A New Take on Stolen

Not Ciocia’s pumpkin

A conversation with Mom last week over the phone.


“Ciocia bought the most beautiful pumpkin. Heavy. She bought it for seven bucks. You couldn’t lift it,” mom said.

“Oh yeah?”

“So beautiful.  She put it on the front step. Yesterday, I came out into the front and I knew something was difference. Then I think, the pumpkin is gone. Someone stole!”

“Ooooo. I’m sorry mom, that stinks. Must have been some kids.”

“Teenagers,” she said.

“Probably,” I said.

“They probably took and gave to their girlfriend and say, ‘Here is a big pumpkin.’

Why you laugh? Teenagers don’t have money and they want to give their girlfriend a pumpkin.”

“Mom, teenagers like to smash pumpkins.”

“No smash. They take the pumpkin.”

She repeated herself to make sure I understood.

“This very nice pumpkin. You can’t find one like that.” she added

Mom’s idea was like a time travel machine bringing me to a lost world. Sometimes I’m surprised by what wholesome views remain intact for my parents.  Like the time, I complained to Dad it was hard to meet anybody to date and he asked, “What about church picnics?”

I tried to erase the image of punks drop-kicking the pumpkin and replaced it with something more humane: A teen aged boy with long bangs brought his BMX to a halt when he spied the pumpkin on the front stoop.  He sighed and whispered his girlfriend’s name. He knew he couldn’t balance it on his handle bars, so came back on foot and stole in the name of love.

Not a bad way to picture being ripped off.

“Maybe you should put a skull out there next time,” I said.

“Yeah maybe.”

“Okay my phone is peep peep peeping.” (Mom’s way of saying the phone is about to lose charge.)

“Tell Ciocia and Dad I love them.”

“Okay I will. Next time I’ll use the better phone.”

Next time, I thought, I won’t imagine the worst.



For those of you who didn’t see my Facebook posting a few weeks ago…. Here is a picture of the Bigos I made!

Clap your hands. I’m officially Polish.