Spooks and Gatherings

Friday, October 30, 2009
After a couple snowy weeks, the weather has shifted towards the upper 40s and rain – it feels like summer again!

The dark, damp, chilly weather looks very much as the end of October and the start of November should. While there’s no prediction of any snow tomorrow to rival the Halloween blizzard of 1991, a Halloween season doesn’t pass in this corner of the world without someone mentioning the storm that dumped more than two feet of snow in areas of the state over the course of four days. Most of the snow didn’t melt until well into May of the next year. I remember standing in my living room, dressed up as a dog that Halloween, while outside feet of snow fell down and, coincidentally, the café across the street burnt down. Needless to say, our trick-or-treating was brief that year, but whether that was because of the snow or just the extremely small size of the town we lived in at the time (population: 140), I can’t remember.

Even when exorbitant amounts of snow didn’t fall for the Halloween festivities, trick-or-treating remained a unique experience in northern Minnesota. Let’s just say we never had the luxury to “wear lingerie, put on animal ears and call it a costume,” like Tina Fey jokes in Mean Girls. During second and third grade, prime Halloween years, I went through a ballerina stage and dressed up as a ballerina and a hula dancer, respectively. It was all fun and games at the school sponsored parties, in the heated building, but when the trick or treating begun, my costume disappeared as layers of long underwear and snow pants were pulled on. I no longer felt like a ballerina. I felt like any elementary aged kid headed for the sledding hill. Of all my Halloween costumes, only the Pierrot clown costume was conducive to being pulled on over the snow pants.

Nowadays, I don’t dress up for Halloween and we really do very little to celebrate other than a few decorations sprinkled around the house. I thought about carving a pumpkin, but when push came to shove, I didn’t feel like purchasing a $7 pumpkin that would sit and rot on the front steps and probably make the neighborhood fox and pine marten rather ill. I think there’s some semblance of a Halloween party at work tomorrow, but I’m not scheduled and frankly am relieved to not devote creative energy into thinking up a costume. The best I could think of was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and the only real costume component I possess are the ruby red slippers.

Instead, now marks the shift in seasons. On Sunday, the restaurant will close down for nearly two months, and I’ll shift to cleaning cabins and hopefully writing, more. Now is when hot cocoa gets made more frequently, knitting projects are paid more attention, and I start to look for a good book to read. With Andy’s birthday socks and mittens finished up, it’s time to starting thinking about the Christmas knitting projects. I’m making excellent progress on a hat I started yesterday (and not such great progress in the writing world) and on the Duluth trip, I laid in the yarn for my mother’s present. Although it’s only the end of October, I know it’ll be a race against the clock to get that particular present completed.

It’s also the time when we thinking about gathering. Thanksgiving is looming and life has settled into a gentler rhythm now that summer’s officially come and gone. Last night, a friend and I joined some other area young adults for trivia night at the pizzeria. We placed second place, losing out by a single point, and still winning a $50 gift certificate to the establishment. A tradition may have been born.

In other news, the resident pine marten is back. Last night, Andy and I heard him scampering around on the roof top. Right now he’s bounding about the parking area, no doubt planning all sorts of mischief.

1 comment:

  1. Ah yes, the Hallowwen Blizzard of '91 ;-) I had to revise my costume that year to accomodate snowpants and a parka underneath...and we only got to go to the next door neighbors. Lame!


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