Happy Halloween from the Gulf

The weatherman on WLBT Friday afternoon at 5:00 o’clock said Tropical Storm Olga would not be a wind event according to my wife Danny. She says he said it would be a rain event, but worry not about the wind. Perhaps he needs to come clean up my yard, ‘cause we had us a wind event. Being that it is Halloween, maybe he was playing a little bit of a trick-or-treat joke a few days early. Whatever the case, we have a mess on our hill.

Looks like to me there is a pretty big mess all around Scott County. Trees down everywhere, power lines in a tangled mess. And as fate would have it, as soon as I reset our alarm clocks Sunday afternoon the power went off again and it was time to reset the reset.

Fortunately we did not lose any trees but we do have a carpet of pine cones beneath this gnarly old tree in the front yard. Every time the wind blows the tree drops limbs and cones to the point that I swear there can be nothing more up there to drop down to the ground.

After surveying the immediate vicinity following Saturday’s storm, once again I couldn’t imagine that there would be anything remaining up among those towering branches, but a glance that way told me different. As a matter of fact, if we didn’t have the two bonfire piles in the field as evidence, spectators would not believe the words I’m writing.

But, we do!

It’s a shame that there is more wet weather predicted in the coming days  or we could have us one heck of an All Hallows Eve weiner roast. Pine doesn’t cook well anyway, and I’m pretty certain that sap and green cones popping would not make for a very flavorful smore either.

As teenagers we used to have some pretty nice bonfires in pastures around town on Halloween. They were not always our pastures, but they were our fires and we’d cleanup real good afterwards. Seems like that is another one of those things folks don’t do in the fall of the year anymore.

It is kind of like trick-or-treating. Seems to me that door-to-door candy begging is pretty much a thing of the past. When we were kids Halloween and gorging on candy was one of the highlights of the year. We’d all get dressed up in one of those cheap, store-bought costumes with the plastic mask held on by that rubber band thing that always broke before the big day because we were practicing too much, and hit the streets on foot.

Sometimes we’d splurge and buy some of that waxy makeup and become a living vampire, or a hunch backed zombie, or sometimes something that was really nothing at all, but it certainly was ugly. Or, so we thought.

As an adult I thrived on spooking the kiddos as they cautiously crept up to our front door and rang the bell. Most of them knew that our house was the place to go to get the blood pumping and often would return time and time again with other friends — not for candy, but to see the monster man burst from behind the tree, or from the corner of the hall.

Then little by little kids quit trick-or-treating and started going to organized gatherings, or fall festivals at church, or something like that, and the bowl of candy sitting in the witch’s lap never ran out. In recent years, the bowl of candy doesn’t even go down anymore unless we invite somebody to swing by, but we’re all aging and none of our friends have kids of the candy-grabbing age any longer so that’s pretty much out too.

This year we’re just going to skip it altogether. Not Halloween, but the sitting at home waiting for the doorbell to ring part. We’re going to the beach instead. The witch and the pumpkins are going too.

This Halloween we’re going to have our own party, on our own time, and trick-or-treat amongst ourselves. Just me, Danny, and the witch. I think the weather is going to be crappy — make that spooky — but it’s still going to be fun. That I can guarantee, unlike that weatherman and that wind event prediction last week.

So, Happy Halloween from the Gulf!