Posts Tagged ‘halloween’


There’s a blogger I enjoy reading although his posts are often sad. He is Bereaved Single Dad. Subtitle: “A Dad trying to cope with the loss of his partner and becoming a single parent.”

He lives in an isolated English village where his main goal is to make a happy life for his son, whom he describes as being on the autism spectrum. It’s a challenge partly because there is a lack of empathy at the local school and very few special needs services. The other issue is that Bereaved really doesn’t do anything to take care of himself, which to my way of thinking is bound to affect his son’s happiness.

But the two of them do seem to have some wonderful times together, and lately I’ve been enjoying a series of posts on their plans for a fun Halloween. Here is the post called “Halloween 3.”

“This Halloween has to make our son happy. Failure is not an option. Best way to achieve that simple goal was to let him choose what spooky activities we will fill our time with. At the start of the week he came up with his list. …

” * Halloween Costume. Dad I think we should try and go for a Freddie look. We don’t buy a costume, we see what we can rustle up. …

” * Watching as many Scooby Doo DVDs as we can find. Finish off with his three favourites. Boo Brothers, Kiss and Witches Ghost.

” *Watch a Hammer Horror movie. These are atmospheric but relatively tame these days.

” * Have a Lego building competition. This year it’s who can make the best haunted castle.

” * Make a spooky music playlist.

” * Make up a Halloween story. Dad, this year I think it’s a couple of kids stuck in a scary computer game. …

” * Any TV has to be spooky-related like Ghostbusters.

” * Monster knockout competition to decide the greatest ever horror character.

” * Apple Bobbing

” * Late night reading in the garden of Hound of the Baskervilles.

” * All dog walks have to be after dark.

” * Build a garden monster out of what we can find lying around. Then leave it for nature (or the dog) to dispose. …

” * Eat the cookie/biscuit game. Put a cookie on your forehead and then without using your hands try to somehow get the cookie into your mouth and it’s the first person to eat the cookie wins.

” * Jelly Bean roulette. We have stocked up on some new flavours. Cat food, Snail, Earthworm, Earwax, Squid.

” * Make Pumpkin Chilli Soup. Even I can manage that.”

You can read this devoted dad’s blog here.



Read Full Post »




Is that a ghost emerging from the earth beneath the sidewalk or a piece of sycamore bark? Is that the Grim Reaper scratching around inside the wall of your bedroom or a squirrel? Is that a witch tapping at the kitchen window or a tree branch?

Is that an invading army at the border with tanks and surface-to-air missiles or ragtag neighbors praying for compassion?

It’s OK on Halloween to imagine dangers that don’t exist, but how about on the next day, All Saints Day, we go back to being logical.

Read Full Post »


We join John’s family or Suzanne’s family for Halloween on alternate years. This year, we were scheduled to hang out in John’s neighborhood, where a park at the end of the street bubbles over with festivity and John serves as the master of ceremonies for the costume fashion show.

Leading up to that event, I took pictures of the fun ways Halloween lovers decorated this year — noting, for example, the proliferation of giant spiders on houses and some upside-down zombies in an otherwise innocent-looking yard.

Suzanne’s family cut Jack O’Lantern designs using templates from the Internet. I’m posting the cute owl, but they also carved a crocodile, an octopus, and a cat.

the costume parade























Read Full Post »

Photo: Evensi

My husband and I alternate between our two sets of grandchildren on Halloween. Last year we got a kick out of seeing John perform the role of MC for the costume fashion show at the park on his street. Although we won’t be there this year, I’m glad I got to see my oldest grandson in this year’s Yoda costume and his sister as a mermaid. Her puzzlement about the way the bottom of her costume was cut led to explanations of mermaid anatomy and collaboration on mermaid drawings.

This year we join the Providence grandkids (one gentleman fire chief, one lady construction worker) for the gathering at Brown Street Park and the annual parade through blocked-off Providence streets.

Brown Street Park has many Friends (changed to “Fiends” for the holiday). It’s in an upscale neighborhood near the university and flourishes because of people who both care about it and know how to raise money. If only all Providence neighborhoods were like that (which I say because behind one place where I volunteer, there’s a filthy campsite where drugs are sold. I am told the city cleaned it up once, but the vacant lot reverted to its current sorry state. How I wish the city would try again and neighbors would feel that they could go in and plant a garden or something!) But I digress.

If you go to the Friends of Brown Street Park website, here, you will find a well-organized group of volunteers soliciting help from other potential volunteers for initiatives such as the Hallloween party and parade, the summer concert series and the Earth Day clean-up.

In poor communities, good things can happen, too, but no outsider can come in and decree what those good things should be. First come efforts to build trust among all neighbors, as suggested here, then come deliberations about what neighbors actually want. I am going to look into getting the city to deal with that no-longer-vacant lot. It’s so disturbing for children who attend nearby activities. All neighborhoods should be safe for children.

Read Full Post »

There’s something mysterious about this time of year that brings out more than nostalgia. Halloween’s naughtiness license (to do mischief like moving the neighbors’ swing set from their backyard and putting it in the middle of the driveway) is really a creativity license.

I always looked forward to making the funniest Jack o’ Lantern, or the scariest. And wearing a pink taffeta princess dress (which unfortunately was not visible under all my outer layers on cold Halloweens). And parties (did anyone ever actually catch an apple by bobbing for apples?).

One year at school, the big kids made a Tunnel of Horrors for the younger ones. I was new to that school, and holding on to others as I stumbled up and down stairs in the dark, I had no idea where I was. It was spooky in a fun way — scary faces lit from below by flashlights, ghostlike figures brushing by, skeletons dropping down, haunted wailing, sudden swaths of spider webs … and a witchy voice croaking, “Come closer, Dearie, put your hand in the bowl of eyeballs” (meticulously peeled grapes in water)!

Imagine the creative brainstorming sessions that went into choosing gags that could be pulled off in darkness without breaking anyone’s bones! I was in rapture. I went home that weekend and created a mini version of a Tunnel of Horrors for my younger siblings.


Read Full Post »

Usually when I ask adults, “What are you going to be for Halloween?” they laugh, and really I am just joking.

But when I posed that question to a co-worker yesterday, he said, “A cereal killer.” He told me with some enthusiasm that he was going to paste the front panel of a cereal box on a red-splattered T-shirt.

I had to laugh. “Well, good for you, Nick!” I forgot to ask what killer cereal he was going to use. Probably one loaded with sugar.

Although I don’t have a picture of my colleague the Cereal Killer, I can show you a zombie in John’s yard, decorated pumpkins on his steps, an upside-down bat carving at the the restaurant Trade, and a stormy sky that a witch just passed through. (You’ll have to take my word for that.)





Read Full Post »

In my part of New England, Daylight Savings is drawing to a close with cold, wet, dark presentiments of the season to come. Seems like a good time to think about the fun we had in October.

Artist Don Eyles floated a pyramid in Fort Point Channel until a storm blew up. Suzanne, my husband, and our middle grandchild visited the sheep and other animals at the Audubon Society’s Drumlin Farm.

At work, we had a pumpkin-decorating contest. My team did Miss Piggy, porcine Muppet diva, to use the Wall Street Journal identifier. (Left to right, Elvis, the Monopoly Man, Miss Piggy, Edgar Allan Poe, Chia Pet, and Gonzo.) A Halloween band marched surrounded by babies, kids, and adults in costume all around blocked-off Providence thoroughfares near the Brown Street Park.

More quietly, chrysanthemums soaked up sunshine.

Here is a bit of background on the pyramid, in case you are interested.

“In 1998 Fort Point artist Don Eyles floated his first pyramid in Fort Point Channel, marking the water as a venue for art and opening the doors to years of temporary art installations to come. The installation was a bold move, made independently, and completely self-funded.”

“ ‘Consider the history that has passed along the cobbled streets of Boston — all the men and women, famous or unremembered, who have walked and rode here … always with granite cobblestones beneath their feet and wheels. I have long dreamed of making this history tangible, by constructing a great pyramid from the cobblestones uprooted by the City’s recent development.’ ”

More on the Pyramid and other Fort Point projects at tumblr, here.




Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: