Thank God fall is here. With all the current chaos shaking us to our core, it helps to have something you can still cling to for comfort – besides pie. I think everyone’s favorite season is fall, but I get going on the decorating early. Some might say too early. I had all my boxes of faux fall foliage and orange mini lights out of our storage shed on September 1. OK, I admit it, I was sweating. I think it was 97 degrees, but the smell of cinnamon pinecones came wafting out of the boxes and kept me focused on the job at hand.
I even switch out my artwork on the walls with seasonally appropriate pictures. Good-bye tulips and summer beachscapes. Hello autumn trees and pumpkins. I discovered a great website called freeart.com. Don’t ask me how they do it, but you can literally order 10 4x6 prints of ANYTHING for just a small shipping fee. I went crazy. I have placed three orders already. I have created collages for every season with beautiful pictures of birds, reindeer, mugs of hot chocolate, sunflowers, snow covered trees. You name it and you can find a professional print of it! But now I have a problem. I don’t have enough wall space to display all of my new collages! I need a bigger house with a lot more walls. Some people might say, no, your problem is you need to stop buying stuff…(Maury).
My favorite fall decorating project is my front door. I staple orange leaves and lights all around it with a golden wreath in the center. Hay bales, pumpkins and a wooden basket lay on its side with gourds and squash spilling out of it off to one corner. Sadly, last year I was so premature with my fall decorating that my two large, beautiful pumpkins rotted and collapsed before the middle of October. It was a huge mess. I had a hard time finding two pumpkins to replace them. I almost had to go faux! This year I waited until October to make my pumpkin purchase. I am not sure whom I am decorating for really. I know there may not be any trick-or-treaters this year, but to be honest, last year, pre-COVID, I only had one!
My own kids are all adults, or close to it. Their trick-or-treating days are over, and last year they abandoned me for more exciting options. But old habits die-hard and I sat on a stool by the front door with a bowl of mini Snicker bars on my lap, hoping I might get a few little witches, a Belle or a Batman. As I polished off the bowl myself, I reminisced about the days of Halloweens past.
First, coming up with costume ideas for all five kids. This required an exhausting and expensive trip to Party City. Three girls and two boys meant I was scrambling in and out of dressing rooms trying not to lose anyone! The boys were easy. They would usually end up choosing a pricey, gruesome rubber mask and a black robe. Maybe a sword or an ax as a prop, but the girls were way more challenging. (That’s an understatement.) They should really have a couch and cocktails at Party City for the parents.
Finally, Halloween night would arrive! We ate pizza and waited for it to get dark enough to head out. We would then corral our five kids into their Halloween outfits and pumpkin buckets and head out into the chilly night with our neighbors and their kids, flashlights in hand. One of our little neighbor friends, Kam would join our group. He was a frequent visitor at our house and was good friends with my two boys. He loved Spiderman and wore the same Spiderman costume every year, for three years! Each year the sleeves got shorter and shorter. His pants were nearly up to his shins, but he loved Spiderman. He even had a hand-held web-shooter that shot web-like strings out of it! Eventually he had no choice. He switched to a ninja costume, but I know Spiderman lives on in his heart.
Back then, the streets were packed with other large groups of families, laughing and trying to keep up with their excited kids. Every house was lit up with lights and decorations. Now on Halloween night, our street is dark and deserted. I'm still not sure what happened to Halloween, but I sure miss it.
Well our neighbors have moved away, and Halloween seems like just a fond memory now, but I will never stop setting up my Spooky Town, filling my home with too many pumpkin-scented candles and cinnamon pinecones. I will always have a bowl of miniature Snicker bars sitting on a stool next to the front door on Halloween night, with the hope that maybe, just maybe, a little Spiderman will come knocking at my door.
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