Pumpkin Picking

As you may have noticed, I have not updated my blog in over a month. My sincerest apologies, but I do have a good excuse reason. The good news is that I’ve been very busy finishing up the second edition of Network Warrior (you can even pre-order it if you’re so inclined!) The bad news is that there is still much work to be done, so my free time remains at a premium, which brings me to today’s piece.

For the first time in the 18-month history of GAD’s Ramblings, I’ve invited a guest writer to fill in for me. Meghan, my 11 year old daughter, wrote this piece for school. When I first read it I smiled because it felt like I was reading one of my own stories, but altered just enough so that her voice and point of view was present. I have only edited this for minor punctuation issues and formatting. I have added the pictures, but not corrected grammar. This is the work of a fifth-grader, remember, so please be kind.

As of this morning, Meghan is unaware that I have posted this, though she knew I had been considering it. If you like it, I hope you’ll leave a comment, as it would thrill her to no end to know that she entertained you. Now let me get out of the way by presenting to you, Meghan Donahue’s Pumpkin Picking.

Pumpkin Picking

“Can we go now?” my little sister, Colleen, whines as she does quite often.

“Not until your father gets home”, my mother replied not only mad at her youngest daughter, but with my father, for being late to go somewhere because of his “needed” trip to Starbucks. We are ready and waiting to engage our senses. One of my favorite parts of this tradition is the warm smiles of the people that work at the farm. I also like the frantic hunt for the perfect pumpkin. This tradition began when I was eleven months old and I want to continue it always.

Except for the consistently tardy daddy dilemma, I daydream about our tradition, finding that perfect pumpkin. FINALLY my dad opens the garage, and my sister jumps up and down gaily yelling “LETS GO!” So of course, we leave upon Colleen’s demand. It feels like my dad going out for coffee is part of the tradition now. Even though I am a little upset, I still love my tradition even with my father being late!

Since it’s just before Halloween, the weather is still relatively warm but my mom makes
everyone wear winter coats. Every sense I have is in use and THAT is all I care about. The beautiful autumn trees, the DELICIOUS apple cider doughnuts, and of course, the pumpkins are something I always look forward to! I’m really hot in my heavy coat, but I don’t care too much because of the beauty of the farm, the trees and the pumpkins. My eyes may explode because the scene is so beautiful. My nose is in heaven because of the freshly made doughnuts. YUMMY! My senses will be in shock until I get home!

The people at the farm welcome us warmly and we smile back. My mother agrees to watch us while my dad gets the tickets for the hayride to the pumpkin patch. It brings back memories of feeding the goats and playing on the wooden playground when I was about three or four years old. As soon as my father comes back from the ticket booth, the hay-ride arrives. We get on the hay-filled trailer and we leave on our pumpkin finding adventure!

We step off the tractor and Colleen and I run over to the pumpkin patch, trying to find the best pumpkin before some weirdo gets it first. My sister stays with our parents like a herded sheep, but I like to roam around to find the most PERFECT pumpkin. It should not be too fat; it should not be too skinny, nor too tall or too short. Once my mission to find our perfect pumpkins is over, we climb back on the hay-car. And go to pay for the pumpkins but first we must have, APPLE CIDER DOUGHNUTS!! The apple cider doughnuts at the farm are AMAZING! They are deep-fried and dipped in sugar! YUM! I could eat those doughnuts all day! The perfect ending to a perfect day

We started this tradition in 2000 when my mom was pregnant with Colleen. I was so little and cute. I don’t remember those days but I wish I did. No annoying little sister. I miss getting ready; my late dad, the friendly smiles, and the perfect pumpkins. But, there’s always next year and the rest of my life to continue the tradition!

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15 thoughts on “Pumpkin Picking

  1. It is great to see the world of GAD from a different viewpoint. I have also experienced the “Must have Starbucks” missions and wondered if he did this at home. I guess I found my answer.

    the sheer joy present in this writing makes me want to stop and have a piece of pumpkin pie.

    Very well done. Very well done.


    PS: Besides making you ridiculously rich, is it worth it to purchase the next edition of Network Warrior?

    1. Of course it is! 🙂 Almost every chapter now includes examples from Nexus switches. There are also the following additional chapters: Nexus, VoIP, Wireless, MPLS and IPv6. Good stuff!

      Man I need some Starbucks…

  2. Dear Meghan,
    I was pleasantly surprised to see that you wrote on your Dad`s Rambling page–such a wonderful surprise.
    You wrote your story so well that I felt as though I was right there with you & that I could almost smell those yummy donuts.
    Congratulations Meghan on your very first story on your Dad`s page.
    I am very proud and love you with all my heart.
    Grandma in New Hampshire

  3. What a great account of a wonderful tradition. I can practically smell the cool autumn air and the cider doughnuts. I laughed at the part about wearing the winter coats and the weirdo’s (they like pumpkin picking too). Thanks!

  4. Meghan,

    You have the makings of an excellent writer. You’re able to make us feel like we’re there with you, and better yet, you make the reader WANT to be with you! That’s a great talent.I think it’s time for your own blog (we used to call them diaries in my days) so that you can save off all your memories!

    Terri W

  5. You brightened my day. I actually felt like I was there with your vivid descriptions. I, too, fear weirdos will get the best pumpkins before I pick one out. I can smell those apple cider doughnuts by your amazing description.

    Please write more soon. I loved it.


  6. Great story and so well written. It brought back memories of when I was your age (which was a veeeery long time ago). Keep it up!

  7. You have some serious talent there! Keep writing, Meghan! I especially laughed at the description of your little sister staying with your parents like a “herded sheep.” It made me laugh out loud.

    GAD, you have every right to be bursting with pride. You have some competition!

  8. Meghan, you wrote that you felt your eyes might explode because the scene was so beautiful. I feel just that way about my heart right now–it could explode with joy and pride. In that short piece you have displayed a natural talent for making words work for you. The sensory details make everything come alive, and the sense of a family tradition is well crafted. Good job!

    Lots of love, Nana-Sue

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