"Oh, about this time of year I always remember Papa's little truck," Melinda said to her sister. "I remember too," said Janice. "I guess it's because it's papa's birthday."
As her children shared their memories, Gerta smiled as she remembered how proud Herman had been of his truck. It was his first vehicle ever. Oh, it was old and a little scratched and beat up from so many previous owners but to Herman it was beautiful. She always missed him a bit this time of the year but her children would rally around her and ask her to tell the old stories as she knew would happen and the stories comforted her as they knew they would. She smiled at them.
“Tell the story again about our first trip in the truck down the road to the neighbors mama,” asked Janice
Gerta replied, “Do you really want to hear that one again?”
Janice, Melinda and their younger brother Freddy all chimed in, “Oh yes mama, please do.”
Gerta smiled at them and began, “I remember the time we went and got the pumpkins. We were all packed into the truck and there was hardly any room because there wasn’t enough room for everybody inside the truck itself.
“It was Papa, of course, and me and Freddy who was about 3 years old and there was just enough room for him to sit on my lap - and you girls were in the bed of the truck.
“We were going to get the pumpkins because it was not only time for bringing in the crop but it was also getting kind of close to halloween and you kids were always excited about halloween because it meant you would be able to dress up in funny little costumes that I could put together out of this and that.
“Papa would take us around to the neighbors because the neighbor’s were a little ways off and since Papa had one of the few vehicles around there then the neighbors wouldn’t have to walk over to our place.
“It was about a mile down the road to get there and of course all of us were used to walking but it was night time so - well it was a good excuse for Papa to enjoy driving his little truck.
Gerta smiled at them, “All you kids were looking forward to getting some treats too. We were going to make popcorn balls to give away that year but Millie put a little too much corn in the pot and we were eating popcorn for a few days afterward.” They all laughed about that since a little too much was actually a lot to much.
“As we got to our friends house everybody was out in front waving at us when we came down the road and they had a pumpkin there with a candle inside and a young one was sort of cuddled up near it. It was really cute. I remember that the pumpkin had a big smile on its face and so did the little one.
“We all went inside and as always we all sang songs and enjoyed bowls of fruit and told stories afterwards. Nobody told any scary stories, everyone told stories about far away places with wonderful names and stories about the stars and the people who lived there.
After a while all the children started getting sleepy and our neighbors prepared a big basket of fruit for us as well as 3 big pumpkins - some of which they’d picked that day and it was a good time for us all.
“We all got in the truck to go home with our pumpkins and our basket of fruit and with all you kids looking forward to halloween when you’d go out with your costumes and your good feelings from our story time and time with our good friends.
Gerta got up and hugged each one of her children and they all went out to the porch to do something to remember those good times. They stood holding hands and looked out towards the neighborhood. They waved at the neighbors who were out on their porches and all said together, “Happy Halloween and good friends to you all.”