The month of October brings with it many things near and dear to my heart. Nature itself comes alive with color, flaunting a myriad of heartwarming hues, among them the rosy reds of the Sugar Maples and the shades of orange (and more recently, white) donned by the pumpkins being sold roadside, each with its own personality. It is my favorite time of year. The sound of leaves scattering with the breeze and the satisfying crunch you are awarded when you step on them. It is a festival for the senses. October also officially launches the anticipation for Halloween, my favorite holiday (I don’t really include Christmas in this equation, so avoid jumping to any conclusions that might label me a Satanist 😉 ).
Reminiscing into the past, the days of rubber masks are called to mind. My most memorable costume consisted of a witch mask, complete with warts, and an over-sized tattered dress that Mommy stuffed to form the chest I was then (and still am) lacking. She even crafted a broom to accompany my getup. My sister’s mask was werewolf-like with ratty black fur attached to the backing. I remember the smell of the rubber as it heated up with the hot breath trapped inside. As a student at Green Hills Elementary, we wore our disguises to school and attended the annual Halloween carnival the same evening, which provided fun in many forms, including games such as “the duck pond” and bobbing for apples, along with a haunted house and a mock jail that you could have your friends (or crushes) locked into. Those were the days that nurtured my lifelong love affair with all things Fall.
I feel most child-like during Autumn and hold dearly a number of “rites of passage” for the season, including everything from eating and drinking pumpkin-flavored everything to watching as many horror movies as is humanly possible, the greatest of these being John Carpenter’s original “Halloween” from 1978. It’s as classic as they come and is at the top of my flick list all year long. You can imagine my enthusiasm when we realized, while out on one of our excursions to “nowhere in particular”, that the Judy Drive-In in Mt. Sterling planned to show it that evening. I had never had the pleasure of watching it on the big screen, not to mention at a drive-in, also a new experience. I was able to knock a couple of bucket-listers off that evening! I can recall the days when the edited-for-tv version would play on the old, cabinet-style television set as we passed sweets to the trick-or-treaters coursing through our small community. Daddy would look out the window in the front door and call out giddily “here come some more” and we’d grab the candy bowl and rush to the rescue. My dad’s enthusiasm for the tradition ensured I wasn’t too disappointed to grow past the acceptable age for trick-or-treating. I quickly found that participating in the festivities from the other side of the door was just as rewarding.
So, when the season rolls around again, join me in drinking a toast to Autumn’s splendor. You can bet mine will be a hot, pumpkin-spiced beverage. I would love to hear your favorite ways of honoring this special time, so please share! In the meantime, enjoy a glimpse of Fall 2016 below….