Mirth and Musings Part 17

IMAG0105

I was just leaving my place the other day to do some shopping and driving up the highway noticed two jack-o-lanterns decorating some porch steps.  They caught my eye for a number of reasons, that I am on the lookout generally this time of year for folks to begin setting out pumpkins on porches as they bring them home from lot, farms, markets, etc. and because these particular ones had already shrunken inwards. I determined that they were in service from the night previous (otherwise I am certain to have noticed them before) and thought it an odd thing considering its quite early to be putting these winter squash under the knife. It left me wondering just why they’d been sacrificed so soon.  Early celebration of Autumnal glee?  Birthday party?  General exuberance? Dry run?  I suppose I will never know – just another Halloweenesque mystery that will remain unsolved.  I do however appreciate the effort.  It is just a simple thing, really, whether in abundance from your favorite pumpkin ranch stand or picked up as an afterthought as you roam a supermarket, the bright orange beckons and betides.  A definite herald of the Season. Whether sitting alone atop a mantelpiece or countertop or in mass upon the porch steps.  Minuscule or jumbo, tall, fat, round, smooth, pebbled, even white, gray or cinderella, this annual tribute to the Eve is welcome in its forms and prized in its function.  Though diminutive in comparison to grand displays of Haunters everywhere, it remains the definitive measure of Halloween involvement, maybe even more than the porch light.   The superlative harbinger of mischief, mayhem and madcap.

IMAG0174

Moonlit Revel

This one I will preface by saying you may have noticed in my header the lines from a poem that I change occasionally.  I post it here in its complete form, I hope you enjoy it.  The work was inspired by this stamp image that I once purchased after customizing with a line from my poem.  I am getting these again this year for my Halloween invites, you can purchase by the sheet, these are a great product offered by Zazzle.com go online and pick and choose and edit to your hearts desire.  Can’t wait to use these again. Enjoy!

File_000 (1)

“Stroll with me beneath the Moon,

for surely They’ll be coming soon

to share with us the deepening gloom,

that must be Halloween.

Fellow Revelers walk this Night,

as They awake from yearly plight

deprived til now of sweet delight,

that must be Halloween.

Mischievousness the only goal,

for these few hours on parole.

And none but They could be so droll

that must be Halloween.

Sorry am I that They must wait,

upon the Eve to cross the gait.

Alas that is Their yearly Fate,

that must be Halloween.

All too soon the Night will fade,

and All shall pass into the Shade

to wait upon the next parade,

that must be Halloween.

Perhaps you’ll stroll with me once more,

when Gate stands wide and Spirits tour.

No other sight stir’s my hearts core,

that must be Halloween.”

-AE

Autumn Eyes

70JFwxBlood moon at zenith

From earth fog will rise

Prospects awaiting

Seen through autumn eyes

 

Cunning and patient

While folly foils fear

Silently stalwart

As hot breath draws near

 

Wind winds the cornstalks

A deep throaty hiss

Blackbirds go silent

A sign alls amiss

 

Ripe rabble en route

Yet focused on farce

Caught within whirlwind

Too beguiled to parse

 

Soon passing threshold

Point of no return

Eyes glowing hotter

Revealing the yearn

 

Rustling unbidden

And shifts unexplained

Imminent movement

From malice unchained

 

Traversing corn maze

Dupes still unaware

As soon all succumb

To Halloweens scare

- by A.E. October, 2016

Mirth and Musings Part 12 – Waxing Nostalgic

charles-e-martin-the-new-yorker-cover-october-26-1968

Going to age myself a bit here, but couldn’t help it.  While sorting through my TNY  collection this Charles E. Martin cover made me smile wistfully as I remembered something from my childhood; something I couldn’t wait for when school days began in September as Halloween usually prompted the first one of the year.  The classroom party.  The chalkboard covered with the list of necessaries for a decent shindig and Mrs. Gresham or Mr. Argast signing up kids next to each one, invariably the “paper plates and napkins” and “cups” would go to that same kid in the front row whose arm would shoot up the moment the teacher asked.  I don’t know, maybe he was baking challenged.  The rest of us divvied up the cookies, brownies, other varied treats of no name, bottles of pop, etc for the Friday party. I remember classroom games, like heads up seven up and chalkboard hangman.  I remember a parade of students walking around the quad proudly displaying homemade costuming.  Teachers dressed as their alter egos (or true natures) best suggested.  Trick or treating room to room with each classroom decked out along its own theme.  The truncated lessons to make time to just enjoy the holiday undiminished by political correctness.  Madcap and mayhem would eventually ensue in the sugar tide, everyone going home clutching a paper plate with various goodies to enjoy over the weekend shared with family, if they survived the bus ride or walk home that is.

Mirth and Musings Part 11

A lovely New Yorker cover from my collection. Edna Eicke has captured a wonderful moment.  Everything the night should be, the “ghosts” peering through the gate to judge if the walk is worth the risk.  I think the lighted windows highlighting the porch seal the deal.  I love the importance of the porch, the threshold, the approach to the door.  So much anticipation, exhilaration, consternation.  You get it.  Sometimes with haunters its meant to be a very long walk, even when its a hop, skip and jump to the door from the sidewalk.  Like running the bases through a gauntlet, real or imagined.  With only the thought of reaching the porch, the door, safety always to be found at home, even if for just a moment, someone else’s.  A lovely tradition I think.  Thanksgiving has the turkey shared with family and friends, Christmas gets the tree with thoughtful gifts to be given out amongst nearest and dearest.  On Halloween we invite neighbors and strangers alike to our doors.  We wait upon the knock, the doorbell, we pause and savor the shrieks and hesitant approach of children and adults through the keyhole or from between the blinds.  The magical ‘say “trick or treat!” and enter’ that signals a kindred spirit whereupon we open our doors and distribute rewards for stopping by.  Simply marvelous.

NYH

Rogers Gardens

Halloween-Boutique-Opening-Something-Wicked-This-Way-Comes

 

I have attended the first day opening of the Rogers Gardens Halloween Event for the past few years and I will be there early to enjoy it this year as it looks to be especially creepy.  The four rooms they usually design/decorate traverse beautiful to bizarre, worth the stop if you are near Corona del Mar, Ca.  See you there? Click pic to link to site.

The first catch of the Season!

IMG_5706

 

Was visiting my local Pottery Barn today, hoping to catch a glimpse of what I’ve seen on their website and was surprised to find a few samples of this years’ offering on a table in the back.  I grabbed a set of their Jack O’ Lantern Salt & Pepper set.  Was checking out at cash wrap and the nice lady “J” was pleased to show me a couple of treats “from the back”.  These included items not to be found on their website at this time! Yay! I purchased the above, a Black Cat Wine Topper, a Witch Hat Wine Stopper, a Crystal Skull Wine Stopper.  It was awful nice of her to give me the sneak peak and I really appreciated her thoughtfulness.  Can’t wait for more…

Snatches from October

IMG_4975My sister found this in the back of the hall closet, and if ever I needed reminding of why Halloween is my favorite holiday, it could not have been made more clear to me then my reaction to seeing this simple bottle of hand soap. My Christmas tree was up, Thanksgiving was past and successful, decorations of red and green everywhere I look. Nothing so far has spun such a reaction to the smile that spread wide across my face when I looked upon this orange and black treat. I couldn’t keep from staring at it, sitting atop my bathroom counter, happy in the knowledge that it would be there until the end of the year. A little reminder of that which makes me truly happy. There is still Christmas shopping to do, presents to wrap, cookies to bake and cards to fill and send to family and friends. This little spot of orange and black will keep my Halloween spark alive through it all.

Mirth and Musings Part 7

The weather here on the west coast is definitely Fall-like at last, chill temperatures and brisk gusts of wind remind me of why I prefer this time of year.  Time to break out the scarves and mittens, flannels and fuzzy slippers.  Just to make cozying up that much more enjoyable.  The approaching Thanksgiving holiday makes me pause and reflect, as I still see pumpkins decorating porches and sills and tabletops.  We always save one or two from October to enjoy through November – a bright orange reminder – it’s interesting how the pumpkin, the idea of it, transitions from the herald of giving treats to the herald of giving thanks.  Many of us will close the holiday with that slice of spicy sweetness.  It’s a fitting way to bookend Autumn. Enjoy this New Yorker cover from 1973, a house simply celebrating the season.

New Yorker Magazine, Stevenson, 1973

whitehaunthouseNYC