Our plans for after the cruise changed unexpectedly. Originally we were supposed to fly to Austin, spend two days there getting all of our stuff out of a storage unit, and haul it up to Colorado, then immediately leaving Colorado for a house sit in Boise, Idaho. When we landed in Dallas for our layover to Austin however, we received an email from the couple we were house sitting for, saying they had a medical emergency and that they had to cancel. We responded immediately, wishing them a speedy recovery, and letting them know that we were still available if they needed any assistance. Though we were sad to hear that their trip to South Africa was cancelled, and that we wouldn’t be heading directly from Austin, through Colorado, to Idaho, we were slightly relieved that we could take our time moving everything up to Colorado, and spend some time with family for Ian’s birthday before setting out.
The drive through Middle of Nowhere, Texas is never fun, and it took us about 15 hours to drive the Uhaul, loaded down with virtually all of our worldly possessions, up to the Boulder-Denver area of Colorado. Coming through the mountains, I was worried the truck’s engine would explode from exertion, but it made it in one piece. The next day we were officially moved back into Colorado.
As it would happen, my parents ended up needing a house sitter while they were visiting Kansas City for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, so we wound up taking care of their house and dogs while they went to Kansas for a week. It’s funny how the world works itself out sometimes.
Taking care of my parent’s house allowed us to celebrate Halloween, when we initially thought we would be in a cabin in the woods for the holiday. Though it would have been exciting to watch Evil Dead, or Cabin in the Woods while staying in an ACTUAL cabin in the woods, it was nice to be able to carve pumpkins and dress up for trick-or-treaters instead. Plus, we were still able to watch all of our favorite Halloween horror movies, no matter where we were.
Every year that we are in the area for Halloween, I have to make a mandatory stop at Rock Creek Farm to go pumpkin hunting and pick up some delicious homemade sweet treats, like pumpkin breads and caramel apples. With fun activities for every age, like a corn maze, and a petting zoo, Rock Creek Farm is a great place to visit around Halloween and go hunting for pumpkins. Sadly, we visited the farm after the first hard freeze, and the pumpkins were beginning to show the damage of freezer burn. After rooting around for a while, we selected a couple of perfectly carve-able pumpkins, and a couple of slices of pumpkin cake for the road.
The afternoon of Halloween, I began work on carving my jack-o-lanterns. This year, we chose to add a new tradition in carving, and I also attempted to create a pineapp-o-lantern (which was actually much harder than I originally thought it would be). As I got to work, I realized that one of the pumpkins was much mushier than it had been when we got it, and it affected how each one had to be carved. At first, I had been planning on turning the largest pumpkin into a brain-eating zombie, and one of the smaller ones into a victim. The largest pumpkin being the mushy one, I decided to turn the smaller pumpkin into a fat little brain-eating cutie-pie instead. After hacking away the “dead tissue” on the large pumpkin, I was left with a substantially larger victim, with plenty of pumpkin-gut gore. Because my niece was coming over to trick-or-treat, I wanted to make the final pumpkin something special for her, so I carved Pikachu into the the last one.
Moving onto the pineapple was harder than expected. Doing the traditional piercing of the skin before carving was nearly impossible without crushing the whole thing, and any puncture marks ended up being invisible anyways. So, I had to wing it. It didn’t turn out too bad, if I say so myself, and it was fun to carve something a bit more non-traditional. Added bonus: it smelled amazing while I was carving it. On the negative side, the acidic juice of the pineapple managed to find every single little cut on my hands, and burned like hell. With only half an hour until my sister was set to arrive with my niece and nephew, I washed up as well as I could, and threw together a costume last minute.
I love to shop the Halloween stores the days following Halloween to get the best deals, so I have amassed a strange assortment of Halloween décor and costume accessories. Meaning that I can throw together a unique costume in about 15 minutes. This year I put together one of my previous year’s Halloween costumes: Little Red Riding Wolf. Just 10 minutes of make-up, and a red cloak layered over my Spirithoods Red Wolf hood, and I was ready.
At a quarter to six, my sister arrived with Eva and Jax (my niece and nephew), and the trick-or-treaters started rolling in. With Child’s Play on in the living room, I ran back and forth between watching a doll attack Catherine Hicks, and giving candy to strange children who sang about me smelling their feet. While I handed out candy to the early-treaters and watched Chucky run amuck, Ian went around with Dory and Nemo (Eva and Jax), taking pictures; and switched with me about half an hour later, so that I could see them trick-or-treat. By 7, Eva was tired out, and done with cruising the hood for candy, so we all headed back to the house. Once my sister changed the kiddos into pajamas, everyone left for home, and the bigger kids began their rounds for tricks or treats.
Once the halfcocked costumes begin ringing the doorbell, I begin to lose interest. As a grown adult who put together a full costume in 15 minutes, I expect more than a ninja turtles sweatshirt if you want candy from my doorstep. So, by 8pm, our lights were all off, and Ian and I began our traditional horror movie marathon (beginning with Cult of Chucky), and leftover candy binge.
All in all, this was one of the best Halloweens we have had in quite some time, and it is kind of funny to think about how it wasn’t even our house we were celebrating and handing out candy at. As one of my favorite holidays, it was nice to celebrate Halloween with some of my family; especially as I have never had the opportunity to take my niece and nephew trick-or-treating before this year. With no idea where we might be next Halloween, I will keep the memory of Halloween 2017 firmly planted in my memory until we can do the holiday justice again.