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The carving of pumpkins is a mainstay tradition for many during the spooky month of October.

The carving of pumpkins is a mainstay tradition for many during the spooky month of October.

When you hear the word “October,” what do you think? Some people think fall; others think candy, Halloween, or pumpkins. The month of October is a collaboration of all these things to create the spooky, autumn feeling – making the beginning of the cold months bearable.

First comes the crisp, cold air that greets everyone as they get up in the morning to go to classes or work. The everyday morning routine quickly changes to a fall fashion, as people begin to bundle up in warm layers of jeans, boots, and sweaters – trapping the heat close to their bodies, leaving the warm comfort of home to battle with the cool air. Secretly, it offers a great excuse to get all cozy and bundled up with a loved one and a warm cup of hot chocolate or hot apple cider.

By mid-October the pumpkins are ripe and ready to be carved. Running through the pumpkin fields to find the biggest pumpkin you can carry! Hobbling over to the car with a pumpkin embraced tightly in your arms, where it will be brought home and dissected before carving it with your own unique design. With intricate care the design is laid out on a piece of paper until it’s perfect, then transferred onto the pumpkin itself with a permanent marker so the juices don’t wash away the ink. Triangles, circles, and squares are carved into an image of your own spooky Halloween inspiration; then lit by a candle. The insides of the pumpkin, the seeds, are roasted before being salted, peppered, and sprinkled with cinnamon or nutmeg – creating the greatest television snack for a Halloween movie like The Nightmare Before Christmas or Practical Magic.

Jack-O-Lanterns illuminate the windows at night, but the fall color of the foliage decorates the outside in the sunlight. As the days get colder the leaves change from green to different shades of red, orange, and yellow. They fall to the ground to be raked up into a colorful pile ready to be run and jumped in; destroyed by all of the fun only to be raked back up again to start the fun once more. Until it’s time to retire into the warmth of the house, where there is freshly homemade apple pie, pumpkin pie, baked bread or beef stew.

As the month draws to a close, Halloween night approaches. The witches and wizards, angels and devils, pirates and cowgirls come out to take part in the celebration; knocking on doors singing “Trick or Treat!” in hopes of getting a handful of candy.

Believe it or not, it is time to get in the spooky mood. Halloween only comes once a year. What will you be wearing on October 31st of 2013? To get in the scary mood and envelope yourself in spooky cheer, decorate the house. Spend time with your loved ones baking Halloween cupcakes or carving pumpkins. Enjoying the outdoors, all colorful with the beautiful foliage and fallen leaves. Then end your day all bundled up in a warm blanket with a cup of hot cider.

Happy October 2013!

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