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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.

I am a complete wimp when it comes to anything scary or gory (the above photo sits right on the edge of my limits…for reals) , but I love the memories tied to this time of year.

Every year, my mom makes a huge pot of her famous chili, and my family comes over to hang out. Handing out candy and seeing all the costumes is my one of my favorite parts too.

Some of my all-time favorite memories of Halloween time, however,  trace back to this place.

Way out in the boonies of my hometown, as in, you probably couldn’t find it unless you’re from here, is Lombardi Ranch. You know those places in your hometown that would be blasphemy if it changed? That’s how I feel about this place.

My first trip  happened via school bus; my kindergarten class took a field trip here so we could pick our pumpkin.

Not more than a year or two later, I famously picked a yellow squash to carve instead of a pumpkin.

No one will ever accuse me of being normal.

These days I still like to go with my family, and I marvel at how many of my friends from childhood are now taking their kids to Lombardi’s. It’s a place that is special for all of us.

(My favorite, of course, is that my sisters and I made my husband scrunch down to the smallest scarecrow down there on the end.)

My family and I picked our pumpkins last weekend. We took a stroll in Scarecrow Alley, a spot where people and organizations in the community create their own scarecrows and enter them into a contest. The scarecrows are then put in Alley, which is a field of sunflowers. The first photo in this post, by the way, won the grand prize. The photo probably does not do justice to the detail involved on that scarecrow. Pretty incredible.

Some of my favorites:


The one below was done by one of my co-workers. He trains guide dogs for Guide Dogs of America. I love this one!


In my family, you appreciate superheroes or you get excommunicated. OK, it’s not that intense…but my mom would be really, really disappointed.

Happy Halloween everyone!