Jack O Lantern

 

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How do you celebrate Halloween?  The weekend before Halloween, I enjoy my horror movie marathon of Halloween, the original, followed by Halloween 2, and the Fog.  Then it is off to the pumpkin patch to score a pumpkin to carve for my jack o lantern.   On All Hallow’s ceEve it is candy time.  I love lighting the candles and waiting for the kids in costume, of course, to ring the bell for a treat.  Even better are the pups, also in costume, who accompany their little masters.  I’ve taken to stocking candy with nuts (so I will not eat it) and milk bones for the pups.  After all it is a celebration!

Carving the jack o lantern is a tradition that goes back to my childhood.  My father would always come home from work with a magnificent pumpkin perfect for carving.  Together we would select the perfect angle for the face, draw it on and create our pumpkin lantern.  Mom would always come through with a candle and together we would carefully place him on the front porch to signify to all the ghosts and ghouls that we were open for business.  My Dad loved answering the door and handing out treats.

Meet the latest jack o lantern!

 

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Trick or treat!  Have a happy Halloween.

It is beginning to look scary out there

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This may be my favorite time of year.  Trees are showing of their brilliance with red and gold as leave change and fall.  The are leaf piles for jumping in, corn mazes to explore and pumpkins patches to mine.  Let’s not omit the apple orchards with their bounty of delicious apples.  The air is crisp and cool causing me to reach for a coat before leaving the house.

I love walking around the town looking at the Halloween decorations.  Ghosts and pumpkins decorate the lawns and doors lending a festive, if not haunting, sense to the air in anticipation of the Feast of Samhain (if you are Irish and like the Celtic version of the holiday), or Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve as we more traditionally think of the celebration.  It is the festival marking the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter.

Munchkins, ghosts and goblins will grace my front door on Halloween for a treat.  I love seeing the children attired in their festive costumes.  After the last visitor had received his or her treat, it is time for movie night.  For me that is my annual viewing of Halloween followed by the Fog.  Capping a wonderful night and leading to the celebration of All Saint’s Day.

Last year I spent the holiday in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  I arrived on October 31 to see a Halloween celebration in a country far away.  What was more surprising was the celebration of All Saints Day in what was once a communist country.  A national holiday, everything was closed in celebration.  Huge flower bouquets decorated the cemeteries in respect of those who passed.

In anticipation of the season, I’m heading to the pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin or two for decoration and carving.  Then it is time to find my receptive for stew in anticipation of a hearty Halloween dinner to be eaten in between receipt of visitors.