I am adhering to the “no white after Labor Day” rule that my Mama taught me from a very early age, but here I am, a native Southern girl in the month of October, still scrounging around in tee shirts, shorts, and my favorite pair of well-worn sandals.
When it’s 80 degrees outside, it is impossible to think about turtleneck shirts, flannel pj’s and fleece lined boots.
I currently have two laundry baskets full of summer shirts and pants that I want to pack away in the attic, but I keep grabbing items out of them to wear. At this rate, I might have to decorate my July Fourth outfit with Christmas lights to get in the spirit of that holiday season.
Now on fall break, many are headed south to the fortunate beaches that managed to escape the destruction and devastation of Hurricane Ian. They are craving one last barefoot walk in the sand, a dip in the salt waters of the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, catching a wave on a surfboard, or an unobstructed view of a breathtaking sunset to post on social media.
Because it is not even Halloween yet, I was shocked last week when I went to a home goods store and saw Christmas trees on display. It was especially surprising since it was just a couple of weeks ago that they had outdoor patio furniture and umbrellas on display.
One holiday at a time, please merchandisers.
I want to enjoy mums, hay bales, scarecrows and jack-o-lanterns, hand out candy to our dwindling number of trick or treaters, and toast marshmallows over a bonfire. However, I am not a fan of pumpkin spice anything, which makes me somewhat of an oddball I suppose since it seems to be the current craze in everything from coffee to candles.
I want to savor the changing colors of the trees, watch football, sit outside, and enjoy fall evenings on the patio. Last week, I watched a busy little squirrel burying nuts in various spots and I wondered how on earth he could remember where he stashed them. He needs to teach me how to find all those treasures I put in a “safe place” never to be seen again.
Halloween has changed dramatically since I was a child. We lived across the street from a wonderful couple who hosted a neighborhood children’s party every year, which was well attended and greatly enjoyed. Having no children of their own, Milton and Becky went to a great deal of expense and preparation to ensure that we had fun at their annual gathering. We bobbed for apples, played games, feasted on punch, popcorn balls, candy, cupcakes and cookies. Dressed in our costumes, the ghosts, mummies, skeletons, cowgirls, pumpkins, princesses and scarecrows posed for group pictures and had no idea of just how special those memories would prove to be in years to come.
Our gracious hosts have gone to their eternal reward now, and all of us have all grown older and less inclined to wear any masks other than those suggested for the prevention of COVID.
When our own children were young, Halloween was a big event for them. I decorated the entire house and yard with flashing strobe lights, cobwebs (some of which were store bought), and played spooky music loudly on our front porch. It was so eerie that some of the smaller children were afraid to set foot in our yard.
There was a big pot of homemade chili on the stove for anyone who wanted some, and I dressed up in my witch’s hat and cape to welcome the steady flow of youngsters and their parents who dropped by to collect age-appropriate treats.
We did not have to worry about predators, hidden razor blades, or other evil wrongdoings during those years, and it saddens me to see all the dangers that lurk in current times.
No, I will not wear my white shoes and jeans now until next year after Memorial Day, and I won’t be ordering any pumpkin spice lattes, but I will savor the moments of fall and ignore the Christmas décor until after I dine on turkey and dressing in November.