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Grandpa, I Want The Biggest Pumpkin!

By Grandpa Bob Niles

“Grandpa, I want the biggest pumpkin we can find!” screeches my granddaughter as she’s set free from her four point harness in the grandpa mobile. It’s all I can do to restrain her four years of constant muscle building from running out into traffic. I hold tighter to her hand and promise her it will be the biggest one there, with hopes my 58 yrs. of muscle decay can lift it.

We don’t  want a repeat of last year when I went to lift the pumpkin ( and it wasn’t the biggest one!) and my body said ‘Fat chance fat boy!’ and then backfired!

Squatting like some Sumo wrestler, with your chin between your knees, (which are trying to spread wide enough to encompass this great orange gourd), you inhale, turn your face a lovely beet red,  and pop a few veins on the forehead. But the only thing that moves is air from somewhere inside you,….out to the great outdoors!

Well there’s a Halloween moment the wife will never forget. And she takes full opportunity  to share her love of a good laugh with her friends at my expense!

The biggest pumpkin is then followed,  less than two months later, with the biggest Christmas tree!  It’s got to be the straightest, fattest, waterlogged Spruce ever offered to mankind.

It’s enough to make me change religions. Oh sure before the celebrated event occurs they are a harvested thing of beauty. But after the candy’s handed out and the presents given, they’re as worthless as chicken poop on a pump handle.

Now you have to rid yourself of this once heralded growth of wonder to the garbage heap.

“Garbage Heap!?” My seven yr. old granddaughter (the one with the education) exclaims and questions. “You cant just throw Alexica ( she named the pumpkin) away, you have to recycle it!”

Well I sort of do recycle it. I leave it on he back fence and watch its once finely chiseled  face start to melt like some Hollywood  ‘A Lister’ who refuses plastic surgery. Nobody wants my pant-splitting, vein popping, wind breaking giant orange gourd. But at least it’s easy to return to nature.

Unlike the Christmas Tree, which looks great in the house till Fathers Day…..well that’s what I think.

That tree is a pain to rid yourself of. Oh sure you could put it on the roof of your car, a g a i n, and take it to some distant point and have a fireman chip it to smithereens for a donation. But I’m still upset at the original cost of a dead tree called Christmas.  I’m not spending any more to kill it some more. Some years I wish it would catch fire and burn! It’s easier to build a new room than dis-cabobbling it in all it’s splendor, putting decorations back in boxes, dragging it down halls knocking off pictures, and then through three doorways that do their best to remove every needle that this tree ever had. My eight foot epic Christmas monument is now the size and girth of a Charlie Brown tree. The rest is in the couch, easy chair, rugs and floors.

Maybe if they put a deposit on these things? Then I could bring them back and get money and be happy. My memory would completely have forgotten I had already  paid for me to come back to get the money I had already given you. Knowing me I’d just save them up till it was worth a trip.

“I’ll take ‘Garbage’ for $200 Alex”

“Christmas Trees, Pumpk-kins and Spent Nuclear Fuel”

“What are three things my wife doesn’t want to see in our backyard come the Spring,  Alex.”

“No..,I’m sorry.  It’s what is a Fir, Kin, Waste.

In our house both answers were correct.


Author Bob Niles is an adoring grandfather who loves to share humorous stories about his amazing grandkids



Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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