I love this time of year. Saturday I made my husband dig my big box of fall/Halloween decorations out of the attic. Well, he looked in the attic until I realized I’d put them on a shelf in the garage. Oops! Then I went down to Hobby Lobby to pick up a few extras because I realized I didn’t have as many general fall decorations as I do for Halloween. (I bought a fantastic metal yard turkey, 40% off! I’ll post a picture closer to Thanksgiving when I put him in the yard).
This, of course, got me excited about Halloween and putting up my spiderwebs, skeletons, bats, and witches next week, in addition to the pumpkins and scarecrows I placed around the house Saturday. I absolutely love Halloween. I think it partially stems from my grandfather’s passion for anything that involved decorating. For Halloween, and Christmas, he went all out. He always had great fun dressing up as something really frightening and scaring the bejeezus out of my mother, which of course always delighted me and my dad.
Halloween is just all around fantastic. Nostalgia rolls in like fog in a moonlit field as I reminisce about October nights spent rolling yards, stumbling through haunted houses, watching Rocky Horror Picture Show and scary movies from behind throw pillows, or dressed in some costume my mother made, pandering for candy. The worst costume was a lady bug. Basically, I put on a red unitard and she safety-pinned black triangles to my back, painted my face black, and put red and black stickers on my body and face. Of course it’s only looking back that I realize how funny the costumes were.
One of my favorite things about this time of year, though, was the reading. It started early in elementary school with books like “Stellaluna” and “Bunnicula” and poems like In a Dark, Dark, Wood. Then it extended into middle school with “Goosebumps”, “Fear Street”, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”, and “13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey.” My friends and I started a club called the Ghost Gang. We’d nestle into the very back corner of the school library where it was dark and “scary” and read out of those books.
In high school, my choice of reading extended to Stephen King and older horror, but those first books will always have a place in my heart. Every time I see one in the bookstore, I can’t help but stop and read it. I read “Stellaluna” aloud to my husband the other day and garnered some strange stares, but that’s how it’s supposed to be read. Preferrably sitting in a rocker with your listener on a rug in front of you, but I’ll take what I can get. What can I say? I’m a child at heart.
So, yay for fall! Yay for cheesy paper decorations, bad homemade costumes, chili, and wassail, pumpkins, and cool, foggy, nights. I leave you with the poem/folk tale I mentioned. The school had a bound version with great illustrations that I can’t find anywhere, but fortunately, I found the actual tale on Google. Enjoy!
“In a dark, dark, wood, there was a dark, dark, path. And up that dark, dark, path, there was a dark, dark, house. And in that dark, dark, house, there was a dark, dark, stair. And down that dark, dark, stair, there was a dark, dark, room. And in that dark, dark, room, there was a dark, dark, cupboard. And in that dark, dark, cupboard, there was a dark, dark, box. And in that dark, dark, box, there was a dark, dark, GHOST!” – Original author unknown.