Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. It all started back when my spouse and I were courting. A Halloween party was one of our first dates. After our kids came long we enjoyed trick or treat and dressing them in costumes. We have had several spectacular spook houses. We always decorate for the occasion, carve pumpkins and savor the day on October 31.
To get in the mood for Halloween, I like to tell spooky stories, see horror movies and read scary tales. I always dust off Edgar Allan Poe and read some of his stuff and read the grandkids stories like the “Legend of Sleep Hollow.” It’s amazing how our fright threshold has changed through the years. What used to be frightening is now almost boring. This week I downloaded the original Frankenstein movie to show to a couple of the grandkids and get them in the Halloween mood. They almost fell asleep during the movie and when I asked them to rank it on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the scariest, they ranked it a two. What will it take to frighten kids 20 years from now? They will have to watch an actual ax murder.
This weekend we watched over some of the grandkids including an exchange student from Germany. I had worked for a couple of days putting together a great slide show on the State of Texas that illustrated a lot of neat stuff about the state. I set the whole thing to some terrific music including Willie Nelson singing “Beautiful, Beautiful Texas.” They didn’t have time to watch my production, but opted to go to a party where it turns out they saw “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” I guess it was appropriate since it is near Halloween, but the German student may now have the impression that we are a bunch of murderers who worship the macabre. I was surprised to hear from the student that they don’t celebrate Halloween in Germany. That’s where I thought Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolfman all started.
Anyway, everything seems to be getting in shape for Halloween. Shadows elongate in late afternoon, twilight lingers, the evenings are crisp and chilly and the moon and stars seem brighter in the night sky. A wandering cloud that temporarily obscures the moon conjures up the image of a ghost. All these are signs of Halloween and I’m ready on the porch. They are even putting up Christmas decorations in some of the stores, since this season starts at the stroke of midnight on October 31st. We now completely bypass Thanksgiving. That’s probably okay because there is not a lot to be thankful for these days.