Saturday, November 3, 2018

Better not be stingy

Or your nightmares will come true!  So this year came and went.  Autumn has always been a fun time for us, though as the boys grown and move on, it takes on a different feel.  Plus it's a little tougher since our youngest still wants to do things with them.  That means we rely on one or two times in a month where the older two can come around and do things with the family.  Since they both work and are going to school full time, that's about how much time they can spare.  Our third son is not going to school yet, but is involved in the Police Explorers program to help training now in preparation for the police academy when he's old enough.  

In addition to the constraints on time, we had very uncooperative weather.  It began at the beginning of October when, for the fourth year in a row, the temperatures skyrocketed to the 90s on the Saturday I had tickets for a game, only to go back down a day or two later.  Then it stayed warmer than normal until near the middle of the month.  Then it plummeted to cooler temps and stayed there.  

This was followed by the last two weeks, out of which  all but a couple days were filled with rain and wet conditions.  That blocked our fabled 'Ghost Runs' that we've done for years.  It also made our usual forays into pumpkin picking and cider purchasing quick in and out affairs.  

On Halloween proper, our oldest two weren't really available.  In this case it was mostly class schedules.  Last year they were able to pull strings and due to schedule fortunes make it around.  This year they were only able to show up at divers times, or after the trick or treating had mostly run its course.  Despite the weather, we were packed this year.  So everyone did see some trick or treaters.  But it was a patchwork event at best.  They older ones stayed and capped off the season with the Halloween Haunts (which kicks things off).  Some cider and pumpkin seeds and of course enjoying the leftover candy rounded things out.  We explained to our youngest that this is how it will be.  He said he knows, but hopes to enjoy having them around while he can.

Up to the old apple orchard for fresh apples and cider, the location of my first ever field trip in kindergarten
Went by the old school.  Much of it has changed, but the old football field looks about the same.  Memories. 

Because of ongoing, sustained and relentless rain, didn't have much of a 'Ghost Run' this year.  Here, just stopped by to see
if the old shed behind the mausoleum had moved again.  It had. Go figure. 

The cemetery of many a ghost run.  This time it was too rainy and, in an odd twist, too crowded.  

We stopped to get pumpkins (too late for a good selection).   Our youngest learned that sometimes you grow up, and old things that were fun eventually cease to be enjoyable. 

My trees in full splendor.  I found these when I was a pastor.  I would come here to get away from things before business meetings - the closet things to marine style combat one can experience without being in the military. 

The boys, laughing far too much around a cemetery - even at Halloween time.

A broader view of 'the trees.'  No matter what the weather, they never cease to put on a display

Again, because of never ending rain, we only dove by and couldn't get out. 

We often get out and walk up the steps to the top of the hill.  There's always something about a hill rise and the horizon. 

Mom got into the carving act - or at least drawing the face.  It was beyond my skill, however. 

The face she drew.  We decided not to try, but to set it as is as the centerpiece for our Trick or Treating table

Our eighteen year old's pumpkin.  Something about it looked wrong. 

This was the inside.  That's probably the cleanest pumpkin I've ever seen.  That's him.

My youngest drew this, and carved it himself.  And did so with a surprise. 

This was our youngest's on the back side.  Somehow it worked.  And he is officially the youngest to carve his own pumpkin - the result of being the youngest surrounded by older brothers. 

My oldest's.  I did the carving, he drew the face.  He's always kept it geometrical. 

My second oldest drew it.  As designs go, I liked it.  Somehow, it looked a bit 'Charlie Brownie.'  

This was our pumpkin together.  It was simple, quick and sufficed.

The table, ready for the hordes of little ghouls and ghosts and goblins

A fall display, with additions from my eighteen year old. 

His playmate decided to go out with him for old time's sake.  No single pictures.  Everyone needed under the umbrella.

A stack of turnips this year, once again being quite the conversation piece

The turnpis were courtesy of our second oldest.  I like the effect. 

A wider look, with the best decorating that days of ongoing, relentless rain would allow.

For some reason, our street became the center-point for people coming from all around.  Perhaps it has to do with our reputation for handing out candy by the handful. 

In the later part of Trick or Treating time; crowds were dwindling, but rain continued unabated. 

Only about a half hour didn't have rain, mostly toward the end.  Our oldest made sure they were here
after class/work for the youngest. 

Inside again, because it started raining!  Out of every year our youngest could walk about, it has rained on Halloween but once - and that was last year when it was almost arctic cold!

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