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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dear Diary, It Was Halloween

Yesterday we finished up the carving of the jack-o-lanterns. My oldest three sons all carved their own this year. I was a bit leery at first to allow it since sharp knives are involved, but in the end I relented with strong warnings not to cut themselves because I was NOT going to the emergency room and would sew them up with thread from my sewing kit.

It was after setting all the pumpkins out on the front porch for display that it came to my attention that I didn't have any candles to put inside them. Thus began my foray into swearing the attic and into our Christmas decorations where I was positive I had some small candles. Many expletives boxes later I found some that I was able to cut in half, as well as a very lovely smelling apple blossom candle. At least I think it would have been lovely smelling if it wasn't mixed with the stench of pumpkin.

I got everyone into their costumes at 4:00pm in anticipation of our town weenie roast which began at 5:00. And as a testament to my immaturity, I couldn't say weenie roast without giggling or making hollow weenie jokes.

Before we left, I broke up several sword fights, duct taped a broken knight sword back together, warned Indiana Jones not to whip anyone, put 14 batteries into 7 flashlights, replaced batteries in my camera again, sewed a stuffed parrot onto my 10yr olds shoulder, convinced my daughter that she could not go trick-or-treating naked, and yelled, "I'm doing this for you, I don't really care if you get candy tonight or not. I'd be perfectly happy staying home!"

I sat everyone outside on the front porch, where I forced them to fiend happiness and took their pictures so we could remember this joyous moment forever.

Our town closes off the little "downtown" area and everyone trick-or-treats there. In the weeks leading up to Halloween the little general store has a bin out for candy donations that are then distributed to the people who live on those few streets. It is so quaint and sweet that you think you have stepped into a Norman Rockwell painting, well if he painted scenes filled with scream masks, jedi knights, and clowns. So maybe more like if Norman Rockwell had taken acid and then painted.

Rob got home at 5:00 and we headed "downtown", met up with some friends, ate some weenies, and began our candy gathering in earnest. Some the kid's friends were dressed up as Jedi Knights so we were treated to a lightsaber duel between Darth Vadar and several Jedi Knights while we ate. Who says small towns offer no entertainment? As it got darker and darker, and colder and colder, we realized that we had left all the flashlights behind which made it increasingly difficult to see the kids as they ran ahead of us on the street. It also made it difficult for me to spot people in time to divert the stroller from their path.

The baby was less than impressed with his costume and eventually fell asleep, sparing the rest of the town his ear piercing shrieks, no matter how holiday appropriate they sounded.

It was about half way through the evening when we came upon our favorite house. Where we were treated to wine. I'll give it a minute to sink in. YES, wine! I know. Now you all want to come trick-or-treating with me, don't you? But you can't.

As Rob and I finished up our wine, our chatting with friends, and our walking up the street to the next house, we suddenly realized the limitations of our multi-tasking. We were missing our wee pirate.

(I have to preface this by saying that at no point were we worried that something bad had happened to him, I was just talking to him a few minutes prior to discovering he wasn't with us. I was worried that he would be scared.)

We ran around to the neighboring houses and finally heard someone yelling, "Does someone need a little pirate?" I yelled back, "Well, need might be a little strong, but we have grown rather used to him." He wasn't the least bit upset, because in his own words, "I had all my candy with me."

And we soldiered on, braving long dark driveway after long dark driveway, for our fun sized treats. My daughter really got the hang of it and laid the cuteness on so thick people couldn't help but give her several pieces of candy.

We ended our evening by stopping in at the small apartment complex for the elderly. The old people love seeing the kids and so I try to hold my breath and not breathe in that smell of lysol, bleach and death that permeates the building. I was a bit put off by the person who was walking around the building wearing a hazmat suit complete with respirator. Rob maintains that it was a costume, but I don't think so.

From there Rob made a quick stop at the liquor store for our own bottle wine and we headed home with our loot. Our town may be very very small, but it does manage to support two coffee shops, a pizza place, a restaurant, and a bustling liquor store.

We went home, poured all of our candy out on the floor, ate it until we thought we might puke from either a) the eating of so much candy, or b) the witnessing of the eating of so much candy. Then we brushed AND flossed our teeth and all those under 5ft tall were sent to bed.

And I drank wine. And uploaded pictures. And it was good.
But even more importantly, it was over, until next year.

And if you read all the way to the end of this, I am impressed. Get yourself a glass of wine, you deserve it.


Anonymous Mei said...

Yes - I read the whole thing... because as an 8.5 month pregnant woman, this was one of my last years of not having to participate in the trick-or-treating experience!!

Love your blog, by the way, Chris. I read it regularly but just haven't commented before :)

12:39 PM  
Blogger TBG said...

Sounds like fun was had by all!

Happy Halloween!

12:43 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I was 8.5 mos pregnant on Halloween once, he is turning 11 in 9 days. And I haven't even thought of a present for him yet...ack!

Good luck.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Sleeping Mommy said...

I thought I was tired before... I can't imagine Halloween with more than the four kids I have now (yes Snoring Daddy counts as one of those kids)

1:53 PM  
Blogger halloweenlover said...

I love it! Next year, I'm coming to your house!

And yes, I do need wine.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

yes please come to my house and bring those adorable snacks of yours with you. Oh and the dogs with their costumes... my kids will probably want to run away and live with you though, so be forewarned.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Think I will try giving the grown ups wine next year... we all know they need it to get thru the night LOL

10:22 PM  
Blogger Annika said...

Oooh, I want to come with you next year!

And not just because of the wine. (Can you drink wine if you're nursing a 5-month-old? I guess I'll find out next Halloween.)

11:10 PM  
Blogger harvestmoon said...

i'm glad to see that i'm not alone drinking wine while stumbling behind the kids. oops, i guess you all waited til you got them home safe and sound. ah well. i had wine. and chocolate. horrid chocolate but i did have wine. yum. wine...

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in a small town, and our Halloween was great. The town merchants all "donated" their shop windows for decoration. Kids would draw for windows about 2 weeks in advance and receive a box of poster paints (not nearly enough - but the parents supplemented with other jars). On the Saturday before Halloween, the entire under 18 population could be found in front of store windows, drawing and painting. Nov. 1 was the busiest window-washing day of the year!

7:40 AM  
Anonymous rachel said...

I love you. We want to TOT with you next year.
Well, actually we just want a holiday without illness, but as a bonus your town sounds awesome.

Love the pictures! Such great costumes!

8:16 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Fun! We forgot the flashlights too so last night they played flashlight tag in the yard. haha Our neighbor was giving out cans of beer to the adults, I think I'd rather hang out with you and your bottle of wine.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

well, now I feel better :-)
Yesterday I looked at all your pictures of leaf piles and pumpkin carving and happy costumed kids and just about cried from jealousy. But then I told myself I knew that idyll couldn't be the whole story! LOL Seriously, you take such good pictures (is it just the law of averages - take 300 pictures and get 30 good ones?) and your kids are soooo gorgeous. I'm glad you pointed out that they were faking that happiness. We don't even have any leaves to play in here; we have only pine trees and bushes in our yard. I had to spend a half hour reminding myself about those icicles in your kids' windows last year, and the 200 gal of oil per month, and I started to feel better that I don't live in a house like yours Bwaaahaahaa. But I just couldn't find any consolation for your beautiful daughter. I will have to live with my jealousy over her ;-)

10:30 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

Not surprisingly, Indy wins my vote for best Big Yellow House costume.

10:44 AM  
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12:45 PM  
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12:47 PM  
Blogger harvestmoon said...

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2:18 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Too funny, harvestmoon.

gretchen, yes I think it is the law of averages. If you take enough pictures some of them have to be good ;-)

2:24 PM  
Blogger Mom2the5rs said...

I think that Chris is just a great photographer...As a professional photographer who is also a mom, I would always be offended when someone would see one of my shots and discount my efforts by saying, "What a great must have a really nice camera." or "I guess when you take 300 you are bound to get 30 good ones."

Ok, got that off my chest...Chris, I really enjoy your posts. I feel like I have met you and know your family thru them. I loved the part about forcing them to be happy for the photo so you could enjoy the memory for years to come. I have done that many times. If the grandparents only knew what it took to get that shot.

7:58 PM  
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9:54 PM  

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