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Happy Halloween!

Whenever I think of Halloween, I think of one of the only songs I remember from elementary school:

H – A – Double “L” – O – W – Double “E” – N spells Halloween!

Singing that song to myself not only helps me make sure I’ve spelled “Halloween” correctly, but also takes me back to celebrating as a kid. I go back some of my different costumed identities: a cowgirl with a cap gun and stick horse, a pioneer girl with a straw hat, Cat Woman in a plastic mask, and way back in the day one darn cute pumpkin. I go back to Halloween parties and parades at school, and carving pumpkins and hanging fall decorations at home. I go back to trick-or-treating – rural living style – having my mom drive us around to the far-flung neighbors because there were long driveways, no sidewalks and miles in between. And I go back to hearing about how my dad, left home while we were trick-or-treating, scared the bejesus out of a poor neighbor kid who came to the door for candy.

Now that I’m all grown up and too old for trick-or-treating, I’m treating myself to the other joys of one of my favorite season’s main holidays.

Last year, my boyfriend and I went to a u-pick pumpkin farm owned by a friend and spent the evening carving pumpkins.

Pumpkin Picking

We found our pumpkins! For the record, I picked the big one and he was the gentleman for carrying that behemoth.

Carving station

Carving station

All done!

All done!

This year, the weekend he was in town and we had planned to go pumpkin picking, the weather refused to cooperate and rained the entire time. So, I’m making do with one of the ceramic pumpkins that decorated the house when I was growing up.

Pumpkin

With the move earlier this year, I’m also getting hit with Halloween spirit as I walk around my new neighborhood. There are lots of families in the area, so I’m treated to house after house covered in spider webs and other spooky wares as Weasley and I go for our daily walks.

Ghoulish Graveyard

Ghoulish Graveyard

Spider's Web

Spider’s Web

Halloween Hotspot

Halloween Hotspot

Probably the best thing about my neighborhood’s Halloween spirit is the parade that shut down the main street on Sunday afternoon. Everyone was invited to dress up and walk in the parade and there were costume categories for pets, kids, strollers and the like. Even the costume judges marched in the parade and got into the spirit!

The Distinguished Judges

The Distinguished Judges

Weasley and I didn’t get dressed up, but we did make our way down to help line the parade route for everyone else. And was the parade route packed! Between paraders and parade goers, it was tough to see to the next block.

Parade

And I must say, I was impressed by the creativity of the costumes I saw. We didn’t stick around to see which costumes won, but here were some of my favorites:

UPS

The little boy inside was even dressed head to toe in brown.

NSA

The NSA kept watch as the tank made its way down the street

Pirate

In my opinion, the best 3-legged dog costume…and yes there was more than one 3-legged dog at the parade.

Ghost

I loved the old school sheet ghost costume. When everyone tries to be witty and original, I can’t help but love the classic.

I think the hardest part of growing up and not going trick-or-treating is deciding whether or not you’re going to dress up at all. Last year, I forwent the costume and met up with some friends downtown for drinks and window seats to DC’s Halloween spectacle, complete with napkin score cards to rate the passers by. This year I’m dressing up [sort of] to partake in my office’s Halloween Spooktacular party and to hand out candy. It’s yet to be determined if any trick-or-treaters will make their way to my apartment building, but I’ll be ready with some candy for them [I made sure to pace myself and not eat it all before the big day] just in case they do.

Trick-or-Treat!

Trick-or-Treat!

Then, like a good Catholic, I’ll make my way to Mass tomorrow for All Saints Day [or All Hallows Day if you’re old school…hence the reason we’re celebrating “All Hallows Eve” tonight] to say a prayer in honor of all those who have died and attained sainthood.

I guess grown-up Halloween isn’t all that bad!

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