I have heard it is fall. I have seen photos posted on Facebook by friends showing the leaves
changing colors in other parts of the country. I have heard rumors there is a general election coming up, which is another sure sign that fall is here. Walking through Target I see the black cat and jack-o-lantern napkins and mega-sized bags of miniature candy on sale near the checkout counters. Yet when I walk outside the temperature in Houston is still near 90 in the afternoons. The trees are green and so is the grass in most places. In the areas where it is brown it is not because of cooler temperatures, but because we have not had rain in a while and my conservation conscious neighbors are foregoing watering too much. (Thank you for that by the way!)
As a kid I never knew what the weather in Houston would bring for Halloween. Some years
it was so warm that we barely could make it around the neighborhood with our heavy Halloween costumes on. My brother and I drenched in sweat would beg to come back home because it was so hot, as my dad would encourage us to go just one more block to get just a few more treats. The next year it would be so cold that my mother would insist we wear our coats over our costumes while we protested loudly that no one would be scared of us if we did!
So here we are in October of 2016 and the weather dude is saying it is going to be a hot and
likely muggy Halloween. I don’t have little ones anymore, and I don’t live in a neighborhood where I expect a lot tricker-treaters. I hate that. I loved Halloween when our kids were little. Like my mother I worried about the temperature and made the kids wear coats when it was cold. We had fun though. We would
gather with other neighborhood families to eat dinner before the witching hour. As soon as it was dark the dads with roadies in hand would walk the kids around the neighborhood while the moms would sit, gossip and drink wine handing out candy. In those days daylight savings time had ended so dark came by 6:30.
Last year we left that neighborhood and moved to a place that is not so kid friendly. That suits us most of the time, but Halloween really is all about the kids and I miss it. To cheer myself up I hosted bunco at my apartment last week with my cousin, Connie. I’ve been part of the Bunco Babes for many years and I can honestly say by the time I joined we never played bunco. In recent years we have begun teaming up with another member to co-hostess in order to ease the burden and increase the fun. The pressure to cook a gourmet meal to impress our friends has long ago subsided. Thank the Lord!
So Connie and I ordered Mexican food from a local place that delivers, and sent out
invitations via Evite inviting the Bunco Babes to a “Spooky Bunco Fiesta”. Since none of us have kids who need costumes anymore we invited our friends to come in costume to help get us into the holiday spirit. Connie and I dressed as witches and many of the Babes also dressed in their Halloween finery. The costume prize-winner (a unanimous decision) went to our friend Terri. She came dressed as chicken! (I regret I have no photos to share.) Like those Halloweens of old we sat, ate, gossiped and drank wine. We had a fine time.
Around 9 my little dog, Lanie asked to go for her last walk of the night. Terri offered to go
with me. Lanie has always loved Terri and loved chicken so it made sense that Terri should go with us. To say that my new neighborhood is diverse is in no way an understatement, yet I thought taking my dog for walk dressed in witch outfit with a woman dressed as a chicken might get us some stares. Surprisingly, no one acted any differently, which was hilarious. I don’t think I have ever seen a women dressed in a chicken costume before in the park, but who knows? There are many events held there all the time, and it was the Thursday before Halloween after all. On the other hand, Lanie, a well behaved and in my opinion adorable Yorkie, got her usual compliments and attention. We even stopped and chatted with a nice man who had a toy Yorkie, but not once did anyone give any indication that either of us looked odd.
The scariest part of the evening was for Lanie though as it often is. My poor dog, who is afraid of everyone and everything, is convinced the park is filled with dog murderers. These murderers usually look like 8 year-old girls who often run towards her squealing at the top of their lungs in high-pitched voices, “Mommy, looooooooook!!! Can I pet her, mommy, can I?” As the squealing begins Lanie darts off pulling the retractable leash until it is taut.
Luckily, we all made it back alive. Before the party ended Connie and I had already figured out what we will do for next year’s bunco. Lanie will continue to believe that every night is Halloween and that around every corner lurks a dog murderer. For me, I am already looking forward to Halloween 2017. I am hoping it will be cooler, but even if it is 100 degrees outside, I know that next year we will have a precious grandchild with whom we will get to play. It is exciting to know that in the not too distant future we will watch the next generation of this family trick-or-trick as a new mama worries about it being too hot or too cold and new dad walks the neighborhood helping to gather lots of treats.