Halloween is my favorite holiday. What's not to like about a holiday whose only requirement is a bag of candy and a willingness to answer the door all night?
I loved it as a kid, but I really didn't get into it until Paige came along. She has an October birthday and when our little ghoul was old enough to start having real birthday parties, as opposed to the kind with just the family, it was natural to have Halloween themed parties. That meant buying spooky stuff. Lots of spooky stuff. Okay, I admit, it got out of hand.
They say Halloween is the second biggest decorating holiday. It must be true because I have it all: pumpkins, cobwebs (real and fake), spiders (ditto), snakes (completely fake, but the jury is still out where the cats are concerned), bats, rats, crows, tombstones, skulls, assorted bones, chains, witches' hats, ghosts and ghouls, strobe lights, black lights, and lots of novelty lights. And candles, enough that if they were all lit the fire department would probably declare our house a fire hazard.
My husband's only contribution to this annual nuttiness is to play the theme from the movie Halloween over and over and over. You know, where the music goes bummmmm........bummmmm........BUMMMMMMMMM each time a randy teenager meets Michael Myer's knife. It was the very first movie we saw together as a couple, way back in 1978, so I suppose it has some sentimental attachment for him.
To the right of our front door is a gargoyle holding a sign that says, "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here." Come to think of it, there's no reason why that sign shouldn't stay up all year.
When we moved our older son to College Station for his freshman year at Texas A&M, I think the whole move from start to finish lasted about two hours. This encompassed parking and unloading the car, hauling his belongings up to the third floor, putting things away and making the bed. It was even easier when our younger son moved. Freshmen in the Corps of Cadets at A&M are not allowed those homey little touches that make dorm life bearable. No posters or other wall decor, no television, no mini-fridge, no curtains, no carpeting, no microwave; just clothes (and not much of that), toiletries and a computer. We didn't even have to move him in. While the freshmen and their parents were having a nice lunch and meeting with the brass, the sophomores hauled all the junk to the dorms.
Friday, August 19, found us heading west on I-20 toward Lubbock and Texas Tech hauling another college freshman and a trailer that was 75% clothes, 20% make-up and hair products, and 5% "other". We were barely out of Weatherford when we ran into traffic. We inched along glacier-like for 30 minutes before it became clear there was an accident ahead that was the cause of all the fuss. Turned out a cattle trailer had gone over a steep embankment killing a number of cattle, the carcasses heaped together in a big pile. We still had hours of driving ahead of us, so it wasn't the most auspicious start.
Saturday morning, while my husband went in search of a parking space that wasn't in the next county, my daughter and I presented ourselves in the Chitwood Hall lobby for check-in. Key in hand, we peeked into the room first. As expected, it was small and drab, but the A/C worked and as we only had to climb one flight of stairs, no one was complaining. Unlike her brothers' moves, Paige's freshman move-in took all day. First, we had to cover the bulletin board with fabric and ribbon trim. Then we had to cover the ugly bolsters on the bed in coordinating fabric. Then the bed was made, the heaps and heaps of clothes sorted and put away, sorted again and put away, then sorted a third time and put away. I was about to haul everything out for the fourth time --- my OCD tendencies were in overdrive that day ---- when Richard lost his patience with me and insisted I let it go. Besides, we were way overdue for lunch.
We met friends and their daughters at some eatery near the campus. We had a tough time finding a parking space to accommodate the trailer, finally winding up in a nearby church lot. This church, I don't remember the denomination, had posted a bunch of very un-Christian-like signs that basically said we would go to hell if we parked on their private lot. Since it was Saturday and the lot was completely empty, we decided to risk it, even though Richard spent most of lunch running out every five minutes to make sure things were okay. I don't know what worried him most: a possible fine or his eternal soul.
That Saturday night, for the third and last time, I left my heart behind with a scared college freshman. I don't know how we managed to cram the contents of a walk-in closet into one 46" wide, or where the last 19 years disappeared to, or how a tiny baby girl can grow into a beautiful young woman, but we did and they did and she did.
Hey kiddo, if you are reading this, I know you'll do just fine.
PRUNELLA (aka MOM)
I can't believe it's been well over two months since my last blog. The costochondritis I complained about in a blog in July bloomed into a major ordeal that lasted for weeks, and sent me scurrying to specialists when something "funny" showed up on an x-ray. I'm doing much better, but still not 100%.
Despite feeling pretty crappy for a large part of that time, life went on. Our two younger kids are ensconced in college, our older son has moved out --- permanently, we hope --- and my husband and I are adjusting to having an empty nest.
The best part of the year, fall, is here. Cooler weather (we had a heck of a hailstorm Saturday night), college football, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and as I write this, the Texas Rangers are one game away from winning the World Series.
It's good to be back.
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