Love and a Pumpkin Leaf

July 3, 2019

  I LOVE pumpkins!  I am not fond of pumpkin spice which seems to be everywhere come fall.  I like pumpkin pie but food allergies will not let me eat it anymore.  More specifically, I LOVE carving pumpkins.

  I have been actively carving pumpkins for the last few years.  It was by happenstance that I went from the typical jack-o-lantern cutting to loving the art of carving.  Check out some of my creations here.

  So why in the world would I choose a hot summer day to write about pumpkins?  That is easy… have you ever truly looked at the beauty of their leaves?  Pumpkin leaves are thick and hardy.  Their veins are tough and detailed.  They have a protective coating on the underneath of the leaves and they make AMAZING pottery creations.

  Before, I get too far ahead of myself, we need to go back to fall 2014.  In the fall of 2014, my sister placed a rotting pumpkin into the dirt of a hanging basket.  I am not sure why she put it there but she did never the less.  From this planting, I received a basket full of baby pumpkins in the spring of 2015.  She was so exited to give these to our mom to deliver to me.  The day I received this gift, I was thrilled.  They needed to be planted quickly and I did not have a place prepared so I planted the baby pumpkins in a garden at the studio.

  Fall arrived and 3 baby small pumpkins had flourished in the garden.  One was given to a student of mine and the other two were taken home with me.  We used these small pumpkins as a decoration in our home.

   Come the evening of Saturday, November 11, 2016 (if you have read any of my other blog entries, I am good with dates – LOL.)  Our decorative and recently carved pumpkins were on their last leg so around 8:30 pm I got the tractor, filled up the bucket, and dumped the pumpkins into our target shooting range.

   There are some moments that stick with you forever.  This night was one of this times.  I specifically remember gathering the pumpkins that my sister gave me, thinking about her, and sending her my heart-love.

   That same evening one of our son’s, who was 9, could not fall asleep.  He told me he was so worried that there was going to be a big fire.  I calmed him and he fell fast asleep.  The next morning we found out that my sister died in a fire around 1:30 am…………

   Now, I could get off onto an entirely different direction detailing her death, her murder, and the court case.  I won’t…  Let’s keep going.

   2017 came and went.  Summer 2018, I remember walking our property and visiting the shooting range.  I was blown away by what I saw.  I think my heart was healing and my eyes were more open because I saw a beautiful site.  In the shooting range, my sister’s pumpkins had flourished and had taken over.  Pumpkins were everywhere.  Some with leaves 15″ wide!

Pressing The Pumpkin Leaf into Clay.

   For days my dog Hannah and I would walk to the pumpkin patch and gather leaves.  Most days she thought it was hilarious to grab them from my hands and run away.

   Some of the biggest leaves made it to the studio where I made some of the most amazing pumpkin leaf bowls.

Fresh Clay Pumpkin Leaf Server.

  Starting in the Fall of 2018, we began hosting a 3rd annual ceramic painting event.  We added a ceramic pumpkin painting event to our schedule.  As with our other annual painting events (ceramic Easter egg paint and ceramic ornament paint) the event always benefits some outreach organization.  The annual ceramic pumpkin painting benefits victims of domestic violence.  Please read between the lines – my sister and the benefiting program…

  This awesome event packed the house and we raise lots of funds!

The finished Pumpkin Server.  This piece was auctioned off at the event.  Oddly enough my brother and sister-in-law won this piece.  

Check out pictures of the event here.  Want to join us at the next event?  Find all of the details here.

  Fast forward to just a few weeks ago.  Once again walking our property and I came upon some new baby pumpkin leaves.  We now have 2 pumpkin patches.  What an incredible blessing.

2019 Baby Pumpkin Leaves

  The Bible tells us in Psalm 34:18 that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  The Lord walks with us and carries us during our hardest times.  Where my sister’s life on earth is over, her spirit lives on, her pumpkins live on, and her legacy will always be present.  Thank you Lord for the blessings of these pumpkins. You give life to all and show your blessing daily.  Amen.

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