Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mandatory Halloween Activities

Last week, I packed up my summer clothes. We were getting close to the freezing mark at night and I found myself needing a jacket for the chilly journey to work in the mornings. So, I figured it was time. My closet is too small to host winter clothes and summer clothes simultaneously, so I swap them out seasonally. So, my flip-flops, tees, and capri pants were unceremoniously shoved into plastic totes, which were then stacked precariously in our basement.

What this means, of course, is that the temperature immediately skyrocketed to 76 degrees. Sunday was flat-out hot. It was in the 60s on Saturday. The kid had a friend over on Sunday and I all but begged the girls to play outside. "You won't see 76 again for at least eight months," I told them. They didn't look up from their iPads. Because Minecraft.

Anyway, we did some traditional October-y stuff over the weekend. On Saturday, we joined a group from our church at a farm (about an hour south of our house). It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed getting to know some of my church peeps a little better. We took a hay ride and learned about the farm's maple syrup operation and other stuff. As we rolled past a small herd of beef cattle, I overcame my urge to yell, "I don't eat your people!" to the cows. After the hay ride, our group hung out in the barn and had some lunch. I knew there wouldn't be anything there I could eat, so I had brought along a gargantuan Honey Crisp apple.

Next up was the corn maze. Believe it or not, I had never been in a corn maze. I was a little bit concerned because I have no sense of direction. I never knew just how bad my internal compass was until we went to Disney. At Epcot, my husband kept saying, "You're going the wrong way." And he was right every time - I was usually off by at least 90 degrees and sometimes by as many as 180. Thank goodness for GPS or I'd get lost in my own town.

It was windy, so that's why I looked like the Unabomber.
My main strategy with the corn maze was: follow the children. They seemed like they knew what they were doing. The farm also handed out clues to help visitors make their way through the maze. Other than a tantrum thrown by a pre-schooler in our group who was furious that he couldn't take two paths (in opposite directions) simultaneously, we all made it out just fine. The maze was divided into two parts. We'd already completed the first part, which took about 20 minutes. Part 2 was estimated to take about 45 minutes. Most of the members of our group decided to go for it. I decided to sit with my friend Michael who keeps getting body parts replaced and didn't think his new hip was up to the corn maze. Another friend from church stayed behind with her baby. So, we just hung out, enjoyed the weather, and tried desperately to keep the baby from eating wood chips. You have never seen a child so determined to eat a wood chip.

We ended the afternoon with a trip to the pumpkin patch. They even had a slide that took you from the top of the hill down to the pumpkins. Yes, I rode the slide. Did you have to ask? There is a certain appeal to the time-honored tradition of trudging through a muddy field to pick out your still-attached-to-the-vine pumpkin. I carefully selected the prettiest pumpkin with the most perfect "face side" and then when Halloween rolls around, I will use my limitless artistic skills to turn that pumpkin into a fanciful, magical jack-o-lantern . . . by which I mean that I will stab out some triangles with a steak knife.

By mid-afternoon, we were dirty and tired and I was getting hangry, because that apple could only do so much. So, we headed home, making a couple of stops on the way. I had some Kohl's cash (and a coupon, of course) so I bought Her Highness a pair of ugly boots she wanted.

On Sunday, after church I took the kid and one of her friends to a haunted house. The haunted house people set aside two days in October where they keep the lights on and let kids in during the day. It's a lot of fun (and only two bucks a person!). You get to take a train to the haunted house. Then, while you're waiting in line, people dressed up in various costumes toss candy and little trinkets out of the windows of the haunted house. The kid shoved her goodies into my purse. We were then escorted into the haunted house. The three of us wound our way through the various rooms. Kids from local organizations were dressed as ghouls and dead people and such, popping out around corners and attempting to scare us. One of them broke character, pointed at my daughter, and said, "Hey! I know you from summer camp!"

On the way back to the car, I noticed that one of the trinkets my daughter had received was a plastic magnifying glass. The day before, she had woken up with a pimple. She was trying to cover it up with her hair but I knew it was there. Before the haunted house, I told her that I was pretty sure that her zit was the scariest thing I'd see all day. Much to my amazement, she actually let me hold the magnifying glass up to her pimple and snap a quick photo. Don't say anything to her about the pimple, though. She was mortified enough and I know some of you people have a lot of trouble keeping things to yourself.

So, that was the weekend. Lots of fun stuff. My daughter is a rock star for Halloween. We aren't taking her to as many activities this year because, to be honest, most are geared towards younger children. But don't worry - she'll still have several opportunities to wear her costume. She gets her braces off tomorrow so she is excited about being able to eat her Halloween candy this year. Last year she had a palate expander in her mouth and it seemed like every house in town handed out nothing but Jolly Ranchers and caramel blobs.

1 comment:

The Lovely One said...

Enjoy the fall activities! It was 94 degrees today.... it's really hard to get into the Halloween spirit when we still want to use the pool!