We were down in Georgia over the weekend for a family wedding. Being the compulsive individual that he is, my dad decided mid-party that we were going to leave at 6 AM to drive back home – a 9 hour trip via car. We didn’t let that stop us from partying, though, and I woke up the next morning before the sun came up with a sore throat (from screaming Sweet Caroline, Don’t Stop Believing, and Piano Man at the top of my lungs) and some aching feet (from dancing for around 5 hours in heels). I threw on a plaid shirt, sunglasses, and gave my younger sister the car keys and settled in to be her “supervisor” on the road. Full disclaimer: She only has her permit and I may have dozed off once or twice. Please don’t arrest me.
I’m a grumpy morning person. It took me until we reached the nearest source of caffeine to even come close to being awake, and I was still a bit sassy even after a venti with four shots of espresso. When I was informed that we’d be visiting Burt’s – a pumpkin patch that my family has been to over the years, but not for several years – I perked up a bit. Burt’s Pumpkin Patch is at the foot of the Appalachians, in the mountains of Georgia, and was once a bit of a fall escape for my family. We’d go up with our grandparents, my mother would take posed photos for as long as us kids could stand it, and then we’d get to go on hay rides, eat caramel apples and pumpkin rolls, and pick out the largest pumpkin in the patch to take home. My dad’s favorite time of year is fall, and baked pumpkin seeds and carving was a big part of that. Soon enough, the massive pumpkin we’d chosen would be sitting on our doorstep as a jack o’ lantern. And all the little baby ones would be finger-painted into horrible messes that my mom proudly displayed, because as everyone knows, your own child is merely a blossoming Cézanne.
This year was a bit different. For one, Burt’s has evidently become the fall equivalent of an amusement park. It seemed like every person in Atlanta has evacuated to Burt’s and when 25% of them are crying children under the age of 4, it makes it a bit hard to stay for hours.
Kids get older (and you add two more spawn) and taking pictures becomes more difficult.
You can’t sit on each other’s laps because, well… people disappear. Thanks a lot, Food.
But you can pose for lots of pictures and bring home an unreasonable amount of pumpkins.
As we left, Andrew lamented the “waste of time”, but I was thinking back on past years of fun. Was Burt’s still worth it? For me? Yes, but it has a lot of nostalgic moments for my family that I remember because I was older. Eating on the banks of the river, feeding the fish from the bridge, and collecting brightly colored leaves from the surrounding trees… Burt’s was looked forward to each year. And this year, though unexpected, it was a welcome adventure with some kids who will definitely remember the fun and enjoy finger painting some pumpkins.