I had this theory that I could save money buying costumes at 90% discount a few weeks after Halloween. 2012 was the first year I tried my theory out- I had the chickens buy some costumes they liked and packed them away. At the time, I had no idea that we would be celebrating this non-holiday in North Florida.
We got to Lulu two weeks before Halloween, with no idea where to trick-or-treat, and no idea what to do on the night. But...we were invited to a fabulous party put on by Ashley Cox and her mother, Cindy Douglas. I didn't know them very well at that point, but we jumped in, ready to go, ready to make friends. (I think I've done so much jumping in over the past three years that I's an inch shorter. I've put myself out there!)
This is the problem with buying costumes a year early- children change their minds. What looked great the year before seems pathetic when examined in the light of present likes and dislikes. Bowden- I cant even remember what he was. Oh, right. See that first picture up there? He wore his fake bearskin rug. He went as a bear. The other kids were game to wear what they picked out, but it was a pretty pathetic experiment.
I think, too, that the creative process of deciding "what you will be" this year is where the real fun of Halloween is.
This is our fourth summer in Florida- a number that amazes me. I still don't feel at home here, although I know my way around. I don't feel completely out of place in the supermarket, but I have this suspicion that everyone knows I'm not from here, and they know that they don't know me. That special kind of paranoia belongs to the homesick, and even while I acknowledge its foolishness, I still feel it.
Summers- I may have mentioned this before- are the worst.
It's partly an issue of comfort, or rather, of discomfort. The long summer days are hot and sticky, the bugs are ravenous and abundant, the plants are vindictive with thorns and poison, and the air itself is attempting to decompose your body 37% faster than air in dryer climes.* If there is a spring or pool to soak yourself in, it's fine, pleasant, even, because there are no ticks in the water, and you can usually avoid mosquitoes under the water. To Florida's credit, there are any nu…
The last week has been all craziness and preparation, poor schooling and frustration. After a long decline, my Umpa passed away on Tuesday...this picture, above, was of him before we left for Florida, and in the last three years, he has lost the joy and comfort of being alive. His death doesn't seem overwhelmingly sad in and of itself- he was 91 years old, in constant pain, and missing my Grandma all of the time. To be removed from suffering makes death a kindness.
It's what his death means to my family that makes it sad. This is our Patriarch- a man that presided over all aspects of our family with strong opinions and countless sayings. His generosity was unbelievable. He valued his family- he taught us all to value our family.
When my Grandma died five years ago, our cultural decline began- at her funeral, three separate cousins confided in me that Umpa was soon to follow- he felt this way, too, and longed for it, I think, although my Umpa was not a quitter, and if th…
This is Jack. He loves zip-ties and drawing. He has a best friend named Dan. He will be 10 in less than a month. His favorite food is "nutella crepes." He wants to be an artist. Or an actor. He wants to do a lot of different things, all at once.
This is Miles. He is 7- he will be eight in July. He likes lots of things in general and not so much specifically. He is a picky eater. He wants to sleep like a burrito, and never make his bed. He never has a problem finding a friend to play with on the playground- on any playground. His best friend is Michael.
These boys seek each other out, and want to play with each other, but at any moment- ANY MOMENT- it might become a violent and loud fight. What was play one second ago becomes a battle this second. The worst punishment I can give them is to not let them play with each other.