Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What does October Mean to You?

October is here! That means fall, pumpkins, cornstalks, and Halloween. Down on the farm, my nephew and his buddies will open the Haunted Forest, which he does each year. Hundreds of people come out to ride through the pine forest which was once a Christmas Tree farm my sister Gay and I sweated over each summer. When my nephew bought it, he let the trees grow up, and now he works one month a year and makes more than we did, I think. I've never been through the Haunted Forest which was Santa's Forest years ago, but I hear that the creative ways used to scare the pants off all who enter is beyond imagination. My friend, Sue, said she took her young grandson and he was terrified and she was just as scared.

I was never much for Halloween. When we were kids, we did not trick or treat. When you live on a farm, the neighbors are few and far between. At school we drew pumpkins and colored them orange. We cut out black cats and gave them green scary eyes. But that was it. Sometimes the  teachers gave us Halloween candy which I never liked.

But all that changed after Barry and I met the Clarkes, Linda and Dick. This couple held the best Halloween parties ever. They transformed their house, their property and themselves into a fantasy of what you imagine Halloween to be. They became characters so real I didn't recognize my friends. Linda became the ugliest witch, long nose, pointed hat and fingernails that frightened me.
Her green face completely hid the pretty woman I knew. Dick, a tall serious man for the most part, opened the door to greet us. Who was this ugly hunchback with wild  hair and distorted features?

Igor and the Witch with her Cabbage Patch doll

Here they are again, another party, another year

Not to be outdone, Barry found a mask that became the basis for the character he created. He dressed in overalls, packed on a paunch, and developed a voice for the old man he became when he put on this mask. We  went to  the party together, but once there we separated. He came in after I  had been there a while. No one knew who he was. He stayed in character all evening  and those of us who knew him had the most fun watching him fool his  friends as he introduced himself as Lonzo Carp.

Carrie Council, my niece, and Lonzo Carp aka Barry Beall

The best outfit I  ever wore was cut-off jeans and a tee shirt with the words Barry's Old Lady on the back. The cut-offs emphasized my best feature, my long legs. Barry and I went to that party as a motorcycle couple, Hell's Angels type, wearing chains and leather, and boots. Dick said a few years ago that he still remembers me in that Motorcycle Mama costume. That makes me smile. (I asked them to dig out these old photos for me to post.)

Glenda And Barry dressed as members of a motorcycle gang

Now my favorite things about October do not include my birthday on the 22nd, not Halloween or parties or trick or treat. My favorite thing about October here in the mountains is the crisp dry air, and the leaves--the oranges, reds, yellows, golds, and all shades of each that brighten every day;The colors that decorate all the store entrances.

It is a time when I enjoy driving around the countryside, seeing doorways garnished with pumpkins, scarecrows, and corn shocks. Festivals with country music and clogging, vendors selling canned jellies and jams, wood carvings, and home made aprons, occur every weekend. Apple butter and gallon jugs of cider gleam in the sunshine on make shift stands along mountain roads.

What does October mean to  you? Got any good October memories? Share them with us in Comments.


DJan said...

Fun parties all right. I used to love Halloween parties and dressing up for them. That is far in the past now. I should look up some Halloween pictures myself! :-)

Abbie Taylor said...

When Bill was alive, I bought a huge bag of Halloween candy and distributed some of the treats to the few irchins who came to our door. Bill ate the rest. On October 30th three years ago, Bill passed, and since then, I haven't observed Halloween. I don't like candy, and since there's no one else to eat leftovers, why bother?

Glenda C. Beall said...

DJan, I wish you would hunt up some old Halloween pictures of yourself. I'd love to see them.

Glenda C. Beall said...

I understand, Abbie. We don't have kids come by here in our neighborhood. In fact, in our little town, Halloween trick or treat is held on the Courthouse Square with businesses handing out candy and entertainment for the kids. They say it is safer and I'm sure it is. Also, since this is a rural area, it gives all children a place to go in their costumes and have fun.

Joan Ellen Gage said...

October is a favorite month for me. I love the high color and the drama of it all. It is also my birthday month, as it is for Glenda. So that adds to the mix. Enjoy it, Glenda!

Glenda C. Beall said...

Hi Joan. I think we were born in the prettiest month of the year -- at least in our area.Too soon it will be winter again. But for now, let's enjoy.

Glenda C. Beall said...

This is a comment that was emailed to me.

Hi Glenda –

I just caught up on your blogs.

Re: the one about Month/Day we were born. I’m an Aries (April) and was born on Saturday. Much of the Aries sign doesn’t fit me, I don’t think. As far as the day of the week – “Saturday’s child works hard for a living” has been pretty true, I think. J

As far as what October means (meant) to me, for some reason it’s always a sad month – starting when the shadows really begin to lengthen. I have no idea why that’s true. I’ve wondered if something happened at that time of year that’s not a good memory, but have never been able to figure out what it was if that’s true.

Pat D.