Tag Archives: Halloween

Halloween haunts on the lake trail….mwahahaha!

Back in 2015 I posted¬†Lake photos in winter¬†from the small lake in my community. I intended to go back and take pictures again sometime, perhaps in a different season, but so far I haven’t. However, there’s something in particular I want to show from there now (and I’ll throw in a few photos of the lake too).

This small community lake has a wide unpaved trail that encircles it, about 1.25 miles. Alongside one shore is a street with some of the nicer houses in town, higher priced ones that overlook the trail and lake. One of these houses is known for having A LOT of various decorations in its yard, many of which are seasonal. In fact, there are things lots of things going on in this yard year-round. I believe some of the neighbors aren’t that¬†keen¬†for these displays but they’ve been there for years – and only increase – so I doubt they’re going anywhere. I’m not always so crazy about what I see in this yard throughout the year either but I have to admit that if I was a kid, I’d likely be fascinated.

Recently I walked the trail and saw the Halloween set-up, which I don’t think I’ve had occasion to see for many years (I remember once seeing Halloween AND Christmas decorations at the same time and that was a bit odd, so I didn’t typically make a point to check it out). Now there are things in the yard I’ve never seen and many were right up on next to the public trail (the whole thing is definitely intended for the view of the many users of the trail). The novelty is the unexpectedness of this display in someone’s yard. This past Sunday I went back to get photos.

C’mon, let’s take a little tour of the highlights.

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I could see a few people looking at the displays and taking pictures as I approached.

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There to welcome me…

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Ground creatures

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This VERY tall fellow growled and moved. His eyes lit up too. He definitely gave passerby a start. I think if I went by at night he’d unnerve me for sure.

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This creepy one moved too.

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The sign suggests you help yourself to a treat from the bowl….would you? Mwahaha.

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SHE is the reason I went back to take pictures. I was totally smitten with her. What a likeness! Spot-on Margaret Hamilton, Wicked Witch of the West. She plays her “theme” music and says a couple classic lines.

 

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Isn’t she fabulous?! She had a few leaves & small debris stuck in her hair so I picked them out. (I stopped short of taking out a comb or otherwise trying to fix her up.)

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Different people had stopped to look after I was done. Very popular display! People seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. Me too.

Since I was at the lake I took nature photos too just so you could see. Signs of fall are just starting. I DO appreciate this lake but taking photos renews my appreciation; it makes me focus.

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The tree on the right has a cage to keep beavers from chewing it down. This is an ongoing project around the lake.

 

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Look carefully and you’ll see a heron in the middle of this picture.

 

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Short Thought 171 (Halloween)

At home on Halloween night, after the trick-or-treating hours had wound down, I heard a group of kids passing outside soon followed by the cry of a straggler, “Wait for meeee!” How charming I thought. What a universal plea. Haven’t we all said that at some point in our lives, if not lately, somewhere in the past?

These light-hearted musings were promptly followed by another. Gee: I hope they didn’t just vandalize something.

Once upon a Walking Stick…

"La la, I wonder what's up there?"

“La la, I wonder what’s up there?”

"I don't remember a climbing rope here before..."

“I don’t remember a climbing rope here before…”

"OMG is this what I THINK it is?"

“OMG is this what I THINK it is?”

(It must have been something the rat said.)

(It must have been something the rat said.)

October 31

I just don't feel like myself today.

I just don’t feel like myself today.

What could it be?

What could it be?

Maybe it's my hair...

Maybe it’s my hair…

Halloween

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When I was a kid, while there was talk of razor blades in apples and poisoned unwrapped candy, it was still the norm to go trick or treating on Halloween. Or should I say¬†trickortreating because we said it as if it was all one word, and frankly, I didn’t understand either “trick” or “treat” in this context; I knew only that candy was going to be extracted. We played no tricks.

I loved it all. The costume. The unusual privilege of a¬†night trek – supervised by an older sibling when we were little – on a cool October evening. The excitement. Examining the haul at night’s end. Sadly, examining was pretty much the extent of the fun with the candy. After selecting one piece each, my siblings and I had our loot confiscated by our mother (the kill-joy who was forever going on about “rotting your teeth” and who “pays the dental bills”) and never directly accessed by us again. Had I any sense, I’d have been sure to have¬†hidden a stache of candy or minimally EATEN a bunch of it whilst on our outdoor excursion. Nope, not me.

Many other kids roamed the town at will with their oversized pillow cases crammed full of candy, but we were permitted only a short range. Not only did we never tote pillow cases, there’d have been no point, given the modest amount of goods we could expect to accumulate. Mecca was apparently the apartment complex down the road because all the savviest, greediest kids bee-lined to them since they could hit a dozen doors in a matter of minutes. These kids knew their time management. I doubt I need to say¬†apartments with strangers were definitely NOT in our permitted zone.

There was one particular house in the neighborhood that was also verboten. It was never explained why it was off-limits, but every year our mother made a point to tell us not to go there. Till the one year she didn’t. I’m sure it was an oversight, she simply forgot to include it in the list of rules & regulations for our jaunt. My sister and I were considered old enough to take our little brother and go without older-sibling supervision and were for once, opportunistic enough to take advantage of our mother’s omission. There were¬†much creepier houses and people we visited on Halloween who were considered acceptable (for instance, anyone who belonged to or attended our church, no matter how otherwise weird, demented, scary, or otherwise troubling, was always okay).

On approaching the usually-forbidden house, we saw the lady sitting just outside the door with her candy. She was delighted to see us and knew who we were. I remember the candy as being good stuff, not cheap and scanty. Maybe she noticed we never came by other years, or maybe not. All I know is to this day, given her pleasure in our visit, I’m glad we went there. Come to find out years later, the woman was an alcoholic and that was why our mother told us not to go to her house for trick or treating. The whopping irony of this is that prohibition wasn’t exactly practiced in our own house. Okay then!

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One summer, on a trip back from the neighboring state my parents hailed from and where many of our relatives still lived, our family stopped at a roadside market to buy apples. In addition to a bushel of apples, there were free apple masks for us kids. Apple masks you inquire? Oh yes, seriously. They were simple illustrated cardboard creations, with eye and mouth holes cut out and an elastic band attached to go around the back of the head. Not high-tech but we kids were excited to get this unexpected gift on a boring apple quest.

That year, my sister and younger brother came up with our own idea – our older sisters & mother usually had a hand or more in our costumes – to use the masks and go as a matching trio of apples. Who else would be going as apples? We dressed all in red, donned our masks, and off we went. Those apple masks…they were a problem. Being a flat piece of cardboard, they didn’t stay in place well and slid around. Worse, saliva and breathing dampened the inside area around the mouth opening, so that over the course of the evening, the cardboard became moist and started to shred. This was not a pleasant sensation. Finally, we were most insulted when a neighbor exclaimed over the “little tomatoes!” Tomatoes?! We were apples dammit. Sheesh.

I’m not sure how old I was when I stopped going trick or treating. I hadn’t gone in some years, when I talked my best friend into going out when we were 16. See, I had these masks… No, not the surely long-gone apple masks, but plastic green Frankenstein masks I bought for fun. We dressed in big, black overcoats and clunky boots to accompany the masks. (We weren’t going to be the sullen, unimaginative teens who show up sans costumes on Halloween demanding candy.)

It was a great time and the evening went off mostly without a hitch. If asked by a homeowner how old we were, I pleasantly said “ten,” offering that we were big for our age. People good-naturedly went along with it. Except one house. We were surprised when a boy we knew – a popular, “cool” kid one year older – answered the door. He wasn’t having this “ten”¬†business and demanded to know who we were. He wanted the masks¬†off. We giggled but got uncomfortable. We were both out of our league with this boy, someone too popular to even speak to either of us under normal circumstances (so deep ran this feeling that once, years later, I about fell over when this young man said hello to me in passing on the sidewalk).

We didn’t want to be outed from our Frankenstein disguises. In fact, we wanted the hell out and literally ran away across the lawn into the night – I don’t remember if we got any candy first or not. I hadn’t counted, however, on my telltale hair, noticeably blonde and recognizable, paired with my Irish best friend’s thick dark hair, showing from behind, and most certainly giving us away. Because with a superior, somewhat triumphant tone Mr. Popular called after us, “Oh, I know who you are…” Busted.

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