it had to have been at least four or five years ago. B and i were enjoying a crisp, fall weekend at home. we had just eaten a meal and were cleaning up the kitchen when i spotted a truck pulling a trailer down the street. the trailer was loaded down with hay bales, pumpkins, and adorable boy scouts selling said pumpkins for a troop fundraiser. they stopped on our block as neighbors wandered out of their homes to peruse the merchandise. being that i was elbow deep in a sink full of dishes, i begged B to “pleeeeaaaase go outside and buy me a pumpkin!” by my recollection, he resisted but another pleading “pleeeeeaaaase” later and he was out the door.
he returned a few minutes later. i was still standing at the sink as he sauntered into the kitchen and excitedly exclaimed, “look Nat, i bought you a pumpkin!” i turned around to see B, my pumpkin hero, pumpkin fetcher extraordinaire, holding the tiniest pumpkin i had ever seen. it was so tiny that he was holding it by the stem with only two fingers. and the best part…he was grinning ear to ear. i lost it. i laughed until tears streamed down my face. B was kind of perplexed, but i found the whole thing hilarious. not to mention incredibly endearing. you see, i sent him out there hoping he would buy me a puuuuumpkin. a hefty one. a plump one. one that must be cradled with two hands from the bottom. a pumpkin so large that neighborhood kids would deem it worthy of smashing when they spotted it sitting on the porch next to my yellow mums. i received no such pumpkin. turns out, B got all the way outside before he realized that he had exactly one dollar in his wallet and the tiniest pumpkin known to mankind is all that one dollar would buy. so i accepted my prize pumpkin with a hug and a kiss and happily set it on the windowsill in the kitchen (yes, it was small enough to sit on the windowsill) and every time i saw it, i smiled, giggled to myself, and thought of my B.
i don’t know what it was about that particular scenario, but the events of that perfect fall day remain etched into my memory. i think it must have been the look of ornery pride on his face as his huge hands dangled that tiny pumpkin in the air. whatever it was, it delighted me. every year since, i purchase a tiny pumpkin and place it where i can see it everyday. it is a nice reminder to treasure the little things in life. and it always makes me think of my biggest treasure too….the tall dude who started my favorite fall tradition with just a dollar and a sense of humor.