During a beautiful sunny weekend in the month of October, we made our traditional family trip to Hickey Farms. This year we decided to pick out pumpkins for baking instead of the culturally accepted jack-o-lanterns. We love harvest time and celebrating the harvest of our garden as well as getting into the spirit of canning, baking, and settling into the warmth of our home. At Hickey Farms, they have an ATV pulling a carpeted trailer for guests to get a free tour of the farm. The farm also has four different bouncy houses in which an $8.00 ticket purchases an unlimited day full of bouncing for our son. The ticket also includes a pass to the string/corn maze. This year’s maze was much better than last year’s because the farm added a corn field side with the hand woven straw bale twine for the other part. One of the members of the Hickey family, hand weaves the sides of the maze during the slow winter months.
During our visit, Krista and I spend time perusing the crafts in the barn by local artisans while our son spends his time bouncing till his heart is content. Krista made Hickey Farm’s private label candle for them, using a unique 12-ounce jar with a pewter lid.
We also were able to meet up with some of our friends and while our children continued bouncing about, we ordered up some outdoor grilled hamburgers. We sat in the warm sunshine and enjoyed some live music from the stage area. Even though the sun was warm, the air was crisp and a hat was nice to have. After lunch, our son and I played checkers with small pumpkins set out on a large painted board. When the game was finished our son and his friends ran into the maze and got lost for a bit. I decided to join him in the maze later. After he finished the maze, he ran back into the maze to rescue me. I was chilling in the corn section exploring all the paths in there. For all those who don’t know me, I have been visiting some of the
largest corn mazes in the Northwest since 1996. I love corn mazes. This maze was not quite so big, but it was cute. The corn section brought back some nostalgia to what Krista and I would do for our yearly harvest tradition. To be honest, I haven’t visited a large corn maze since we moved here in 2010, being so busy with the house build and also losing interest with age. But, thanks to our son, he has rekindled that desire in me again. I might have to take him to a large maze next year. It would be a long day trip, but also fun.
This year, I am debating taking Halloween off and spending the day with my wife and son. Last year, I saw some kids’ costumes that were grotesque and in ill taste as they mimicked psychotic killers and zombies. Halloween has become very dark over the years; I can’t imagine what it will be like with the clown scare this year. Those kids who dressed as evil, blood-thirsty murderers last year really enjoyed the thrill of it, and I found this very disturbing as they embraced the role. For children, there just doesn’t seem to be anything cute or innocent about Halloween anymore.
As a family, we are choosing to celebrate the harvest festival at the church we attend and leaving the mainstream celebration of Halloween behind. I know others feel the same way as I do and are having their own Halloween parties at home for their children and are only visiting neighbors they know and trust. This is a drastic change from what my wife and I experienced during the holiday in our youth. We find that with our son a strong desire to be protective and provide a safe environment without perpetuating senseless fear. He still struggles with many fear related issues brought on prior to his adoption and last foster home. I am really saddened by the loss of innocence for our youth at such a young age, but as parents, we can provide positive memories in our own homes that mainstream culture has surrendered so easily.
So, what will Halloween be like this year. Krista and our son plan to decorate the house with a Thanksgiving Autumn theme. She also plans on teaching our son how to make pumpkin pie and cookies from the pumpkins we purchased from Hickey Farms. The best part will be eating such delicacies as they are still warm from the oven. When evening arrives, we will visit the church for the family fall festival and enjoy the company of friends while playing various carnival games they have prepared.