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Surviving the aftermath of Denver’s storm

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Allow me to dispel a rumor: I did not cause the horrible storm that ravaged Denver last week.

A few so-called friends have accused me of praying it here so as to wipe out my husband’s pumpkin growing season. For those not in the know, I have been christened “The Pumpkin Widow” because I am married to a man who is obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

Or rather, a man who was obsessed because after Monday’s storm, I am sad to say that The Great Pumpkin is no more.

In my defense, my children and I were 65 miles away sunning ourselves on the deck at Devil’s Thumb Ranch.

Oh wait. The storm occurred at night. I think I just blew my alibi.

When I awoke the morning after, I was greeted with a series of increasingly despondent emails from my husband Jamie who had remained behind for work.

First, a picture of golf-ball-sized hail. Then another of our yard showing the accumulation. The final was the heart-breaker: his completely obliterated pumpkin patch. Hundreds of hours of soil-testing, fertilizer-obsessing that he lovingly documented on his pumpkin blog–gone in just a matter of minutes.

Our home was near the epicenter of the action and our entire yard was destroyed as well. Fortunately, our house was spared from major damage but many of our neighbors were not so lucky. My heart goes out to those who are still dealing with the aftermath.

Calm before the storm

Calm before the storm

Earlier that day, I had received a jubilant email from him stating that his pumpkin’s circumference was already 30 inches around, just two weeks after pollination. The Great Pumpkin was on the cusp of gaining 30-40 pounds per day and was on track to top 1,000 pounds (200 pounds more than his previous season).

Rest assured, The Great Pumpkin lived and died with greatness. And thus it was: The birth of a storm, the death of a dream.

With a moving obituary like that, you can’t say I wasn’t supportive.

Note: In lieu of flowers, please send pumpkin seeds. 🙂

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  • comment avatar diana/sunshine July 27, 2009

    my condolences. it was one doozy of a storm.

  • comment avatar Noelle July 27, 2009

    Poor Jamie!
    Maybe he could go for the condolence prize? The great pumpkin pie?

  • comment avatar yvonne July 27, 2009

    That is so sad–I enjoyed all the posts regarding The Great Pumpkin. I will miss it this year.

  • comment avatar Amber July 27, 2009

    Thanks ladies. Maybe he could just preserve it and win ugliest pumpkin at the weigh-off. 🙂

  • comment avatar Tia Juana July 27, 2009

    Jamie must be absolutely devastated because, and I don’t say this lightly, we coudl kind of tell it was his heart and soul! God bless him and God bless pumpkins! Until next year …..

  • comment avatar MommyTime July 27, 2009

    I’m sorry the his hopes are crushed but glad it was not your house instead that got pummeled.

    And, completely unrelated, if you’re ever visiting Michigan…perhaps then we can hug in person. So sorry to have missed you this weekend.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 27, 2009

    Yep, he is devastated for sure. Poor guy.

    And MommyTime–you doing BlogHer in NYC? That will be a blast? No Michigan plans anytime soon but you never know. 🙂

  • comment avatar Kagey July 27, 2009

    The poor pumpkin patch! In addition to your DH being upset, I bet the kids were saddened, too.

    Will you still attend the pumpkin weigh-in for the camaraderie? Or would that be too painful?

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 27, 2009

    We’ll for sure attend the weigh-off though I’m not sure how involved we’ll be. I had planned to sell pumpkin bread there…because there’s nothing quite like capitalizing on the great pumpkin. We shall see!

  • comment avatar Laura Moffitt July 27, 2009

    Wow that is terrible! Sorry about all the damage not only to Jamie’s pride and joy but the yard. Starting all over is never fun.

  • comment avatar superpaige July 27, 2009

    Rest In Peace, great pumpkin.

  • comment avatar Lori in Denver July 27, 2009

    I’m most sad that it won’t be turned into a boat this year.

    That’s the part I thought was so cool.

    My condolences to your husband. A year seems like a looooong time to wait to try again.

  • comment avatar Head Nurse July 27, 2009

    I am so sorry for him- what a rotten (no pun intended) end to all his efforts. Guess he can get an even earlier start to next year- small consolation I realize.

  • comment avatar Liz July 27, 2009

    OH NO!!! I can’t believe it! That really is the saddest looking pumpkin ever and it had such potential. The Silver Lining…Think how much time you’ll get to spend together now…

  • comment avatar Lisa L July 27, 2009

    His pumpkin was the first thing we thought of after the storm hit. Poor Jaime, this is so sad.

  • comment avatar Scattered Mom July 27, 2009

    Oh WOW Amber, I’m glad that your house was okay! Poor Jaime, that must be frustrating-all that work just destroyed in minutes. We went through Denver in July and I’m sorta glad there was no storm then! Yikes!

    By the way, I love the new layout!

  • comment avatar gina July 27, 2009

    Oh that is just so unfair. I really feel bad!

  • comment avatar JoAnn July 27, 2009

    The real question is, “Who is going to break the news to Charlie Brown?” 😉 All kidding aside, I was really worried when that storm hit so fast and furiously, and I was so sad to hear that the pumpkin (and your neighbor’s house!) didn’t fare well. 🙁

  • comment avatar Stephanie July 27, 2009

    Oh man! That sucks. I’m sorry about the Great Pumpkin. I really do hate to see anyone’s dream die. And I also hate to miss out on the great posts you would have written about your “Pumpking” adventures. 🙁

  • comment avatar Brillig July 27, 2009

    I actually thought about you guys during that storm! I’m so sorry for your, uh, loss. But seriously, I know how much effort had gone into this so I can only imagine how frustrating it must be! Grrrrr.

    Rest in Peace, Great Pumpkin.

  • comment avatar Kimberly July 27, 2009

    There are many laughingly teasing comments I could leave but in all honesty, I really feel for the poor guy. This is something that really mattered to him and it’s been ripped away by a freak accident. Send him my very sincere condolences please.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 27, 2009

    Sigh. I think the blog fodder is what I will miss most about The Great Pumpkin. 🙂

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 27, 2009

    Oh, and undoubtedly it is nice to no longer be dubbed “The Pumpkin Widow.”

  • comment avatar Barb July 27, 2009

    That is just so sad! The storms have done so much damage this year!

  • comment avatar Kassie Bunting July 27, 2009

    so sad for him. But just think clean up of that “little guy” will be a lot easier than at the end of the season… no rotten pumpkins this year!

  • comment avatar Monica July 27, 2009

    You should have pumpkin seed by Friday! wink 🙂

  • comment avatar mommyknows July 28, 2009

    Ah, poor guy! Poor pumpkin! Poor neighbours!!

  • comment avatar Suzanne B (Crunchy green Mom) July 28, 2009

    Hugs to Mr. Jamie.

    We will send warm energy to him!

    I was hoping to let the kids go and see the Great Pumpkin this year… looks like it’ll have to wait another year!

  • comment avatar Tonya July 28, 2009

    Oh no, I actually gasp when I read the title of your post. Poor Jaime. I’ll be wearing a orange armband in his honor this week.

  • comment avatar Lauren in GA July 31, 2009

    Even in the face of tragedy, you are hilarious, Amber. You thought you just blew your alibi…heh, heh, heh…

    Sorry, Linus…I really am.

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