You were late in bringing Halloween decorations down from the attic. In fact, for your first official ‘Empty Nester Halloween,’ you took a wee break from decorating, and simply set out some candles and clusters of green, orange and your favorite ‘ghost’ white pumpkins. Not that you ever channeled Martha Stewart and made Herculean efforts at Halloween design, but you will take a respite from spraying spider webs on bushes and hanging the plastic skeleton on the door.
You won’t even watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. And you may even take a whole year off from pumpkin-carving, altogether. The mere word carving connotes a degree of expertise–as in perfect slices of turkey, or chiseling a fine sculpture–not a word you’d use for your last-minute creations. For your first pumpkin back in 1987, you cut and hacked two small pumpkins to look like Bert and Ernie; ‘Bert’ even had a stalk that stuck up, just so, like a shock of his dark hair.
That being said, here’s what you will do, with great aplomb:
You will still buy oodles of candy, including all of your family favorites: Snickers, Milky Ways, Mike and Ikes, and Twizzlers (strawberry).
You will still be home in time to answer the door for the first early bird at five o’ clock. (You will be there, with bells on, as your friend, Alex, likes to say. She is a both true wordsmith and the queen of quaint old sayings, adages, aphorisms and the like–a future post).
But first, of all, for Halloween weekend, you will…
Go to the beach! And…better yet…on a girls’ trip! With five old friends from elementary and junior high school. More on this reunion next week.
You will join your friend, Sumner, you’ve known since you were born; another, Alex, from elementary school (when you first met she had on adorable knee-socks and loafers); Jane from Junior High, and Margaret from the neighborhood where you grew up. In later years you roomed with Jane in college, and shared a flat with Sumner in London. Margaret is kind enough to invite us to her parents’ lovely condo in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. They are dear friends, all. Together you all traveled from reading Nancy Drew novels while sprawled on Sumner’s porch wearing pedal-pushers and Red Ball Jet sneakers, to carpooling to 1970’s concerts in bell bottoms.
This year, you, too, will dress up…to go out to a wonderful seafood dinner, after a day of walking, biking, shopping and chatting non-stop. And on the drive there and back, you will shop for sweetgrass baskets along the way.
Happy Halloween to all!