Sunday, October 31, 2004
As things go about the Haupertonian International Combine World Headquarters and Manor, Sunday was a rather simple day. We got up early and since the Grandparents were here, we all got to go to the 0830 Mass. The children were fairly well behaved and entertained the ushers enough that the were showered with gifts of candy intermittently throughout the service. I had prepared three donations for the collection so the kids got to throw money at the basket when it went by. This was a nice distraction for them. Helps to foster that sharing trait. Of course, when it it their money, that might be different. Later in the evening, they did try to share some candy with our neighbor, Gus. I'll get into that later, but those little innocent actions of profound grace got me right in the heart. After the church outing, Amish-Dad and I chopped wood. We chopped a lot of wood. Ornery, cantankerous wood ... which we countered with being just as ornery and cantankerous. Determined or obstinate ... either way, we win. After we burnt our last ounce of sugar and testosterone, we sat down with the kids outside and carved up the pumpkins. The kids were fascinated. They became even more interested when we started pulling the 'guts' out. At first, when we showed Alexis the end product Jackolantern, she was a little intimidated. She soon shook off any precepts of fear and proudly modeled with the gutted gourd. We later put the Jackolanterns with lightbulbs inside on the front porch and lit them up. They glowed bright orange and were quite a sight. The Mrs retained the seeds and other assorted innards for me to process later. Picking seeds out of that mess was tedious. After copious rinsing and cleaning, I placed them on sheets and gave them a heavy coat of sea salt. Roasted, they are tasty indeed. I eat them whole, the Mrs prefers to take the hulls off. I attempted to influence Alexis by giving her a whole seed, the Mrs protested but the conversion had already started. That girl will eat anything!
With the sun slowly making its way to bid a farewell to October, the Mrs, kids and I hit to street to canvas the immediate neighborhood for goodies. Mostly, to show off the outfits in benefit of the Proud Mrs and I, we go to houses where we are familiar with the occupants. Our first stop was to say hello to our Democrat neighbors. Sharon complains that her Kerry sign got stolen, I offer condolences. In the end, the signs only inflame and annoy. In no way do they influence. One of the main reasons I did not put any signage in my yard. I'm not out to prove anything and I am even less interested in becoming a target for the less disciplined citizenry. Our second stop was to say hello to Gus and Irene. The minute Irene opened the door, both Jacob and Alexis burst past her to invade her home. The Mrs and I were caught COMPLETELY off guard. We ran them down pretty quickly while Gus and Irene watched on with total bemusement. Jacob tried this tack twice more in the evening, but we were prepared after the first attempt. When they got the candy, they were very interested in diving right into it and we had to reason with them that if they leave it alone, they will get more. This logic either worked for them or they were easily swayed by the prospect of running around outside in costume. Either way, we hit a few more houses before coming back home. The sun had finally set and darkness had enveloped the street completely. In disregard for the obvious hazards, drivers on the street were still going much faster than the posted 25mph and I felt that we had been quite fortunate thus far. On the way back, we bumped into Gus out walking with a friend. The children immediately gravitated towards him and attempted to share some candy. Gus was flattered as much as the Wife and I were pleased at their selflessness. Damn fine children if I do say so myself. On our final leg to the front entrance of the Manor, the kids caught sight of the glowing Jackolanterns. Alexis was not interested in approaching them and had to be carried up to the front door. They were not aware we had arrived home and waited while we rang the doorbell. When Gramps and Grams answered the door, they let out squeals of delight and charged on in. For the remainder of the evening, the kids alternately chanted the mantra of 'CANDY-CANDY-CANDY' or 'HALLOWEEEEN' while they gobbled down M&Ms. I think they got the idea.