Hello, my name is Tara Sivec, and I’m basic.
I’m that girl who puts on Uggs, leggings, a jaunty infinity scarf and overdoses on pumpkin spice lattes as soon as the temperature gets below seventy degrees. I’m that girl who goes to the grocery store the first day they put out the pumpkin spice coffee creamer, hugs it to her chest, and twirls around the aisle with a happy smile on her face. I’m that girl the internet has a thousand memes about this time of year.
I relate to every single one of those memes, and let me tell you, I will fight you if you roll your eyes at me and my pumpkin spice/fall addiction. Okay, not really. I’ve never been in a fight, and I’d probably run away screaming if you came at me, but I’d definitely say a lot of bad things about you under my breath.
My addiction to all things fall came at a very young age. Pretty much birth. My grandparents owned one of the most popular pumpkin farms in our area when I was growing up. People came from all over to shop for their pumpkins and other fall decorations at the Diederich Pumpkin Farm. Schools would take field trips to our farm, and get a tour (usually led by my mom) to learn all about how pumpkins are grown. During the summer months when my family would be planting and harvesting, and the months of September to November when the pumpkin stand was open for customers, I was completely immersed in pumpkin farm goodness. To this day, these are still the best memories I have growing up.
My entire family from my parents, to my aunts and uncles, to my brothers and cousins all worked at the pumpkin farm to make it a success year after year. I’m the baby of 25 grandchildren, so I was too young at the time to do much more that sit there and look cute, but I did have a few jobs I was entrusted with. My favorite, was handing out candy to all the kids that came to the farm. I would get to sit by the small wooden table up by grandparent’s farmhouse at the front of the property, where my dad or another adult would collect the money. In the evenings, there were strands of those big, clear bulbs hung from the trees above us, and my dad would light a small fire to keep us warm. Every year, my parents would go to a local bulk candy store and buy boxes and boxes of these things called Sixlets.
They’re kind of like M&M’s, but have a perfectly round shape and are a little smaller. I’d sit there in a chair next to the table, with a box of Sixlets in my hands, and practically bounced up and down with excitement each time another kid came up with their parents to pay, shoving Sixlets into their hands, and feeling like the coolest child ever that I got to be in charge of this.
The other job, as I mentioned, was to sit there and look cute. I know, I know, it doesn’t really sound like a job, but it totally is. Every year, the local paper would come out and take a picture of the farm, and do a small write-up on it. It was basically free marketing back then. And remember how I mentioned that I was the baby of 25 grandchildren? Well, guess who they always seemed to take a picture of for this article year after year? Yep. You guessed it. Me, the future basic, pumpkin spice-loving girl.
Wasn’t I just the cutest? I have no idea what happened to me since then.
I put a lot of myself into every book I write, and ever since publishing my first book six years ago, I knew I’d someday write about a character who owned a pumpkin farm. That “someday” is finally here, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. The Simple Life is a standalone, romantic comedy releasing on October 19th. A lot of those amazing memories I have from the Diederich Pumpkin Farm show up in this book, and writing it was the absolute best trip down memory lane.
A local artist painted a picture of my grandparent’s farmhouse back in the day, and it hung in my grandmother’s home until she died, and in my parent’s home until my mother died, and my dad gave it to me. Aside from my husband and kids, it’s my favorite thing in my house. Every time I walk by this painting and look at it, I can smell a pile of burning leaves, feel the crisp fall air on my skin, and taste the Sixlets that I always seemed to eat more of than I gave away.
This farm is 100% why fall is my favorite time of year, and Halloween is my favorite holiday. I have more Halloween decorations than Christmas ones. I get this decoration addiction honestly. My parents always had the best decorating displays in their front yard for every holiday, but Halloween was always the best. Looking back now, it might be a little weird that they went so nuts with their Halloween decorations. Since we lived out in the middle of nowhere, and your parents had to drive you from house-to-house because they were so far apart, we got maybe ten trick-or-treaters, if we were lucky. But, trick-or-treating out here in the boonies was the best thing ever. Since the people who lived out here didn’t get very many kids knocking on their door every October 31st, they went all out in the candy department. And it wasn’t even all candy they’d pass out. We’d get bags of chips and cans of pop, in addition to either a huge Zip Lock bag filled with around twenty pieces of the snack-sized candy bars, or a handful of full-sized candy bars. My mom would buy enough candy for a thousand kids, and make up these amazing treat bags for the small handful of kids who would knock on their door every year.
Even though I’m all about that Halloween life, I have to say, I’m not much of a horror movie lover. My favorites (that I start watching in September) are all children’s movies. Whatever. Don’t judge me. They’re amazing. In no particular order, here they are:
Scary Godmother: Halloween Spooktacular
The Nightmare Before Christmas
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Yes, I put Coraline on the list. That’s the scariest movie I have ever seen, and I honestly don’t know why anyone would let their kids watch that thing. Yes. I let my kids watch that thing, because if they don’t need therapy when they’re adults, I haven’t done my job right.
Do you love this time of year? Do you live in a place where you actually get to experience the cooler weather and the leaves changing color? What’s your favorite Halloween movie of all time?