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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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The Giant-Sized Pumpkin....

The Giant-Sized Pumpkin

My granddaughter was visiting, as usual, and moping around that she had nothing to do. Since computers came along, kids have the idea that they should be entertained 24/7, but even computer games become boring after a while.

Kids need activities to keep them occupied. "Why don't you ask your dad to take you to the pumpkin farm?" The pumpkin farm is not too far from where I live and has all sorts of things for kids to do, like a petting zoo, a corn maze, hayrides and, of course, all sizes of pumpkins.

Apparently, she took me up on the suggestion as I later noticed a giant-size pumpkin on the patio. The rule when I took my kids to get pumpkins was that they must be able to pick up and carry the pumpkin to the car. This was a handy rule as I had three kids and two hands. It also kept the size of the pumpkins under control. The rule has obviously passed into oblivion as this gourd was so large I don't know how my son got it into his truck without a ramp.

The pumpkin sat on the patio for about a week undisturbed. I wasn't sure what the plan was, so I ignored the large orange orb and waited. When my granddaughter came the following weekend, I asked her what she planned to do with the pumpkin. "Dad and I are going to make a jack-o'-lantern," she proclaimed.

I later noticed a bowl of pumpkin seeds on the kitchen counter. Then I discovered the pumpkin in the garage, minus the insides. I guess they ran out of steam before they finished, and so the half-carved jack-o'-lantern spent the night on the garage floor.

The next day I spied my grandchild carrying the over-sized pumpkin across the patio. Now it had a face. I don't know how she was able to lift it. Maybe it was lighter without the messy stuff inside or maybe where there is a will there is a way.

The large fruit was very fanciful, much more so than the ones I used to make with triangles for eyes and nose. Granddaughter said she picked out the design on the internet and the pumpkin was exactly like the picture. My son carved the entire thing by hand, which must have been difficult as the bigger the pumpkin, the tougher its skin.

I saw an article on the internet that said the easy way to carve a pumpkin is with an electric jigsaw. You can also use a drill to make holes and create fanciful designs. However, I didn't get a chance to pass this information along. Doing it the old-fashioned way is probably more fun anyhow.

After the child left, I brought the pumpkin inside and dipped it in bleach water, which is supposed to help prevent mold and fungus and make it last longer. I found that little tip in the same article where I found out about using power tools.

I decided to keep the jack-o'-lantern in the house where it is cooler until she comes back to visit again. After all the work, I would hate for it to rot before she has a chance to enjoy it. So, the orange sculpture is on my kitchen table grinning away. It has a small orange light inside. I guess putting candles in them also went out of fashion while I was not watching, just like triangle-shaped eyes.

The next weekend there were two pumpkins on the patio, the second remarkably similar to the first, obviously copied from the same picture.

"Where did the new pumpkin come from?"

"My other grandmother's house!"

I may soon have an entire pumpkin farm on my patio. That's okay, though, since my grandchild is smiling too, just like the pumpkin on the internet.


Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss


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