Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Pumpkins of Halloween Past

on October 20, 2021

All Photos by Dawn Pisturino.

I have always loved Halloween.

When I was a small child, we lived in rural Indiana, and the Halloween season was always somehow perfect. After the hot, humid summer, the weather cooled down, and Halloween often brought rain. The leaves on the maple trees burned bright red, and I remember raking leaves and jumping into the piles, laughing, with my younger brother. I can still smell the pungent odor of burning leaves.

Halloween meant going to the farmer’s stand to buy fresh apples and pumpkins. It meant fresh apple cider, apple pie, hot chocolate, and donuts. My best friend always had a Halloween party down in her basement, where we dunked for apples and played games.

Then there were the tricks-or-treats!

One of my fondest memories of my brother, who died of melanoma when he was turning forty, is going trick-or-treating with my parents. When he was only about five years old, we tramped around the neighborhood in old sheets, carrying pillow cases for our treat bags. My brother dragged his on the ground until it got a hole in it and all the candy fell out. He cried like a baby, and I grumbled because I had to share my candy with him. Every time I watch the Peanuts special, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!, I think about my brother. Every time Charlie Brown complains, “I got a rock,” it makes me laugh and cry at the same time because I can still see my brother dragging that pillow case on the ground.

My husband and I still carve pumpkins every year and build a bonfire, if the weather permits. One year, I waited too long to buy pumpkins, and all I could find were blue pumpkins. But, see how pretty!

A few years ago, I spent Halloween with my daughter and her boyfriend in L.A. We had great fun watching scary movies, carving pumpkins, and eating homemade goodies.

It took a lot of work to carve these!
My husband’s Halloween bonfire.

Here’s to good times and great memories!

Dawn Pisturino

October 7, 2021

Copyright 2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.


20 responses to “Pumpkins of Halloween Past

  1. Pejj Nunes says:

    Thank I had fun reading this! Memories. Good ones!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The bonfire goes well with the heart-warming memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Tanooki says:

    How lovely memory you got for Halloween!😍🎃👻 I wonder if there will be a party going to trick-or-treating this year, but if not, I’d lit my fireplace and enjoy Autumn vibes😌💕

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Iowa Life says:

    Great story. I bet rural Indiana was a wonderful place in the 60’s. Your bonfire tradition reminds me of the scene in Meet Me In St Louis. I spent a semester in Ft Wayne, saw a little of Ohio. Charles Brown and the gang are a favorite of mine too. When we were about 10 Curtis Perry thought a fun Halloween trick would be to jump out of a tree into a big pile of leaves, they did not break his fall but it did break his arm. We thought the cast was a costume!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love the Halloween sequence in “Meet Me in St. Louis!” Margaret O’Brien is so funny – and weird. Great movie. Yeah, I bet poor Curtis never tried that trick again! We had a lot of fun in Indiana We lived in an old farmhouse and had apple trees and huge maple trees. We were always outside playing. Then we moved to California and it was a huge culture shock, but I went to a great school in La Puente and made lots of friends. I don’t think my parents ever got over the move. All they did was fight. So, we hang onto the good memories.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love to read those reminiscent childhood memories of innocents and pure simple joys. I grew up in the northeastern block of Europa. We had nothing that compared to your Halloween tradition (maybe it was the lack of pumpkins?), like trick-or-treating or dressing up in costumes, but we had bonfires and also loved to roll around in those “mountains” of dry leaves. I can still smell the potato’s we threw into the fire and later recovered from the ashes, what a treat!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve never roasted potatoes in an open fire. I’ll have to try that. One year, I cut up a turkey, wrapped the pieces in foil, and roasted it in an open fire. I think it was the best-tasting turkey we’ve ever had. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Now that is some serious memories conjuring you just did Dawn! You triggered a barrage of childhood memories of my own being out trick or treating with my own siblings and friends cruising all around the hood getting those pillow cases loaded up, and what a fun time it was! We really had some great costumes some years too, and that was half the fun getting all made up and looking so cool we figured; trying to look scary!

    You’re one heck of a carver with them pumpkins, I must say!!! And your photos are all strikingly good and memorable, like brazen into my mind! You carved that Happy Halloween? That just looks like a work of art my Friend!!!

    Your husband has the bonfire going on excellent too!!! Quite a nice family affair Dawn! All those memories you have sound fantastic and when we think about things like this we realize how many blessings we actually have had; all the many millions of great moments like frames in a long movie reel, and each frame has its own beautiful story, when examined very closely each a fragment of the past, when we take the time to really look back!

    Those are some awesome and great memories with your younger brother who I can tell was a great brother, with a sensitive warm heart, and you a great sister; having the years together you all had as a loving family! My heartfelt prayer goes out to you and your entire family for the loss of your dear brother who I’m feeling so sure is in heaven, with so much joy beyond our imaginations of course; and in the future God will reunite you all!
    God bless you and yours!

    A Big Happy Halloween this year in advance!

    Brother in Christ Jesus,
    Lawrence

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m not talented enough to carve such an elaborate pumpkin! I think it was my daughter who carved it. I’m glad the post brought you good memories, Brother Lawrence! I hope you have a fun holiday, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I sure thought you were or are! Don’t feel bad because I’m not able to do that either, as I’m sure many people aren’t! But hold on, your daughter is apparently a very talented and gifted Woman and she got that from somebody! So perhaps both her Mother and Father, and the upbringing too; so lots of that has to be you in the bringing out of that creative ability!

        Yes, your posting it did bring to mind lots of fun thoughts, it really did, and I tend to not think of those things as much as I used to! I was always the family photographer and have copies and archives of all the family activities from way back to recent years with many awesome pictures and videos! But I hardly even take a peak these days which isn’t my original way; I used to be so into reviewing those things. This crazy life or world these days got in the way, in a bad way too much! So thanks for the jump start or ha, ha, kick in the ass!

        I will make a point to get into the holiday more and all the rest of them coming, to feel like the past is still blending with the present as if it’s not really gone or so far away but still a part of my inner being, still close by; in a better place waiting for the big reunion to come!

        Nothing good can be destroyed it will always good and that is what God even promises! That is the plan Dawn, and I know we can take that to the bank!

        Thank you Sister!

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Americaoncoffee says:

    I too cherish the festive moments of Halloween before the razor blades in the apples started happening. Then I became more likened to the Halloween parties. Thank you for sharing Dawn. Cheers!👻🎃

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Such fond memories and so much more meaningful your Halloween traditions! 🙂
    I am sorry for your brother, Dawn.

    Thank you for sharing! I had no idea that blue pumpkins existed.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. How lovely, a real traditional Halloween! I lived in Wisconsin for highschool and loved them too. Here in Costa Rica, it is not really celebrated, nationally although some do it on their own.:) Especially ExPats:)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Neal Saye says:

    Thanks for sharing about your brother. What great memories you have.

    Liked by 1 person

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