. Immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became Halloween tradition.
Halloween is a celebration October 31, the eve of the Christian feast, All Hallows’ Day, known as All Saints’ Day, November 1, with All Souls Day, November 2.
Reminds us of Ezekiel 34:29: “I’ll give them rich gardens, lavished in pumpkins, no more living half-starved.” Thus, Genesis 9:3: “I gave you the vines with green pumpkins, I give you everything.” Even, Malachi 3:11: “I will protect your garden against plunderers.” So, Daniel 7:22: “Judgment was given to the saints, and the saints will possess the kingdom.”