Halloween Rant

Well, maybe not so much a rant as just thinking about things.

When I was a kid. . . . .

I know, eye-roll statement, right?  Still, when I was a kid, nobody decorated their yards or houses for Halloween. That was reserved for Christmas.  I don’t know when Halloween became a  high-cost event here in the States, but I’m sure it happened when I wasn’t looking 🙂

I lived in a middle class neighborhood in north Minneapolis when I was in elementary school, up through the 4th grade. Halloween, for us, was just fun. Nobody was getting all wrapped around the axle yet, and nobody was afraid. We dressed up in old sheets or hobo-looking clothes, or made gypsy costumes or clown costumes out of whatever we had around the house. Nobody spent money on pre-made costumes.

We went around the neighborhood with our friends, ringing doorbells and being greeted by people we at least had seen on the sidewalk at some point.  Apartment buildings were great places for trick-or-treating, lots of  doors all in one building. We were welcomed by everyone, and we had a blast.  We were given homemade treats, and no one worried about pins or razors or poison. We got apples, popcorn balls, a wide assortment of candies, cookies, and even some cheap little toys.  Boxes of Cracker Jacks were always fun because you got the popcorn AND the toy inside.

No parents were with us, unless someone was taking their toddlers out for the fun. It was safe, and harmless, and no one even thought about satanic influences or sacrificing animals. There were probably some pranks that were harmful.  I’m not naive enough to believe that everyone in 1953 was innocent as a baby. But it was a different era, and our favorite TV programs were Father Knows Best and Walt Disney Presents.  Miley Cyrus was not even a distant nightmare, and children were not smarter than their parents. Andy Griffith was a role model, and Opie got paddled when he was disobedient.  It was a good time to grow up.

I’m appalled at what Halloween has become today. I want no part of it. We never, in 20 years, have had trick-or-treaters here because they’d have to walk  25 feet between houses.  Their parents take them to high-density neighborhoods so they can get more loot.  I don’t understand the average $80 that I heard yesterday is “normal” for Americans to spend on Halloween. I don’t understand the fascination with things of darkness, with what is truly wicked.  I know there are some for whom it is still just innocent fun, but that’s not the norm.

It’s sad.

Go Ahead, Make my Day :)

It’s Halloween, and you just ran out of candy. If the neighborhood kids (or anyone else, really) were to truly scare you, what trick would they have to subject you to?

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I don’t scare easily.  I suppose if someone threw a bag of snakes into my living room, that would send me screaming into the next century. Other than that, I just don’t know.  I mean, if we’re keeping this to the level of practical jokes, harmless pranks, I don’t think anything would truly scare me.

If we’re taking it to the level of just wicked and evil, well, that’s a different story.

Done.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/trick-or-trick/

Chicken!

Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must mention a dark night, your fridge, and tears (of joy or sadness; your call). Feel free to switch one ingredient if you have to (or revisit one from previous trio prompts).

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It was a dark and stormy night. The house was quiet, except for the howling of the wind that found every nook and cranny to seep its way into the bedroom where Lila huddled under her down comforter. She listened to the wind, wondering if that old pine in the back yard would survive another  hurricane. True, this one was almost worn out, but still the tails of the storm whipped through the countryside and threatened anything in the way.

Unable to sleep, Lila reluctantly left her nest of warmth, sitting on the side of the bed to slide her feet into the slippers that rested on the floor. Grabbing her robe, she pushed her arms through the sleeves and, without turning on any lights, shuffled off to the kitchen. She wasn’t hungry, but then who needed to be hungry in order to want a late-night snack?

She mentally reviewed what she knew was in the refrigerator, and smiled as she remembered the leftover fried chicken. Perfect.  Just perfect.

As she entered the kitchen, she flipped on the light and shrieked in fear as she collided with her husband.  He was just as startled as she was, and they grabbed at each other in order to keep from falling in an undignified heap on the kitchen floor. 

It was just as they regained their balance that she noticed the crumbs around his mouth,  the grease on his lips, and the chicken bones he had dropped on the floor.

And she felt the big, fat tears start to slide down her face.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/trio-no-three/

Again

Yesterday you invented a new astrological sign. Today, write your own horoscope — for the past month (in other words, as if you’d written it October 1st).

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Well, if this is going to be the theme all week, I’m going to have a quiet week!  Passing again. Not into horoscopes, don’t believe in them, so really have nothing to say.

Except that it’s another gorgeous day here in my corner of PA, and just in case I haven’t said it before, I love fall. Love it.

Good day to you all 🙂

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/in-retrospect/

Pass

You’re tasked with creating a brand new astrological sign for the people born around your birthday — based solely on yourself. What would your new sign be, and how would you describe those who share it?

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I’m going to take a pass on this one.  I don’t believe in astrology, and I don’t know enough about it to say anything worth reading, so I’ll just take a break this morning and enjoy reading what others of you have to say 🙂

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/custom-zodiac/

Deja Vu

You step into an acquaintance’s house for the first time, and discover that everything — from the furniture, to the books, to the art on the wall — is identical to your home. What happens next?

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“Wait–wait a minute!  This is MY house!  Just—-wait!”

I stepped back outside, viewing the street and the houses of the neighbors, and no, this was not my neighborhood. But as I reluctantly stepped back into the house, every single thing in the room was an exact replica of my own front room.  I loved my own front room.  This, I didn’t like one little bit. 

I glared at my new acquaintance. “What’s going on here? How did you do this?  You’ve never been in my house before, yet you’ve made an exact duplicate of everything I own. Wait–you even have the same photographs I do! How can that be? Pictures of my parents and grandparents, my kids, their kids–I’m getting out of here! This is insane!”

“Don’t leave. Please. There’s an explanation, and I’ve been waiting most of my life to find you and tell you. Please, let me tell you!”

“Find me? You mean you’ve been tracking me, following me around for years? That’s just creepy! Look, whatever your game is, I don’t want to play! Now get out of my way before I have to hurt you, and let me go!”

“No, please!  I haven’t been following you! I only just found you about a month ago, and I’ve been waiting for a legitimate opportunity to meet you.  Please, you have to listen!  I promise, it won’t take long, and you’ll understand. Please.”

She looked sincere.  Actually, she looked a little bit like me, which is what drew me to her in the first place. There were subtle differences, and no one would mistake us for twins—

“We’re twins!  Fraternal twins, not identical.  When we were born, our parents were in terrible financial straits. They felt they couldn’t afford to keep us both, so they decided to keep whichever one came first. Me, they gave to some friends of theirs who weren’t able to have a baby of their own. I had a wonderful life, and I think you did too. But I always longed to know who I really was, and it took me all these years, until we were both grandmothers, to find you.”

“Right,” I sneered. “What a crock.”

“NO! It’s the truth!  If you’ll look more carefully, you’ll see that not everything is perfectly identical to what you have. I’ve never seen the inside of your house, only the outside. The only explanation I can think of is that we have similar tastes.”

“What about the photos?” Those are MY parents!”

“Yes, they are. Once I found them, and you, I found copies of their photos in my own parents’ albums that are stored in the attic.”

“But the children!  How did you get pictures of my children and grandchildren?”

“Those are MY children and grandchildren!  Look more closely.  Please!”

As I examined the pictures, I realized that she was right.  They weren’t identical. They were strangely similar, but there were differences.  I began to get butterflies in my stomach, Could this possibly be true? Could this woman who resembled me possibly be my twin sister? After all these years of believing I was the only child, could I truly be a twin? It just seemed too strange, too bizarre.

Then, I began to look more closely around the room. Yes, at first glance it was just like mine. Studied more closely, I could again see subtle differences.  The shape of the chair legs, the length of the drapes, the style of the picture frames. Not identical, just similar.

Wow.

This was turning out to be a changing day in my life!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/doppelganger-alert/

I looked at my new

Let There Be Light!

Imagine we lived in a world that’s all of a sudden devoid of color, but where you’re given the option to have just one object keep its original hue. Which object (and which color) would that be?

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If black is the absence of color due to the absence of light, then give me light!  White light, please, because white is the presence of all colors.  Seems to me you could tinker around with that and fix the problem of the absence of color, right?

I’m not a scientist; any number of you could probably prove me wrong here.  All I remember from physics about light and dark is that dark/black is the absence of any light reaching the eye. Conversely, white is the presence of all colors, and can be broken down into  all colors through some process or the other that I don’t remember.  Prisms have the capacity to break light into colors, I know. 

Isn’t that all just fascinating?  No, really, I’m serious.  Amazing how God made our eyes to be able to see a vast, unlimited array of colors.  I understand that many animals see only in black and white.  Aren’t you thankful that we aren’t animals? Just think of the pleasure color gives us. One of the things that makes autumn so gorgeous here in Pennsylvania is the intensity of color at this time of year.  The sky is never just blue; it’s cerulean, crystal clear, azure.  Flowers intensify in color until you need sunglasses to look at them 🙂  Orange, red, gold, green, yellow and rich brown color the hillsides, making a drive through the Pennsy mountains a feast for the eyes. I would miss all that SO much if all color were to disappear!

This prompt has reminded me how much I enjoy color.  The colors of my grandchildren’s eyes; the color of my bedroom walls where I’ve spent the last day and what looks like most of today.  It’s a deep raspberry color, with white trim.  I chose it several years ago when my kids gifted me with a makeover of this bedroom, and I still love it. The colors in my closet reflect the fact that I’m a winter: Black, white, navy, red, lemon yellow, emeral green, hot pink, icey pink, light grey, royal blue and deep purple.  Love all my colors.  It would be very sad to have to wear nothing but unrelieved black. Very sad indeed.

Thank you, Lord, for coloring our world with so much beauty!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/local-color/

Oh My Aching Back!

I had plans for today.  Was going to get a lot done. Instead, I ended up in bed, dosed up with liniment on my back and muscle relaxers in my tummy that put me to sleep.  The good news is, the tetchy place in my back is better.  I can move now without gasping.

Many years ago I developed this place just between my shoulder blade and my waist that will go into spasms and just about put me on the floor.  I won’t bore you with all the gory details.  Most of the time, these days, it’s no longer a problem. Apparently, though, I’ve been sitting wrong or something.  It’s been twitching at me all week, and when I woke up this morning I knew I was in trouble.  Of course, my chiropractor is away for the weekend. He’s the man upon whom I depend second only to my husband 🙂

Anyway, I’ve been in bed most of the day.  Learned years ago that a pillow placed under the touchy spot helps relax everything.  Terry brough my laptop in here so I could stay in touch with the world.  I slept for maybe three hours in the late morning and afternoon, something I rarely do. I’ve read, checked things online, and even got up to have some supper and watch a Hallmark movie.

So why am I writing about all this.  Beats me.  Just goes to show what a quiet day I’ve had, which is really a blessing as well. Exciting things going on here on a Saturday night 🙂

Sleep well, everyone, and enjoy this last week of daylight time here in the States. Next weekend, we go into the DARK!

Mask-uerade

We’re less than a week away from Halloween! If you had to design a costume that channeled your true, innermost self, what would that costume look like? Would you dare to wear it?

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The woman stood gazing into her full-length mirror, considering the image that stared back at her.

“Is it really me? How can I know? Who am I, anyway?  Right now at this moment it feels like me, but will it feel like me later today?  Tomorrow?  Next week?  Who can know?”

With a wave of her hand, she and the image changed into what she though might look like an ordinary woman of 30 or so:  Messy ponytail, face scrubbed clean of makeup, blue tee, black yoga pants, sneakers. She sighed, shaking her head at this ordinary, colorless version.  Why on earth did women go out in public looking like this? There were only a few who were flattered by the black stretchy pants, and they often didn’t have the sense to wear a top long enough to cover themselves.

Shaking her head, she waved her hand again.  This time she was wearing mom-jeans, a white tee, still the messy ponytail, a touch of makeup.  Better, she thought. She inspected her face. Interesting, how mortal women spent so much time trying to keep the signs of age from their skin. Yes, this was better, but she still didn’t feel comfortable.

Another wave of her hand, and  now she felt she was getting closer. The jeans were replaced with black, sharply-creased dress pants. The sneakers gave way to low-heeled black pumps. The tee was exchanged for a cashmere sweater in a flattering shade of pink, decorated with a hot pink scarf. Jewelry appeared on her wrists, fingers, and ears. She thought for a moment, and added a sparkly silver chain around her neck. Her hair grew long, lustrous, smooth and shiney.  Her makeup was tasteful, subtle, and flattering.

“Good.  This is more like it.”  Adding a medium-sized pink and black handbag and a black, supple leather jacket, she stood still to examine the total picture.  She was pleased.  Yes, this was who she really was, at least for today.

She was ready.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/masks-off/

Crazy Busy

We all seem to insist on how busy, busy, busy we constantly are. Let’s put things in perspective: tell us about the craziest, busiest, most hectic day you’ve had in the past decade.

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In the past decade?  Really, you expect me to remember that?  I mean, I have trouble remembering last WEEK!  There are 3,650 days in a decade, right?  And I’m supposed to pick out my busiest, craziest day.  

How about today instead?  I write two blog posts most mornings, here on my writing blog, and here.

Then I need to finish cleaning the house, because my son is coming up today to help his dad with some things and then we’re going to celebrate his 39th birthday. A couple of good, old friends are coming over to help.  I have an apple pie to make, a chicken to roast, salad and vegetables to prepare.

I also need to to pay some bills, clean up my desk (again) and get some laundry under control.  There will be a quick trip to the store, although my husband may take care of that for me.

It may not seem like much to some of you younger souls out there who still have a passel of kids to take care of, maybe a job outside your home, and so on.  Been there, done that. I suppose my busiest days were when my four kids were all in junior high/high school, all involved in extra-curriculars, and my husband was on the road a lot while I worked full-time as a teacher. Yeah, those were busy years.

The thing is, as your body slows down, the work load tends to slow down to accommodate that. I’m 67 now, and so thankful I don’t have to keep up that hectic pace of 25-30 years ago.

And thankful that I can still do all I need to do; I can still work at a job I love, still take care of my own home, still be involved with family and friends.

Busy is a blessing.  Be thankful.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/out-of-breath/