The Pumpkin Disaster; little events that change your plans

A week ago I still had a pumpkin from my garden.

I was planning on cooking it soon, I really was. The thing is, it was Christmas time and the orange pumpkin just didn’t go with Christmas decorations. So I put it on top of the corner cupboard to be cooked in January.

It’s February 6th. Yes, I’m aware of that.

Just yesterday I looked at that corner cupboard and thought, I really should move it out and sweep behind it, and maybe change it to a wall cupboard, just to see how it looks. I didn’t notice that the pumpkin was missing.

This morning I had plans to sweep and mop the kitchen floor, go to the grocery store, visit my neighbor, and maybe when I was done, I’d have some quiet time to write on my novel.

img_7753When my broom and I got to the corner cupboard, my jaw dropped in dismay. There was stuff, gunk, all over the floor, the wall, and everything I could see. I couldn’t tell what it was, but I was sure it was the mice we’ve been having trouble with.  (See former post…) It looked like a lot of mice had been partying hearty behind the corner cupboard.

Of course, you, dear reader, can see where this is going. But I hadn’t a clue. The corner cupboard is filled with all of our dishes, bowls, china, and many heavy items. I had to empty the cupboard before I could move it out from the spot where it has lived for three, maybe four years.

Yes. The overripe pumpkin had fallen six feet onto the floor. On the way down it bounced off the walls and the back of the cupboard. After I moved the cupboard, I didn’t take any pictures of the mess because it was truly disgusting. (And here I realize, for the second post in a row, you may seriously take exception to my housekeeping skills…)


I didn’t get any writing in that day, but the space behind the cupboard is spotless. And while I was cleaning I thought about these little events that change our plans.

Quite honestly, I’m not very good at having my plans disrupted. Oh yes, I know better. I know what the great philosopher John Lennon said — Life is what happens when you are making other plans. — Turns out he just wrote an already popular sentiment into a song. And the reason it is a popular sentiment is because, Yes, no one likes to have their plans disrupted.

A few posts ago, one of my friends made the comment that how we live our lives generally depends on how well we deal with disruption. I’ve mentioned this quote before, because it is one of my favorites:

c.s. lewis quote on interruptions

I try to practice this — you know, the Keep Calm and Carry On philosophy — but I’m not often successful; imagine if we could just always think of those interruptions, disruptions, intrusions… as our real lives. Forget about our own plans for that perfect day, that perfect week, that perfect life, for those plans (and those lives) don’t exist. Just because our plans are perfect in our imaginations, does that mean it’s real life? Lewis calls them phantoms.

The earlier we learn this in life, the happier we will be. The sooner we learn that every event in our lives is sent to teach us, the more joyful and purposeful we will be. Whether it was actually in our plans or not, God sent it to us to be a part of our lives. No Whining.

And I’m happy to say, that this day I managed to do fairly well. Of course, that’s partially because I didn’t have any big plans. No appointments, No lunch date, No place I really had to be…. And since I had to empty the cupboard, move it, and clean behind it, I took advantage of really moving it and trying it out in a new spot. Where it’s likely to stay until the next disaster… The disaster that, of course, is part of the life God is sending me day by day.


So since I had pumpkin on the brain and chocolate chips in the cupboard, I made a delicious pumpkin cake. When life hands you smashed pumpkins, make a cake. (Don’t worry, I didn’t use the rotten pumpkin that is now out on the compost pile…)

Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×9 square pan. Gather together: 1 cup pumpkin, 1 cup unbleached flour, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. baking powder, 1/2 c. oil (I used 1/4 c. melted butter and 1/4 c. warmed coconut oil) 1/2 c. chocolate chips, 3/4 c. packed brown sugar, 2 eggs, and pumpkin pie spices of your choice — I used 1 t. cinnamon, 1 t. cardamom, 1/2 t. ginger, and 1/2 t. fresh grated nutmeg. You can add 1 t. vanilla too.

Mix together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl beat two eggs and add the pumpkin and the oil. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour into the greased pan and bake for 25-28 minutes.

Pumpkin chocolate chip snack cake

It’s always good to share…


  • You could add chopped nuts with the chocolate chips.
  • You could add more chocolate chips on the top and spread them around when the cake comes out of the oven.
  • You could add raisins instead of chocolate chips.
  • You could add raisins and chocolate chips and nuts.
  • You could add a teaspoon of rum instead of vanilla.
  • You could bake it in a 8×8 pan and have it be more like a real cake, than bars or a snack cake. If you do this, add 8-10 minutes of baking time.
  • You could put cream cheese icing on it and call it a real cake instead of a snack cake.

I’ve made this twice now in trying to make sure it is a good recipe for your enjoyment. The second time I used half pumpkin and half applesauce because this IS Apple Hill and I have more applesauce than I have pumpkin.  It was just as delicious.

Enjoy the interruptions to your day…

16 thoughts on “The Pumpkin Disaster; little events that change your plans

  1. I really enjoyed this… and I felt your pain. I’m recalling spilling a huge bowl of cake batter on the floor once… and also a half-gallon of orange juice. Both of these events occurred when the kiddies were small. Best-laid plans!

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  2. I love this post. Do you know which Lewis book this is from? Also, in our family, it is considered food sabotage to put raisins anywhere that chocolate chips could be. They highly disdain it. Our grown kids put it in the sin category, for treachery.

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    • The quote is from Yours, Jack. It’s a book of letters. A few years ago I signed up for a daily Lenten devotional that was a C.S. Lewis quote and then a short discussion. It was wonderful, and I looked forward to reading it everyday…
      I grew up on my grandma’s oatmeal raisin cookies, but I do understand the raisin dilemma. My dad and my mother-in-law both hated them too.

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    • So my post was supposed to be light and about getting irritated at the little things… but I know that those big things that are life-altering are also included in that life God is sending us. And when terrible things happen, they sometimes sound like platitudes. You know this, and I know this; sometimes I struggle with what to say to someone who is close to me who is going through big stuff. I think just listening and a hug is the answer…


  3. My favorite kitchen-floor-mess story. . . my nieces were maybe 2 and 4. Their mother was in the basement and above her heard a plopping sound and then crazy laughter from her girls. Another plopping sound and laughter. When she finally went upstairs she found that the girls had gotten into the refrigerator, taken out a carton of eggs and were, one-by-one, throwing them onto the kitchen floor and just laughing at the result. Another mess that it took a long time to clean!


  4. I’m sorry about your pumpkin mess, but it led to a wonderful blog post. I think I would have been muttering under my breath the whole time, fussing at myself and the mess.

    Once my nephew disappeared, trust me when I say his disappearances always foretold some type of disaster as he was VERY hyper (never still, even in his sleep!!). Anyway, she found him, squeezed into the pantry where he had dumped a 5 lb bag of rice AND of flour all over his head. He was sitting there playing in it, throwing in the air, rubbing it in his hair. . . well, you get the picture. It was a MESS. Can’t help but love them, always so curious.

    Sorry you had to clean it but glad you found a new home for your cabinet.

    I love your friend’s quote; it’s very true.

    Have a great day.

    God’s Blessings!!

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  5. Interruptions – mine, for today, was 2 little boys, Jarrett and Sam. Didn’t do much laundry or anythings else. Helped Jarrett make his Valentine’s box, fixed them lunch, held Sam when he got up from his nap. Perfectly wonderful interruptions, aka grandsons!

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