in which there are pumpkins

three years ago mom and i took our friend jane on a great adventure to schaake’s pumpkin patch near lawrence, kansas. at the time, jane’s mommy was expecting again, so that day we got a pumpkin for daddy, a pumpkin for mommy, a pumpkin for jane and a pumpkin for baby-who-had-not-yet-arrived. it was great fun.

this year we had another great adventure to the same pumpkin patch, and this time we brought along ais, who finally got to pick out her own pumpkin. it was cold this time and even started to drizzle, but we still had a lot of fun.

at least i did. next year maybe kiera, baby sister to jane and ais, will get to join us.





our last name is a bit unwieldy even for adults, let alone for kids. jane misheard it when she was littler and so calls my mom “mrs. sealion.”









schaake’s has quite the variety of pumpkins and squashes little and big. they sell by pound the ones you go out into the field to pick for yourself. it’s a pretty good deal.


jayhawk basketball runs in the blood of both of our families, so of course we couldn’t not visit ku.


ais’s favorite part of the campus: all the long blue “school buses.” jane, on seeing the jayhawk on the side of the bus, commented “he must own the bus!” in some ways, life is a lot more exciting when you’re newly five or nearly three.


no lawrence trip would be complete without a lunchtime stop at wheatfields bakery and cafe. jane and ais were introduced to chocolate eclairs and jane, sampling my focaccia bread, declared “this is delicious!” the cafe reminded her of pixar’s movie “ratatouille.”


“tell us a scary story!” jane begged. so i told her about bartholomew the bear, who got scared by a little boy and had nightmares during hibernation. scary stories require dramatic inflection, so i wonder how many of our fellow lunchers also were party to bartholomew’s scary saga.


ais approved of the eclair, but she was also very fond of my lemon tart. she has good taste (they both do).

“i would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” — Henry David Thoreau