Sacramento, CA

Falling for pumpkins every fall

Carmen Micsa

A true personal story of kindness
Pumpkins and flowers in front of Trader Joe's store, Fair Oaks, CAPhoto byCarmen Micsa
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”― Albert Camus

September in Sacramento, CA rarely makes me think of autumn, because we still have temperatures in the 90s and sometimes 100 degrees. Yet, mornings and evenings are mellifluous melodies of crisp and cool air coupled with a nice breeze, which makes me usher autumn in a little quicker.

Still, when I went shopping at Trader Joe’s on Friday, the yellow, purple, and orange chrysanthemums, pumpkins, and gourds stopped me in my tracks right outside the store. I lingered around like a kid in an ice cream store trying to decide which flavor to get, after which I chose three flowerpots (two purple ones and one yellow), as well as a few different pumpkins.

After spending a good 10 minutes outside the store scintillating between summer’s scorchy scents and autumn’s lulling leaves rustling in the breeze, I entered the store.
Photo byCarmen Micsa

I had a few items that I needed to buy but chose to disregard my shopping list. Instead, the Pumpkin O’s stole my focus and compelled me to get into a frantic photography mode.

I put three boxes of this delicious, healthy, and gluten-free cereal in my shopping cart, and roamed around the store pulled by an invisible string leading me to all things pumpkins.

For some reason, I have a major obsession with all pumpkin-related products. Maybe because pumpkins propel me into a sweet and savory universe full of spices and scents that remind me of growing up in a much slower world back in Romania.

Before I knew it, I roamed around the store with a sweet smile on my face, while discovering more and more pumpkin products, such as these cereal bars.
Photo byCarmen Micsa

My curiosity to discover every single pumpkin item made me feel as if I were visiting a museum.

Just like in a museum, I stopped to read about the “culinary art” in front of me, understanding life’s autumnal flavors and smells. I took mental notes and nodded with satisfaction, for I understood why falling for fall was part of my childhood and deep-seated memories of shuffling my small feet through the fall fiery-colored leaves that carpeted the ground.

The true kindness of a Trader Joe’s employee and a perfect stranger

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” — John Donne

As I kept taking pictures of all the pumpkin products in the Trader Joe’s store that I frequented at least twice a month, I heard a voice right behind me:

“Are you taking pictures of all the pumpkins?” one of the employees asked me with the most engaged smile I have seen in a long time.

“Well, yeah! I love pumpkins!” I blurted out. “And right now, you have so many different ones.”

“Yeah! I get it! You’re trying to hang on to them before they’re gone for the season, right?” the gentleman continued with a sense of reverence towards autumn and me.

Before I replied, he clicked his heels and headed out of the store like a spinning top, which made me think of Homer, as he sang about the oldest toy in the world dating back to 6,000 years ago.

He returned with two fancy variety pumpkins in his hands and said:

“Here! These are for you. Tell the cashier to put them on Aaron’s bill.”

“Whoa! This is so kind of you!” I replied. “Thank you so much! You made my day.” I continued feeling at a loss of words to his unexpected gesture of kindness.

Do I need to say anything else? Nothing other than my realization that the world is full of good people and pumpkins!

And Aaron is one of them!

For real estate information, please contact me at For more poetic musings and short-form philosophy, please check out my new book, Inspirational Signs for More Sunshine in Your Life and Morsels of Love, A Book of Poetry, and Short-Form, published in 2021. You can also order directly from my website to receive an autographed copy. If you like podcasts, please listen to Seeds of Sunshine, a multigenerational podcast that I started together with my daughter.

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CEO/Broker of Dynamic Real Estate, Inc., business owner featured in the Forbes magazine for my outstanding service to my clients. Mom, wife, a published author, Medium writer, poet, marathon runner, rapper, and tennis player.

Carmichael, CA

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