Happy Halloween 2017

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too. ~Samuel Butler, English author

Seriously, Mama? Domer’s Karate Kid outfit?

This is the best you can come up with for my Trick or Treating costume?

Okay, fine. Now bring on the cookies!

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Celebrating Halloween

Halloween has never been one of my favorite holidays.

Sure, I did trick-or-treating with My Favorite Domer when he was little, and we decorated the house and enjoyed candy corn.

But too much mischief takes place at that time, all under the disguise of “harmless fun.” And too many adults try to take over the dressing up from what should be a kids’ occasion (something about seeing a “witch” behind the teller’s counter at my bank doesn’t sit well with me!)

But my fondest memory is when Domer was little and in day care. There, they learned by heart a darling story by Erica Silverman called Big Pumpkin.

“Once there was a witch who wanted to make pumpkin pie. So she planted a pumpkin seed. She weeded and watered, and after a while a sprout poked through. And then a pumpkin grew. And it grew. And it grew. And then it grew some more.”

The witch tries to yank the pumpkin off the vine but fails. Along come, in turn, a ghost, a vampire, and a mummy. All these characters try to remove the pumpkin from its vine, but they, too, are unsuccessful.

Finally, a tiny bat appears, acknowledges the size of the pumpkin, and volunteers to help.

The witch, ghost, vampire, and mummy survey the size of the little bat in relation to that of the pumpkin and start to laugh.

“I may not be big and I may not be strong but I have an idea,” the bat says.

By holding onto one another and working together, the creatures are able to remove the pumpkin from the vine. The witch makes pumpkin pie and invites the others to her place to have a slice.

Then she takes one of the seeds and plants it for the next time.

The story’s not scary, the rhyming is age-appropriate, the lesson is reasonable and something most of us want our kids to hear.

So, instead of competing to see who can dream up the scariest costume or get away with the most mischief or gorge ourselves on the most sweets, perhaps we might consider curling up with our little ones and introducing them to a good book.

How do you celebrate Halloween?

Rainy days

It’s been another dreary, wet day in the Midwest where I live, the kind of day where I don’t dare send my long-haired dog outside to play and chase squirrels. Wet fur just plain stinks; besides, it takes forever to blow-dry and brush out his luxurious coat!

Days like this remind me of countless Halloweens, though, when, as a child, I’d have to bundle up in a winter coat over my clever costume and race between houses doing the Trick-or-Treat thing. Somehow, by the time I got home — dripping wet, freezing, with a ruined costume — the whole thing paled in importance. Perhaps that’s one reason Halloween has never been one of my favorite holidays.

Oh, I know other people love it — love the dressing up, love the parties, love the decorations, love the candy — but I really could care less! I don’t like being wet, I don’t particularly like being cold, and I hate the feeling of “begging” for candy from neighbors (some of whom don’t even talk or wave to you any other day of the year).

When My Favorite Domer was little, I can remember only one Halloween that was beautiful — perfectly clear sky, big ole glowing moon, temperature just right. I think I had as much fun as he did strolling from house to house, visiting with the neighbors, and watching them pretend to guess who the little guy was behind the mask!

But when your kids outgrow Trick-or-Treat time, you have two choices. You can either put your porch light on and distribute candy to other kids, trying to guess who they are, or you can hole up in the dark and wish the entire scene to just go away. Neither sounds very appealing, does it?

Maybe I’ll just put a costume on my dog and see if we can’t find a party instead!