Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Sunday, November 4, 2012


A family of pumpkins sits near the hearth, smiling out into the dim, golden room.  Candles lit on pedestals and in gourds glow and flicker warmly.  My children are cozied up on the rug, pillows and blankets tucked around them, traces of facepaint in their eyebrows, their candy bags snug in their laps.  Guy and I collect Mommy and Daddy tax now and then; for me a Butterfinger or Junior Mints, for Guy a Peanut Butter Cup.  I make herb tea with milk, brown sugar and butter (trust me... awesome) and we settle in.

The music begins.  The amazing opening credits to what is fast becoming my all time favorite movie, To Kill a Mockingbird, sweep me away to the rustling, dry leaves of my own childhood, and Halloween nights long since forgotten linger like faint spirits in my heart.  I feel my mom's touch as I remember her using her lipstick to paint round circles onto my cheeks the year I dressed as a clown.  I think of Dad and his enthusiasm for a well made costume the year we made me into a 7Up can.  I trace the streets of my childhood home in my mind, hearing the leaves skuttle across the sidewalk on the evening breeze as though they were being spirited along.  Somehow I remember a certain house, here and there, the rustle of my costume, the itch of the makeup, and the thrill of the night air.  It was scary and exciting, and safe and comforting all at once.  I am called back as the movie begins, our Halloween night tradition.  Now I am here, watching my children's memories being created - right at this very moment.

Jonah has long since been unconscious.  He didn't make it home from Kathy and Joanna's neighborhood awake, but a "high-bop" (lollipop) fused in each hand remained held aloft, as though he might eat them in his sleep.  Ethan has been the recipient of generous donations from younger sibs, who can't bare to see him treatless.  It brings out a soft tone in his voice as the kids ask what his favorites are.  Adam is freshly showered, a must for detatching his bald cap that was painted right on to his head, fusing it to his hair.  I cuddle Tessa who is too squirmy in my arms, and Guy sits close.  Ellie is deep in the throes of candy carnage. 

Children begin to fade, and by movie's end we shuffle sleeping souls off to their beds.  I leave the DVD menu playing for a while so that I can hear the music a little longer.  It's so mournful and sweet.  The candles in the pumpkins have almost all burnt out, and Guy snuffs out the last few. 

Candle smoke lingers faintly.  The now childless floor is strewn with wrappers.  My Sweetheart kisses me.

You know, if you look waaaay back, before the black cats and witches, Halloween was a celebration honoring family members who had passed on to the other side.  It was really all about family, living and gone.  A bon fire believed to be sacred was lit in the middle of town and everyone carried a gourd - with a flame from that main fire inside of it - back to their homes to light their hearth fires with a small portion of that sacred light.  They welcomed the new year, honored those who had died, and spent time together as family.

At least some things haven't changed with time. 

The focus of the night was almost more on the collecting 
of pumpkin seeds than on the carving.

 The kids carve away as Guy compares 
the relative sizes of his thumbnails. 
"Would ya' lookee there!  This one is smaller!"

 Carving directions: "With ears like this, Daddy!"

 There is a certain family resemblance...

 Ethan's cool logo.

 And now on to the Trick or Treating with friends.  
Kathy even ventured out with new baby Ryan, 11 days old.

 "Forget the candy, I think I am in love with this lamppost!"

 Don't know how it happened, but we had 3 skeletons this year.
The cat was lonesome.

 Jack Skelington and "The Haul".  He made his costume himself.  
Somehow the red eye really finishes the look.

All tuckered out.
He was asleep sitting up with the crazy head bob thing.  We laughed at him freely.
There is nothing better than making fun of your exhausted children when they are unconscious.

Harvest Cider

A mug of some fresh pressed apple cider
(the good stuff) - hot

A big ol' squirt of carmel ice cream sauce

A big ol' scoop of Egg Nog Ice Cream


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