Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lacks basic knowledge

Kiso chishiki ga nai

Santa Claus came to the Pumpkin Palace and Christmas morning, the Pumpkin Prince and Princess found gifts under the tree. The Princess found a gift that the Pumpkin Mommy had refused to buy for her on her birthday two weeks ago, a battery powered monstrosity of pink plastic that flashes and sparkles and plays "Go Tell Aunt Rhodie". If that's not proof positive there is a Santa Claus, the Pumpkin Princess does not know what would possibly make your sorry soul believe.

"Aren't you glad Santa bought that for you?" the Pumpkin Daddy said to a beaming Pumpkin Princess as she made the environmentally unfriendly contraption play "Lightly Row".

"Santa doesn't buy toys, the elves make them in Santa's Workshop," I cut in.

"Santa has elves?"

"Santa has elves. They work for him, make the toys, package and wrap them, and put them in the proper sacks according to global region."

"Wow." The Pumpkin Daddy was impressed. "I wish I had elves."

And this was where the Pumpkin Prince wrestled the sparkly, shiny, tinkly toxic landfill fodder from his older sister, and WWIII broke out in the Pumpkin Palace living room, even without intervention from Muslim Fundamentalist Extremists or quasi-communist powers going through the third generation of their regime. This did not surprise me, nor did the fact that the Pumpkin Daddy did not know Santa had elves. Just another morning at the Pumpkin Palace.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Starting next time...

Tsugi kara ha...

The next time you meet up with a friend you haven't seen in a quarter of a century,

1) Take more than one picture with her
2) Take pictures in a well lit place
3) Give the camera to the person who has been taking the most pictures.

Oh well. We'll always have Paris Wicked.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Long story...

Hanaseba nagai

The Pumpkin Daddy has decided he wants to take piano lessons. He was in band in high school, but he has never had proper music lessons. I admire his "never too late to start" attitude, and the seriousness with which he tackles the variation of the Mozart piece he has been assigned.

(To my non-classical music buff friends: I am trying to be clever. He's playing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".)

Behind him, the Pumpkin Princess is swiffing in her Cinderella dress. Long story.

The Pumpkin Prince is also swiffing. The skirt is his sister's. Even longer story.

I want to go too!

Boku mo ikitai!

The Pumpkin Daddy and Pumpkin Princess started taking piano lessons last month.

The new piano...OK, not a real piano, but an electronic piano so that 1) they can practice late at night with headphones 2) the floor won't cave in was delivered last weekend. They practice every day....OK, almost every day.

Piano lessons are at the teacher's studio three times a month, which is about a five-minute walk from our house. The Pumpkin Princess and Pumpkin Daddy have their lessons back to back, which means they walk there together and wait through each other's lessons. Pumpkin Daddy likes to take my iPad and the Pumpkin Princess takes along her sparkly colored pens and her drawing pad. They leave with excitement and anticipation in their hearts. For now, anyway. Let me get back to you in a few months.

And then there are some who are left behind against their will.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

You won't find out until you try.

Yatte minai to wakaranai.

Some things you just don't find out until you try them.

A length of animal print fabric tied around the waist as part of a dance costume is a good idea on a post-pubertal female.

A group of 5 year-old boys, not so much. By the second half of the performance, some of the youngsters looked like they were going to trip.

Maybe something involving elastic would have been a better idea.

As always, the Pumpkin Daycare Christmas show is five star entertainment. It always keeps evolving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Getting ahead of yourself


The Pumpkin Daddy decided this past Sunday was a good day to put lights on the tree in our front yard and bring out the Christmas tree. Most years, I insist upon waiting until at least American Thanksgiving day (fourth Thursday of November), but our family schedule was such that it would be either this past weekend or the first Sunday of Decemmber, and who knows what that would bring?

A picture of the Pumpkin Princess taking a picture of the Pumpkin Daddy stringing up the lights

Finished product

Our Christmas Tree for this year. We need a new tree skirt.

Monday, November 22, 2010

You're going to get in trouble


Last night, Prince William's engagement was on the news. The point they seemed to be trying to make was that Wills and Kate are not getting the attention that Charles and Diana got from Britain three decades ago. Which, well, OK, the world is a different place than it was 30 years ago.

Except, one of the ways they made their "point" was by going to Buckingham Palace and showing the crowds around the palace and showing that it was mainly tourists from other countries adding to the head count. They did this by sticking a microphone in front of said tourists and asking "are you English?" and showing lots of people saying "no".

Apparently, most of the Japanese population does not understand that there is a difference between "English" and "British", and that not understanding this difference causes as much, or perhaps more, annoyance as when the average Japanese gets mistaken for a Chinese.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Basic knowledge

Kiso chishiki

As you know, I am 100% Japanese but spent my formative years in the American Midwest. I have a working knowledge of American culture, at least up until the mid-80's, and what's fit for a 14 year-old, anyway. I know all the songs in "Sound of Music" and "My Fair Lady", and I have seen all the Star Wars movies.

And I've seen "Wizard of Oz". I don't know how many times I have seen it, but I know it wasn't once. Or twice. Or three times.

At work today, I was trying to explain the plot of "Wicked" to my co-workers.

"The basic premise is that the Wicked Witch of the West and the Good Witch of the North are college roommates. Are you familiar with Wizard of Oz?"

"Yes, I've read the book."


"Have you seen the movie?"



Well, I guess the average American doesn't know about Chuushingura or Byakkotai, so it all averages out, more or less.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why here?

Naze koko de?

I could have sworn you were napping in another room. What are you doing here in the kitchen?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Twice as good

Nibai ii!

The other day, the Pumpkin Daycare had its annual field day.

There are two Chinese families in the Pumpkin Princess's class (a pair of twin girls and a boy). I was talking to the boy's mom, and the twins' mom showed up and they started chattering away in Mandarin Chinese. I picked up exactly two words, "Nihao" (hello) and "arzi" (son).

So since the average Japanese person would probably only have picked up "Nihao," it's safe to say that my Mandarin Chinese is twice as good as most people, right?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Which is it?

Docchi nano?

Dear Pumpkin City,

I can understand that you want to screen for developmental delay. Early intervention is important.

I also understand that child development has a very large individual variation.

But please do not tell me the Pumpkin Prince needs a detailed evaluation of his development because he speaks 5 words at 18 months instead of your very strict cutoff of 6 words, and then give me a brochure about how child development has a very large individual variation.

And please don't tell me it's for my own peace of mind. I think the Pumpkin Prince is developing just fine. You're the one who is all worked up over his lack of a single word and asking me to take the Pumpkin Prince to the pediatrician where the pediatrician and I will waste each other's time as he will judge the Pumpkin Prince to be healthy, happy, and developing normally, and give me his standard issue talk on individual variation.

(Disclaimer: I am not a developmental pediatrician, nor do I play one on TV, but, well, come on, this one is plain old fashioned common sense.)

Monday, October 4, 2010

This is serious.


So there's this shopping mall. And it has a food court. This is a picture of the food court at around three in the afternoon.

Oh dear.

I give this place six months, a year tops.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Where'd they go?

Doko itta no?

My darling, my sunshine, love of my life, reason for living;

1. That's not your chair. That's your sister's.

2. That's not your fork. That's your sister's, too.

3. I peeled two good sized Fuji pears for the four of us, not just you. Where have they gone?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall down seven times, get up eight

Nana korobi Ya oki

This phrase isn't so much a phrase as a saying. When you stop and think, if you fall down seven times, you only have to get up seven times (or six if you choose to give up after the final fall). I guess they say "get up eight" because you are not only supposed to persevere, you are supposed to thrive. Or something.

Daruma dolls are painted papier mache. They are weighted on the bottom so they always get up (i.e. never give up) and have blank eyes. You paint one eye while making a wish or setting a goal, and fill in the other eye when your wish comes true or achieve your goal.

And then there is this.

The contents of this plastic Hello Kitty monstrosity are what the Pumpkin Princess decided was going to be her lunch for Monday. I wish I had pictures of the lunch, but this was when she went on a little trip (first train ride for her cousin) while I stayed at home. It apparently contained a sausage with a picture of Hello Kitty, a slice of kamaboko with a picture of Hello Kitty, ground chicken seasoned with ginger and scrambled egg arranged over a layer of rice. It was way too much food for a 4 year-old, and she only ate about a third of it. It's pretty obvious she was attracted to the container and not the food. To her credit, she ate the remainder for dinner that lunch and breakfast the next morning. I have washed out the container and she'll probably use it to store all the capsule toys she makes the Pumpkin Daddy buy every time they go to the mall.

(ETA: found online a picture of what was inside the box)

Monday, September 20, 2010

I look cool from both sides.

Docchi kara mite mo kakkoii!

When I saw a Krispy Kreme when I was in Yokohama for work stuff, I had to stop by, even though there was a long line that I had to stand in for a good 15 minutes.

My brother and his family were in town, so I had to make sure there were enough to go around. I got a dozen plain glazed donuts and some more with nuts and sprinkles (gotta have rainbow colored sprinkles because to anyone under the age of seven, a donut isn't a donut without sprinkles that get their color from carcinogens).

To my American friends, I probably look like a loser for standing in line for 15 minutes to buy donuts from a chain store. But keep in mind, Krispy Kreme donuts only got to Japan a few years ago, and they are to be found only in places like Tokyo and Yokohama. I think the nearest one from us is about 50 miles away and lacks parking space. Their inavailability makes them trendy and desirable. Kind of like Starbucks when they first got here about 15 years ago. So to my family (especially my s-i-l, judging from her response), I am a cool person who brought home the awesome donuts they saw in the Japanese analog of InStyle or Cosmopolitan last month.

But wait! We had the donuts with chilled green tea! I understand chilled green tea is edgy and fashionable and interesting in the Americas and Europe these days. I'm cool either way you look at it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

You still don't get it?

Mada wakaranai no?

So I had a bunch of undergrad kids and the topic of religion came up (don't ask) and I asked if there were any Mormons in the group (which is probably illegal in several states in the US, the asking, not the Mormonism, that is, but I'm in Japan so there) and they said no, and so I said know how to make sure? They all looked at me blankly, so I told them to follow me, and marched the group to the cafe on the premises and told them to order whatever they liked, and they all ordered coffee (iced lattes and a shot of espresso, and I said that it has been proven there are no practicing Mormons in the group, and I got a bunch of blank looks.

So when I realized they still didn't get it, I explained (in a careful manner as to not be an obnoxious person telling someone what they already know) that Mormons will not drink coffee or anything with caffeine, or, for that matter, nicotine and alcohol, and one of them said "what, no Regain?" (no, not drug for alopecia but an energy drink available in Japan containing caffeine and nicotine, think Red Bull) and I replied "no Regain, at least not if you follow everything you're supposed to" and the kid was like "wow, how do they get anything done?"

I was amazed that none of the group (all enrolled in a school where admission is pretty darned competitive) knew Mormons won't drink coffee, but then again, I suppose the average American doesn't know there are about 60 days on the calendar Japanese people won't have weddings. Still, with all those cute blond guys pedaling bicycles all over town, you would think they would have had the chance to find out without me.

I'm first!

Ichiban ni natta!

Apparently, if you Google "Japanese last weekend", a blog entry I made 2 years ago about a trip to Tokyo comes up first.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Is it you?

Anata desuka?

I've got a hit from Johannesburg. I used to have this blogging friend who hailed from South Africa. She seemed to be in a difficult time in her life when she stopped blogging and pretty much dropped off the face of the planet as far as I know. I'm hoping the SA hit is her, and that she is all right enough to be checking obscure blogs such as this.

I'm not getting any tomatoes!

Tomato ga zenzen torenai!

It's supposedly the hottest summer ever. I believe it.

Last year, I had so many tomatoes from the garden, I didn't know what to do. This year, the tomatoes somehow get eaten by some insect or other before they ripen. It wasn't so bad until August, but I haven't had a single tomato from the garden in over 3 weeks. Supermarket produce is a lot more expensive than it is most years, too. It's nice to know that the pros have it hard and that it's no fault of mine..

That's a photo from last year, a memory of better days...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

You don't have to do that anymore!

Mou sou iu koto ha shinakute ii n dayo!

So Cinderella went to the royal ball in the enchanted dress. The Prince took one look at the beautiful Cinderella and would dance with no other the rest of the evening.

He loved her Swiffer too much to let it go.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Please don't do that anymore!

Mou shinai de ne!

The previously described kid in the Pumpkin Day Care with anime red hair is showing a good inch or two of dark roots. I'm hoping his mom won't do that to his hair again, ever.

I love checking the "feedjit" bar. I can tell who some of the visitors are, but others I have no clue, so they must have found me without me telling them about this blog myself. And what is interesting is that some of these visitors I don't know apparently come back every so often to check on me. Which is cool, but I don't know who they are and what they are looking for.

So if I don't know your name, and you are checking this blog, and if you feel like it, please leave a comment and tell me what you were looking for when you got here and whether you found it. This is a blog about the Pumpkin Mommy and her brood, and the Japanese phrases only serve as a minor accessory to what I really want to share. If the phrases are important to lots of people, I might consider being more detailed about them, like how formal they are and whether you can use them on people other than immediate family and friends your own age.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What are they made of?

Nani de dekite iru no?

The Pumpkin Clan went to a very, very old fashioned cafe. It was so old fashioned, it didn't serve coffee!

Outside, there was a play area.

Choose your desired caliber, cut, dry, cut, hammer, and tie.

We offer a wide selection of heights as a service to our customers.

That's OK, I think I'll stick to these for now.

Of course, it was way too hot to stay very long (for the Pumpkin Parents, anyway).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Without a doubt!

Machigai nai!

You know what I said about possibly being a geek? I take it back. I am a geek. I am watching my Big Bang Theory 2nd season DVDs in little detached installments. Today I watched 2 episodes while painting my toenails (bright red, of course!) In one, the geek squad was discussing the care and maintenance of Superman's suit, and how it would be cleaned, and how flying close enough to the sun ought to incinerate anything on it that was not Kryptonian in origin, except wouldn't Superman's sweat be Kryptonian in origin and therefore impervious to the heat of the sun, yadda yadda yadda, and I was thinking how I pretty much had the EXACT SAME CONVERSATION in high school except it was about a Japanese comic (Captain Tsubasa, if you must know).

And I wonder why I had trouble getting dates.

Well, then again, there was that whole "girls' school" thing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Might be!

Kamo shirenai!

You might be a geek if you are watching a "geek squad" scene in "The Big Bang Theory" and you don't find what is going on strange or funny as much as you would really like to join Leonard, Sheldon, Raj and Howard.

The other day, I logged on to Amazon Japan to buy a work-related publication. When I finalized the purchase, however, I had Alison Arngrim's "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated" and the 2nd season of "The Big Bang Theory" in my shopping basket.

Surely I am not the only person who does this, am I?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Let me try!

Boku ni mo yarasete!

It was so hot today, the Pumpkin Daddy started washing the cars with the kids. The Pumpkin Prince wants to do everything his big sister does.

"Hey, that looks like fun! I want to try!"

"All right!"

"Gotta make sure I don't miss any spots on the Pumpkin Prius!"

"Water is so much fun!"

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wait a little longer.

Mousukoshi matte.

My darling Pumpkin Prince,

I love you when you toddle to me giggling all the while. I love you when you eat 2 bananas and ask for another. I love you when you stand in front of your high chair and look at me as if to say "is it time for dinner yet?" I love you more than life itself.

And I promise to support any lifestyle choices you may make, as long as they do not harm anyone, including yourself.

But Pumpkin Prince, do we have to start with the whole alternative lifestyle thing so soon?


(No, I didn't choose the outfit, he did. I refused to dress him in the skirt once, but he cried until I did. The hat he found and put on by himself.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

That's (doing) a bit much!


I probably shouldn't be criticizing someone else's parenting, but there is a boy in the Pumpkin Princess's class at day care with red hair. Not nice auburn hair, or carrot top red, or even strawberry blond. (BTW, the kid looks like a full-bloodded, run of the mill Japanese, or at the very least, 100% East Asian, so none of these colors would be natural.) No, I'm talking anime character bright red with a shade of pink. To get Asian hair that color, it has to be bleached before it gets dyed. To think that the kid's parents (or maybe only one parent was involved in the procedure, but I'm pretty sure it was a parent because no hairdresser in their right mind would take part in anything so dangerous) applied two different potentially hazardous chemical substances on a 4 year-old's scalp (or more importantly, so close to the eye area) is in itself cringe worthy, even if they hadn't picked anime character red as the final color.

And even though you managed to get the desired look without corneal damage, using hair dyes on very young children increases the risk of their developing a hair color allergy later in life. The worst case scenario would be, if the kid actually likes the look and decides to repeat it when he is old enough to decide for himself, he'll get contact dermatitis, or worse, an anaphylactic reaction every time he retouches his roots.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Things I am thankful for

1. Knowledge about which local pediatric clinics have ample parking space, roomy waiting areas, and friendly, down-to-earth, and reasonably competent pediatricians

2. Standard issue health insurance that pays 70% of standard medical care

3. Registered domicile in a city that will pick up the remainder of the bill for kids under the age of 12

4. That 2 and 3 apply for standard medications as well

5. Parents living about 3 blocks away who will look after a sick 16 month-old at a moment's notice

6. A workplace that thinks having me around most of the time is better than not having me around at all

Actually, although I am thankful I have all of these things, every working parent should have them too (OK, maybe not 5, but they ought to have access to someone who can fill in when day care won't).

Wednesday, June 30, 2010



Let us review.

Meticulously detailed hair, accurately depicted facial contour and nose, carefully drawn glasses, shirt in a color he actually owns.


This, I understand, is a picture of me. But it could be any other mom. No trademark glasses, hair of generic length, shirt in a color I do not own.


And then there is this. This is also a picture of me.


I don't own a yellow shirt. And what is that circle around the single hair sticking straight up from my head? Is that my ponytail?

The Pumpkin Daddy pointed out that she got the part about one eye being larger than the other right.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

May I buy some Plarail?

Pura-reiru katte mo ii?

Tonight, the Pumpkin Daddy asked me if he could buy these for the Pumpkin Prince.

I told him if he really wanted them, I would get him some for his birthday.

"Him" meaning the Pumpkin Daddy, of course.

In other news, the Pumpkin Princess rolls a perfect pizza crust all by herself when given the proper amount of dough.


Completed pizza (pesto, baby tomatos, salami, onions, shimeji mushrooms, and, of course, cheese).


The Pumpkin Princess draws a picture of the Pumpkin Daddy for Father's Day. The Pumpkin Daddy asked her why he was wearing two pairs of glasses, and she replied that the blue circles were his nostrils. Those of you who know what the Pumpkin Daddy looks like will probably agree that it is an excellent likeness, especially considering it was drawn by a 4 1/2 year old.


The Pumpkin Prince walks. But he still has his baby fat, make no mistake about it. Look at that baby bottom!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How unusual!


Wow, 2 posts in a single month!

My brother took us to a soba (buckwheat noodle) restaurant in Bandai.

Buckwheat will grow in places other crops will not. This is why good soba is often found in places where other culinary choices are limited. Pumpkin Prefecture has fairly good soba (and pasta in general). Central Shizuoka, where I lived for a year, does not. They had wonderful seafood (including but not limited to sushi and fresh prawn), but the soba left a bit to be desired. Actually, pretty much every kind of pasta in Shizuoka left quite a bit to be desired. The sushi lover in me misses Shizuoka. The pasta lover in me does not.


This was the dinner the grownups got (the youngsters got soba and the option of stealing things from their parents' plates). Clockwise from top right: assorted tempura, the tempura sauce, the soba sauce (with scallions), pickles, an empty rice bowl with paddle, bamboo steamer, and a covered ramekin containing chawan-mushi (savory steamed custard containing seafood and vegetables).


This is what was in the bamboo steamer: rice cooked in a soy based broth with assorted vegetables.

There was also this. The picture is quite blurry. There are thin cuts of fine meat (look at that marbling!), a slice of scallion, and shimeji mushrooms cooking in a soy based sauce.



Oh yes, and there was soba.

After the meal, the Pumpkin Daddy was attacked by the youngsters.


Of course, there is always the man who marches to a different drummer.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tsuki ichi

Once a month

Seems to be the frequency of my blogging these days...

Here in Japan, the days before and after the first weekend in April are known as Golden Week. There's a string of national holidays starting with Showa Day (April 29th, the previous Emperor's birthday) and ending with Children's Day (May 5th). If you work in manufacturing and the factory stops production (like the Pumpkin Daddy), or if you tack on a couple vacation days in between, you end up with a holiday of a week or more.

We went to visit my brother in Aizu. Which means we had to check out at least one Byakkotai (White Tiger Unit) related site. We picked Iimoriyama, the hill overlooking the city where the young men took their own lives.


The dads are holding their babies. The Pumpkin Princess is holding hands with her cousin, who is her Prince du jour.

(Short version of the story for people who are 1) not residents of Japan and therefore do not see the TV movies on the topic, aired every New Year's eve starring the cute teenage stars of the moment 2) too busy to check out the Wikipedia link above: Byakkotai, or the "White Tiger Corps" were a unit of young men, about 16 or 17 years old, who fought in the Japanese civil war in 1868. Part of the unit was isolated during battle. They were young and inexperienced and idealistic, and when they saw the town they were defending in flames, they assumed their castle had been taken and their lord killed. Their samurai education dictated that if their master died, they were obliged to join him. So they did.)

Iimoriyama was the typical tourist attraction with stores full of souvenir swords, commemorative T-shirts and junk food. Young women dressed in contemporary male attire gave guided tours. For 500 yen, you could use the escalator instead of climbing the hill the old fashioned way.

At the point where the city could be seen, there were monuments sent from Germany and Italy. Actually, they were replicas of the originals sent in the 1930s. The concept of monuments from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy celebrating boy soldiers committing ritual suicide did not go over well with Douglas MacArthur, and he had them destroyed.


According to the plaque beside it, the original inscription read "from a German soldier to the young soldiers of Aizu". My extremely limited German tells me the current inscription does not.


This monument is a replica of the one from the city of Rome. The original was destroyed by the occupying forces shortly after WWII.

The Byakkotai is sad, but not particularly so. They were boys by modern standards, but by contemporary Japanese standards, if you'd had your Coming of Age ceremony, you were a man. These young men did what was expected of them, and in the eyes of their own society, they'd died the death of heroes. What I think they would find annoying was how their image was used to the advantage of the power of the moment. First their corpses were left rotting in the hills, their families not permitted to give them proper funerals because the new Meiji Restoration government (the forces they were fighting) found it necessary to make a show of what would happen to those who opposed the Emperor. Then, when Japan became more and more militaristic, they were depicted as the ideal warriors for their fierce loyalty to their master (keep in mind, this is essentially the same government that forbid their families to give them proper funerals). After that, Japan lost the war and the occupying American forces decided that glorification of ritual suicide was a bad idea and destroyed the monuments dedicated to them.

I think, though, the worst thing that has happened to them is the commercialism. I mean, Byakkotai butter cookies?


I kind of missed out on the cherry blossoms, so the trip north gave me a second chance.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring is here.

Haru ga kita.

In Japan, the school year begins in April. The Pumpkin Prince and Princess have new teachers and new classmates at day care. And I have new co-workers. I have gained more co-workers than I have lost. One of my biggest gains is a senior level type back from maternity and child care leave. There's more work, but since there's more workers, I'm not feeling it. Yet.

A couple weeks ago, we went to Yokohama. I had work stuff to do, and the Pumpkin Princess and Daddy went to the Anpanman Museum. I'd always thought Anpanman was less commercial than Disney (they certainly are less strict about copyright) but this museum proves me wrong.

Please note very cute but extremely inferior quality headband on the Pumpkin Princess's head (1500 yen= $16 or thereabouts) and also very cute helium balloon (1000 yen=$11 or thereabouts).

And this adorable box of cute breads...did not taste as good as those from the bakery 3 minutes away from hour house, and cost three times as much.

One evening about a week later, we saw this.

Those of us in, say, the American Midwest will probably shrug and wonder why I am making a fuss. However, in Pumpkin City, snow is in and of itself a very big deal. Snow in mid-April has not happened in 14 years.

Fortunately for almost everyone, including the Pumpkin Daddy, who changed his winter tires a couple weeks prior, but not the Pumpkin Princes, who was excited about getting to build the first snowman of this year, it started raining about an hour after the photo was taken, and the snow was completely gone by morning.