It’s that time of year. For those of you wondering, I have at long last perfected my specialty talent of performing Thriller in my kitchen whilst making a triple batch of curried pumpkin soup. I’m a multi-tasker, what can I say. I can even make cinnamon salted pumpkin seeds at the same time. Now, why has no one thought to create a reality TV series about me, I wonder?
The one bad part of reinventing your life and starting over from scratch is that when you wipe the slate clean, you end up throwing out the good with the bad. Halloween is one of those days that I miss the good from our past. I miss having a hundred people drop by to sample my pumpkin buffet. I miss the cooking and forcing pumpkin soup down innocent friend’s gullets, easy because they are too polite to say no. I miss Stewie, because he was always the bravest guest, willing to try any recipe I conjured up. Halloween is supposed to be scary, after all. If we celebrated Halloween here the way we did there, I’d make pumpkin wine. It would have been the perfect addition to my pumpkin feast. But we don’t get a single trick or treater here, so who would drink a thirty bottle batch of holiday wine?
In Blue Ridge, everyone goes downtown to a huge festival where stores give out candy and music is piped in on a loud speaker. It is quaint and wholesome, and we do have fun. We are creating new traditions I suppose, but I miss decking our house in orange lights, dry ice, and strobe lights. (My house is tastefully decorated with classy fall décor this season, just in case a buyer comes by to see it. That isn’t fun a’ tall. I did, however, put a “Beware” and “Happy Halloween” sign up on my barn door. )
I miss my husband hiding in the bushes to scare the wits out of the older students who used to stop by to say “hi”. I miss giving out 100 bucks worth of candy and then bargaining with my kids to sell me the stuff in their bags they don’t like because I’m running out regardless of how carefully I planned ahead.
I miss Halloween week at FLEX, not because it was fun decorating and teaching all those themed dances year after year, but because the staff was such good sports. They had way of smiling with that glazed look in their eye that said, “If I play Monster Mash one more time, I’m going postal . . .” We laughed a lot at FLEX this time of year – at students, at Halloween bloopers, and mostly at each other. I gotta hand it to my dear old employees, they had a sense of humor. I loved that about them, loved that they could take a joke, that they didn’t take dance so seriously that they forgot that joy comes before discipline and a touch of comedy in every dance gives it depth. I love their willingness to blow up a zillion balloons, do the “Scardey Cat dance two thousand times, and “Wiggle Your Bones” until their bones did indeed wiggle. I even miss the way they ate all the candy I bought for them to give to students and the way they blinked innocently and said, “Me? Eat the candy? Why no, Miss Ginny, I have no idea why all the bins are empty.” Meanwhile, they definitely have candy breath.
Tonight, my kids gathered for some Halloween prep. They carved pumpkins – I took the guts out to the chickens so they could have their own pumpkin feast (new tradition) The kids gave in to creative passion trying to one up each other in the pumpkin carving war. There was some serious cheating going on with the use of toothpicks to hold pieces together that otherwise would have fallen off. Hummm… whatever happened to good old fashion triangle eyes and toothful grins on a pumpkin? Each kid’s pumpkin (and boyfriend Eric’s) were unique. neva made the spider, kent the baby-face, denver the Nightmare Before Christmas characters, and Eric the face…. I am just the pumpkin cheerleader and chief cook in charge of nurishment for the artists – in this case, homemade pizza.
They made fun of their mother’s Thriller rendition (everybody’s a critic). Denver then helped Neva make a jack in the box costume.
Kent was trying to make a costume out of boxes, just to prove he can. Wish you could see him break dance in this get up. Big laugh. I really should get a camera for this blog this– some things words can’t describe. For the last few years, my son dressed as baloney, but his baloney broke, so now he is going to be his version of a “mail man”. Don’t ask.
My house is rocking tonight with our ten hour continuous play Halloween music. Every song reminds us of a dance. We can’t resist breaking out in steps or chuckling as we recall a class that did this dance or that. Shake your bones . . . . Give me a smile . . . the memories are as thick as my pumpkin soup.
So for old friends out there who remember us this time of year . . . well, we are remembering you too. Always will.