Sanderson’s Pumpkin Patch

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Sanderson’s family pumpkin patch sat just outside of town on Route 9 between the old, boarded up Dairy Queen and the new, fancy Walmart. People in Kettleburg didn’t shop at Walmart and people from Landryville didn’t shop in Kettleburg. It’s been that way ever since Pa Kettle and Ma Landry divorced after he spent all their savings at the racetrack. The one thing everyone could agree on though, was that shopping at Sanderson’s was the best place to get your annual pumpkins.

Kids loved wandering up and down through the vines looking for the one that had their name on it. The lady folk loved Mrs. Sanderson’s selection of pie pumpkins. In fact, old lady Cooper won the blue ribbon at the state fair three years running using Mrs. Sanderson’s pumpkins. No leaf was left unturned and by the second weekend in October, there was hardly anything left.

The first day of October finally arrived, so Floyd and Sue left work early and picked up Billy and Mary Beth from school, so they could all head out of town to pick their pumpkins for the season.

“I hope I’m not too late for the pie pumpkins,” Sue said, watching the cars drive past their old, beat up Ford truck.

“They’ve only been open for four hours,” Floyd said.

“Pumpkins! Pumpkins!” the kids shouted from the bed of the truck.

Everyone was happy and excited as they drove nearer to the Dairy Queen.

“Hey Queen!” shouted Billy as they drove past. “Where’s the Burger King?”

“Be quiet,” Mary Beth scolded in her best mom voice.

“You be quiet, Baby!”

“Both of you be quiet!” Floyd shouted.

Floyd pulled into the farm’s dirt drive and slowed down. Him and Sue looked at each other, then out into the field. Billy and Mary Beth stopped their silent argument and stared with their mouths open.

“This is the first, isn’t it?” Floyd asked.

“Yes,” Sue said in disbelief.

Floyd pulled up to the old farmhouse and everyone remarked on how quiet it was. Usually there were hundreds of chickens running around and sounds of cows and horses bouncing around the farm. It was silent. So silent Billy was sure he could hear his own heartbeat.

“What do you think’s happened?” Sue asked, looking out across an overgrown and unplowed field.

“I don’t know. Stay here. I’m going to check the house.”

Floyd stepped out of the truck fully expecting someone to jump out of the shadows and shout surprise and something about being the first customer of the year, but nothing happened. As he stepped onto the porch he could see that parts of the field had been cleared. Small round patches. Maybe they planted less this year, he thought as he reached his arm out to knock on the door. Instead of hard wood, his knuckles rapped on a piece of paper that had been nailed and taped to the door.

“Too boring here with Ma and Pa gone. Sorry. Went home. You’ll have to get your pumpkins from Walmart now,” he read aloud.

“Went home? This is their home. What is going on?”

He peaked into the windows and everything was gone. Even the wallpaper had been taken down. He walked to the end of the porch and stood on his toes to look into the field. He was curious about the patches that looked like they had been planted.

“Something weird’s going on here,” he told Sue.

The kids jumped out of the bed of the truck and started running toward the clear patches of the field. When they crossed the overgrowth, they found all the plants flat on the ground in a giant circle. There were three circles the same size where the pumpkin patch used to be.

News spread, and people came from miles around to look at the circles. People came in helicopters to take pictures from the air. Now Sanderson’s Pumpkin Farm is better known as Sanderson’s Crop Circle Emporium and every year people from Landryville and Kettleburg gather on the first of October to host a going away party for their long-lost friends and pumpkin growers. Many, including old lady Cooper secretly wish that it would turn into a welcome home party, but it never does.

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The Greatest Lie

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They say there are no limits in life. That anything is obtainable if you try hard enough, take risks, and keep working at it…but, isn’t that the greatest lie ever told? Everything has limits. The people who believe that life has no limits live in a world of what ifs and but ifs. Many things are possible if one only asks what if or but if and then makes those ifs come true. Modern technology is allowing blind people to see, deaf people to hear, and paralyzed people walk again. Those are all great results of people ignoring limits in life to focus on the ifs of life. But, is that what they really mean when they say there are no limits in life?

Think about who says it most. It is usually the entrepreneurs and business owners, millionaires and billionaires, celebrities, and others who are already at the top or a member of that club. Things always look easy once you are a member, but these very members and groups impose limits on others to maintain their club’s exclusivity.

Do many business owners create a profit sharing plan with those who actually made the profits possible? Do actors and actresses insist on equitable pay when they sign their fifteen million dollar contract for thirty minutes of screen time? Do sports players insist on equitable pay and treatment for the support staff and concession workers that help keep people in their seats to watch the players play?

Limits are imposed on those not intended for the exclusive groups immediately when they enter school, but forcibly imposed when they enter high school. One such way that limits are imposed are through career exploration programs, classes, and software. One particular program that is used by many, many high schools throughout the US focuses on 2-year colleges, trade programs, retail, and service industries. Oh, they also include healthcare and legal professions. Their questions all revolve around things that are designed to maintain the exclusive groups. Not a single question about art, humanities, social studies, music, theater, or the like. Not a single 4-year college is recommended, no matter how students respond to the questions.

There is a push within the political realm to impose limits further by denying financial aid to “unworthy” majors. Those majors that, they claim, do not serve the greater good. These majors include the arts and humanities, gender studies, languages and literature, and cultural studies. The very people who invest money in Monet and Rembrandt do not believe that art is a valuable skill, but rather one that is a waste of money. So nice of them to support long dead artists, but not invest in future ones. Ahh, but the caveat is that supporting dead artists actually keeps money within their exclusive group rather than distributing it to those unworthy.

The greatest lie ever told was that the sky was the limit.


Written for FOWC with Fandango – Limit

Daily Writing Challenge #1

Welcome to a brand new daily writing prompt. 

Come this time of year, when the air turns cooler (for those of us in the North) and the leaves begin to change, I start thinking of Halloween. Halloween is a great time of friends, fun, and laughter. No matter what kind of Halloween you like, you can find enough things around to get your fill.

One of the first things I think of in early October are pumpkin patches. Not the actual pumpkin patch with dry, graying leaves, but the imaginary, cartoon ones of Charlie Brown. Some years I get so tired of only seeing pumpkins sitting outside grocery stores in a large pile, cardboard box, or inside as a display.

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Image property of ABC 7

 

The challenge for today is to take a trip to a pumpkin patch.

 


To participate, simply take the prompt and see where it takes you. Then post your link in the comments below or link back to this post and create a pingback.