Pumpkins & Warriors
Walking through rows and rows of healthy pumpkin vines and spotting ripening green and orange pumpkins with sweet kiddos this last weekend- I was reminded of times not too long ago when my nieces, nephews and oldest child walked through the same patches looking for just the right pumpkin. A picture of my sister in law from just a few years back, popped into my head as I saw her holding her belly with anticipation in her eyes. She was days away from meeting her last precious pumpkin.
How in the world had the years gone by in such a flash? The moments and memories of times with those who are no longer with us flashed through my mind as I snapped away our family’s latest adventure at Grave’s Farm. Not only family, but also friends, and classmates, and teachers, and birthdays were celebrated in these rows, and acres of vines. The memories were filled with the precious orange pumpkins and delighted laughing children. Some of the days were cloudy, some were so hot and sweaty, and a few were just like this one-muddy, sticky, and just plain fun.
The Grave’s Farm Adventure also holds memories of years and years of loaded up cars caravanning out on Gateway class field trips. Little warriors could sure load down the trailer and fill up the hay bales to overflowing while waiting in anticipation to get to the patch. Somehow there always seemed to be a dog around who wouldn’t miss the ride, so up he would jump to ride out with the kids. When the kids set out to find their treasured pumpkins, competitions for the biggest, funniest, and smallest ones began right away. The Graves one rule of “pick only the one you are able to carry on your own”, may have kept a few boys and girls from winning the biggest pumpkin category. But parents certainly appreciated that stipulation.
Looking out into the field I was also reminded of some funny times when a few personal items mysteriously disappeared out there. Oddly enough, it was almost always an adult who seemed to do the losing. Yours truly, happened to be one of those parents. I was sure grateful when my phone was discovered at the far end of the patch where my daughter had found her perfect pumpkin. It was only a few years later that a “search committee” was sent out to help a precious teacher look for her missing keys to her classroom. To my knowledge-those keys are still among the vines or possibly buried beneath a few layers of soil. But either way, a little bit of Warrior history was left behind in the pumpkin patch, and the sweet memories of that day and many others are treasured in the minds of both mamas and children.
This year will be my 9th year of attending the GW pumpkin patch roundup. I can’t help but think of how very grateful I am for the Warrior Tradition of spending a fall day each year out in nature, at a farm where kids get to experience God’s beautiful creation. As my oldest daughter moves further into young adulthood, I find myself holding on to these memories even tighter. My youngest is passing through childhood all too quickly and I don’t want to miss a moment of either of their lives. My beautiful step-daughters have also been gifted to me to love and cherish, and of course our tradition of Graves is being weaved into our family’s new beginnings. This one sweet memory -filled place at Grave’s Farm has become a yearly reminder to cherish my girls and be ever so grateful that God has picked them for me to love.
I think the Psalmist says it best…
Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children!
Thank you GW family for partnering with parents to love our children and for the commitment of teaching, instilling biblical truths and being an example of the steadfast love of Jesus to our children. The sweet traditions and field trips offer more than just fun, they have given myself, and my girls a lifetime of memories and a deeper gratitude to God for His best gifts. His children.
GCS Marketing Team