Monster Memories

By TIM BEELAND,

Winter, spring, summer, fall. They all seem to be blending together. October is just around the corner, temperatures are still cracking the 90 degree mark, sweat still pours in this Mississippi humidity. Maybe winter’s not running with the other three seasons after all.

We picked up some colorful mums over the weekend for the front porch and began again the watering process that was just winding down with the slow demise of our spring and summer gardens. We also looked at some pansies and, thank goodness, came to our better senses and realized it was still too hot for those. We looked at some pumpkins too, but they are kind of pricey to just sit on the front steps and rot.

Maybe it will cool off this week. After all, the state fair’s beginning to set up in Jackson and it seems there is always a cool snap that comes along with the fair.

We could use a little rain at our house too. It was so dry and dusty over the weekend that by the time the lawn mowing was done I looked much like the character Pig-Pen from the Charlie Brown cartoons. As dry as it was, I can’t imagine why the grass needed mowing only one week after the last foray into that realm.

It did, I did, it’s done!

Halloween will be here before we know it, and as has pretty much become the norm, Santa Claus and the Great Pumpkin have set up shop together in area stores. One row is orange and black and the other one’s red and green.

Seems to me that back in the days of my youth there wasn’t much to buy in the dollar stores in the form of Halloween decorations. There were racks of those cheap plastic masks and nylon costumes but never the ghosts, and goblins, and giant spiders, and the like that are found today.

Back then people carved a real pumpkin and lit it up with a real candle. Remember that smell? I do! Now there are fake foam pumpkins that turn on like a night light and glow and glow and glow. Not that there is anything wrong with fake pumpkins, we’ve got some too, just seems that there could be some family fun time involved in pumpkin carving and goop scooping. Heck you can even cook the seeds while carving the face.

I suppose at our house we do sometimes get a bit carried away when it comes to decorating. Especially times like now as Halloween approaches. In spite of all that talk about carving pumpkins and traditional decor, we do have a nice family of fake skeletons and witches and the like.

They are big too. Life size, you might say, and every time you walk by them one of those little motion sensors catches sight of you and bam one of the things start yelling, or singing a song and dancing, or a combination of all those.

Sometimes it gets to be a little too much. Especially when a bug flies by or a car drives up and they start hollering at the moth, or the dog, or the coons, or the possum, or the cats,  or anything else that moves.

It’s about time for some of those fellows to make their appearance as well as the giant floating skull/monster  thing that I like to hang in the tree. I’m not so sure why I fool with it since no one sees it but wife Danny and me, and perhaps a passerby or two. Heck, we haven’t even had a trick-o-treater in years, and don’t even worry about buying candy anymore.

I suppose I find something comforting about coming home to my monsters in the evening — a bit weird, I know — but they do bring back monster-size memories of my youth and more so of all the fun times we had at Halloween while rearing a child of our own.

And, Lord knows, the dogs need something else to bark at too!