Tag Archives: Halloween

Courage at Twilight: Waiting at the Door

With Halloween falling on a Sunday, the local festivities played out mostly on Saturday. Mom and Dad had bought bags of candy—the good stuff, like Hershey and Nestle and Mars—and brought a card table up from the basement.  Dad bivouacked at the card table by the front door, poised to answer the Big Ben doorbell chime.  He greeted each costumed trick-or-treater with a hardy “Hello!” laughing with surprise and delight at the little children in costume.  “You look so great!” he cheered as he held out the bowl.  The children reached into the bowl and offered polite Thank Yous, and the parents waved and said, “Hello Nelson!  So good to see you!”  Starting at 4:00 p.m., Dad sat waiting by the door, reading his book, yellow highlighter at the ready.  Each time he rose to open the door took longer than the time before.  Seeing he had reached his limit, I relieved him at 7:30 to enjoy his dinner with Mom.  When the doorbell rang, I opened the door and cheered, “You look so great!” as I held out the candy bowl.  Each child took one candy, until one older child asked bluntly, “How many?”  “One is good,” I answered, “but two is better.”  Mom called from her recliner, “Give them each a handful!”

 

Dad greeting trick-or-treaters.

 

My daughter and her husband, characters from the movie Up, giving balloons to children at the neighborhood “trunk-or-treat” in Houston, Texas.

 

Courage at Twilight: Dad’s Secret Chili Recipe

We drove around the block to the church at 5:30 p.m. for the annual pot luck Chili Chocolate party. I had assumed we would not go, what with the difficulty of walking, etc.  But Dad had announced the day before that he was making a crock pot full of chili, and reminded us the party started at 5:30.  I placed the chili crock pot and the chocolate pudding cake in the back of the faithful Suburban and drove the short distance.  The church cultural hall was already crowded with smiling costumed families.  Several long tables boasted two dozen pots of all variety of chilis and chowders, with another table for corn breads and several more for chocolate desserts.  I met a few more neighbors, including Kolani, Joshua, Lacey, Heidi, and Zane.  I fit six sampler cups on my plate and filled them with six soups.  My favorite was the creamy salmon chowder with potatoes and corn.  A neighbor did what Dad did not want me to do: she brought him a plate with filled sampler cups.  When I thanked her, she quipped with a grin, “I just decided to barge in and bring him a plate.”   Carolyn, sitting next to us, asked me to dish up a cup of Dad’s chili for her.  I found the crock pot empty and announced that Dad’s chili apparently was very popular—it was all gone.  Dad was obviously pleased, both that he had brought the chili and that people liked it.  As usual, I ate a bit too much and felt very full.  And I was powerless at the chocolate table, although I only nibbled at the six desserts I crammed onto my plate.  As I retrieved our empty crock pot, Rick asked me if I had brought the chili in our crock pot.  “Nelson did,” I answered.  “It was my favorite chili of all,” he enthused, “just like my mom used to make.”  I reported that to Dad, too.  Mom said gratefully, “Thanks, Nelson, for making the chili and taking us there tonight.  I enjoyed myself!”

Beware the Dragon Witch!

Happy Halloween!!

Amy could not, of course, leave Sunshine out of Halloween, so she made him a costume hat.  Cute little Sunshine became the dreaded Dragon Witch.  Well, with a pink witch’s hat and a pink spider, Sunshine can’t be too scary.  Which is good, because Sunshine, although a thorny dragon lizard, is a gentle pleasant little beast.  So I think Amy has struck the perfect scary-cute balance, don’t you!

Happy Halloween!

Smashed

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I have lived alone for 1 year now: 52 weeks: 365 days.  The highlight of my life is to see my children.  They grew a gorgeous garden this year, and shared with me their harvest: sweet corn; swiss chard; cucumbers.  And a pumpkin.  Their front porch is adorned with two dozen perfect orange pumpkins.  Hyrum and Hannah offered me one, perfectly round, with a spiraling stem. The pumpkin reminded me of them each night when I came home from work.  It looked so cute sitting by the front door, until one evening I found it smashed on the rocks.

SMASHED

To Whoever
smashed my pumpkin:
I wondered
how long
my pumpkin would survive
you.

Not long.

My little daughter
raised this pumpkin
in her garden.

I love her.
I do not get to see her much.
I miss her.

So, I set by my door
her pumpkin, my pumpkin.
It reminded me of her.

I dared to hope
you would let it be.
But you smashed
my little girl’s
pumpkin.

(PS.  She gave me another yesterday.  One can hope.)