Thursday, October 15, 2015

October Traditions

As I tend to do every couple months or so, I am smack-dab in the middle of a monthly photo challenge.  Looking back on previous years, it seems like October is my favorite time to participate in one of these challenges.  October is just a beautiful time of year in general, so that is most likely what draws me to join in the pointless habit of taking prompted photos for 31 days straight. Whatever the cause, it's become a tradition and one that I enjoy enough to continue for the foreseeable future.  Funny thing is, today's prompt is October Traditions, which made me think of our annual trip to the pumpkin patch.

Our first annual Sams Fam Pumpkin Patch Advanture happened in 2008.  At the time, the only pumpkin patch we had heard of was at a little place called White's Country Farm.  One of my favorite pictures was taken on that first visit to White's.  It shows our little group or rugrats (Trinity, our 2 nephews, and our niece) all together, sitting on hay bales with big smiles on their faces.
 The kids all picked their own pumpkins, then came back to our house to carve them.  We continued this tradition with all 4 kids through to 2010, then the next 3 years our group dwindled as family situations prevented us from being able to spend much time with our oldest nephew and niece.  At least one year we brought Trinity's friends along.  My basic feeling is the more, the merrier!

Somewhere in the midst of all our pumpkin patching fun, we discovered Seven Oaks Farm and started going there instead of White's.  For us, it just made more sense b/c there were many more activities available for cheap or free at Seven Oaks.  Last year we made our regular trip, but also went a second time to give us a chance to go with our niece.  The second visit was a much more rushed, shortened version of our usual trip, but we make due with what we're given.

This year Justin and I resolved to visit the local pumpkin patches as often as possible, knowing that we won't be able to buy pumpkins or do the extra activities at all of them.  Just visiting and snapping some pictures is free, so the only added cost is time.  So far we've only been to one farm, but it was one we haven't been to before called Fort Vannoy.  We didn't partake in any of the activities offered, although we're considering going back a second time and giving Trinity and opportunity to witness some punkin chunkin'.   We went with our friends the String-Greens so that Presley and her besty, Zoey, could enjoy the festivities together. We're planning to stop in to our regular spot at some point in the very near future, and we'll possibly hit one more in a neighboring town b/c we have heard good things about it.  With my ungodly work schedule these days, it's hard to do much as a family, but this is a tradition that I don't want to end, and the second we start making excuses to skip it, it'll creep down on our list of priorities, before stopping completely.
I know I say it a lot, but the fact is, Presley really is missing out on a lot of the childhood experiences that Trinity got to be a part of.  There is no Grandma around to spoil her rotten or feed her cookies for breakfast.  There is no wild pack of cousins to play with.  In fact, her oldest cousin isn't a part of her life at all and her 2nd oldest cousin is barely around.  There are certain traditions I just have to cling to with all my might b/c they hold some of my happiest memories and will hopefully be important to my kids and grandkids, too.  The pumpkin patch is far and away the most prominent of these traditions and one that I hope I get to experience every October until I leave this crazy world.

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