Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It's FALL, Y'all! by Gail Roughton

I love Fall.  Most Southerners do. That first hint of cool(er) air after temperatures in the high 90’s with a heat index of +100’s—unless of course it’s +100 actual temperature without the heat index figured in, which happens quite frequently—ah, that first hint of Fall just lifts our spirts and gladdens our hearts.  Granted, our idea of pleasant is low 90’s with the high 80’s qualifying as cooler, and the low 80’s qualifying as downright cool, but then, all things are relative.

September’s tricky. The temperatures fluctuate, and trust me, nobody’s turned off the A/C and ceiling fans yet. But then October rolls in.  Beautiful October.  All the leaves might not have turned yet, but enough have turned to justify giving it the title of “Golden October”. And it’s corn maze season! Our favorite corn maze is put on by Daisy Adams Farm in the little town of Cochran, about 20 miles away from us. My daughter’s already put us on high alert via Facebook tag.  Corn mazes are the only reason she’ll go near a cornfield. She doesn’t trust corn fields, you see.  Says they’re full of dead baseball players and aliens and demon children.  The only thing she dislikes more than cornfields are clowns, which she deems “downright scary”. 

But corn mazes are different.  And besides, Daisy Adams Farm puts on a “total package”, complete with petting zoo, corn box, corn cannons, and hay rides. Giant checker boards with small gourds for game pieces. And oh, crowning glory! A “pick your own pumpkin” pumpkin patch.  Somebody should really tell Linus of “Charlie Brown” about that pumpkin patch, ‘cause if I were the Great Pumpkin, I’d sure rise from that pumpkin patch.  We always pick a weekend or two right before Halloween to do our Daisy Adams Farm afternoon so the pumpkins will be just right for Halloween carving. Becca buys four, of varying sizes.  One for my son-in-law, one for her, and one for each of the kids. 

Halloween’s always been a special holiday for our family.  My husband loves Halloween better’n any kid ever thought about loving it.  And as a side-note, Halloween’s our anniversary.  Yes.  For real.  No, we didn’t have a “costumed” wedding, and actually, we didn’t even pick it on purpose. We had a Courthouse wedding with none of the standard wedding paraphernalia such as bridesmaids and flowers. Neither of us were into that, and I’d seen enough family feuds over the course of my girlfriends’ big weddings to even consider it.  We just wanted to get married.  On the last Friday in the month.  Which that year just so happened to be Halloween. 

Oh, sure, folks told us we were crazy and we’d never have a “real” anniversary. We’ve always had a blast. Even before our children were born, my husband draped our front porch with sheets, donned a sheet and mask himself, and sat on the front porch to dispense candy with a spooky sound record playing on the stereo.  (Yes, a stereo, and an actual LP album, yes, we’re that old.) The kids loved it.  Most of them.  Of course, there were a few younger ones who didn’t much care for it, and then he’d take off his mask to show them he was normal (more or less) and give them their candy. Then came our kids. My husband, daughter and youngest son would walk house to house till they dropped. The best costumes always turned out to be the ones we put together ourselves, and twenty-five years later, I'm still amazed my youngest child actually let us paint his face.  Halloween spirit is the only explanation. My oldest son and middle child took after me. After a couple of houses, he went into “been there, done that”, mode.  Which suited me perfectly, because we’d go back to the car and tag along slowly behind our insatiable Halloween trio. 

These days, Halloween celebrations have shifted to my daughter’s house. She lays out a “finger food” Halloween feast for both before, after and during the night’s adventures, and while this new generation of family Halloweeners goes out on candy rounds, my husband and I are left in charge of her house to dispense candy.  Her house has the most wonderful front porch for sitting and watching the approaching trick-or-treaters.  Randy’s swapped out his sheets for a new costume.  Nowadays, he’s the Grim Reaper. And his mask has glowing red eyes that really glow. And yes, there’s still the occasional younger child he scares the mess out of (and now and then, one or two of the mothers), and of course when that happens, the mask comes off and mostly, the child accepts their candy. Or makes their mothers do it for them.

War-N-Wit, Inc. - Boxed Set
After all, that’s what Halloween is. A mix of light-hearted fun with an occasional twinge of sheer terror.  I love both faces of Halloween. And I’ve got you covered, whichever face you might prefer. For your lighter side, might I suggest the adventures of Chad and Ariel Garrett, the Warlock and Witch of War-N-Wit, Inc.?

my name be Cain...and my color be Se'ben
And should your dark side be the one stirring, well, let me introduce to someone.  His name be Cain...and his color be se'ben.

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