Dad B and I were discussing our childhood Halloween memories. One of mine was having the choice to be either 1) a ghost (by cutting two holes in an old white sheet) 2) a gypsy (by wearing ALL of my Mom’s jewelry) or 3) a Hobo (an old suit jacket of my Dad’s with the sleeves rolled up and a handkerchief tied to a stick). Through the years of my childhood I was each of these choices and my favorite was probably the ghost (because I could wear my winter coat and still fit the costume over top of it). I also remember the year I was a hobo and my Dad used his lighter to burn the end of a wine cork and use it to make my face look dirty….. that was pretty cool.
Dad B also reminded me of the great Halloween costumes that K-Mart sold. They were $1.99-$2.99 and included two pieces. The coolest part was the mask. It was hard plastic with an elastic band that went around your head. It also had 3 holes in it. Two for your eyes and one for the mouth. I don’t think we were all mouth breathers back then, so I am not sure why they all had the ‘mouth hole’. Really the only thing that hole was good for was to cut your tongue when you (and by this I mean we all did it) stuck your tongue through it. It was always easier to get my tongue out through the hole then to get it back in again!
The other part of these costumes was the suit that you wore. It was one-piece outfit that you had to step into (while wearing pants to stay warm, so that was tricky) then you slid your arms in and tied the little tie that was in the back. It usually ended up looking very “bunchy” because of all the clothes you had to wear underneath…. Plus if it was cold you had to wear your coat over it anyway, so no one could tell who you were. While we were talking about these costumes Dad B made a great comment…. He mentioned that it was amazing that he survived Halloween because those K-Mart suits were highly flammable and his Mom was a chain smoker! They don’t make costumes like that anymore!! ☺
At our staff meeting one of our teachers told a good story. She announced to the class and sent home a note saying that the next day would be “picture day”. We make these types of announcements in the hopes that the children will come in the next day in extra nice clothes with hair done and smiles ready for the camera. One little girl and her family misunderstood what “picture day” was. Rather than returning the picture packet filled out with a check for the pictures they wanted to purchase….. the girl brought in several pictures of a family vacation from last summer. They thought it was picture SHARE day rather than picture TAKING day!
Pepper (walking into the living room): Something smells really bad in here.
None of the kids move or respond.
Pepper: Is there garbage or something in someone’s backpack? Does anyone smell that?
Pepper walks around looking for whatever smells bad. She gets close to Pete and the shoes he has removed and steps back in horror.
Pepper: Pete, is that your FEET?! They smell horrible!!
Pete: Laughing, says “they aren’t that bad.”
Pepper has gone to get Lysol for his shoes and sends him up for an immediate shower.
She looks over to me, with genuine concern on her face and says, "That CAN’T be normal!”
If you get to around the age of 13 and become very forgetful, please know that you got that from your father. Thursday Pete went to swim club and forgot his bathing suit. The coach made him do dry land (basically run laps and sit-ups around the pool) instead of actually swimming with the rest of his group.
Then, Friday Pete forgot his camouflage clothes. Yes, here we are at deer camp and the boy forgot his camo. I told him to make sure he was packed and he spent lots of time hunting for his socks and duffle bag…. But he forgot his clothes. He also forgot his pillow, a blanket and his broad head wrench.
I shook my head in disbelief as Jay found extra clothes for him to wear. Of course JD had to side with the only other male here and mentioned the time he went deer hunting and forgot his bow! ☺
JD, Jay’s husband has been hanging out at deer camp all week on his own. It is very dark here when the sun goes down. And very quiet. Lexi, his daughter forgot her phone in the camper and one night he decided to use it as an alarm clock. At the scheduled time, the alarm went off. Unfortunately for JD, the ring tone was set for a “Gaggle of geese”. In the dead silence of the dark morning, the alarm made JD think he was being attacked by something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie! Wish I’d been here for a picture….. must have been an extremely funny sight! ☺
Today is Pepper’s 45th birthday. She does not really like birthdays. Oh, she likes getting gifts and she doesn’t mind being woken up by our family’s off-key singing. She loves the birthday cake her mom always makes for her and getting cards and flowers. She loves that we go out to dinner and treat her extra special. I think what she doesn’t like is that “plus one”. The kids we work with who are in kindergarten often ask each other “What’s your number?” Meaning: are they 5 or 6? But having a birthday is putting a lot of focus on that “plus one”.
My father used to always say clever things like “It beats the alternative” and “It not the years, it’s the mileage” which I think are both true. Personally, I sometimes forget how old I am and often need to do the math just to figure out what my current “number” is! (This could also be due to poor memory recall that could or could not be related to the aging process!)
Happy birthday Pepper! Thanks for spending so many of them with me. Looking forward to many, many more!! ☺
Fall camping is much different than summer camping. While camping in summer you can often hear the laughter of people canoeing on the river or kids swimming and playing in the lake. We stay at campgrounds so the RV’s are close together. You can hear other people’s radios or the smell of bacon cooking in someone else’s camper. It is bright and sunny even on the days that there may be a little rain.
Camping in mid-October is very different. The trees look much more colorful with the leaves all turning vibrant reds and oranges and there is a cool breeze even on warm days that make you sense that winter is getting close. Rather than being at a campground, with luxuries like a near-by water connection, a sewer hose and 30 amp power (so we can run the A/C at the same time as the microwave) we are on state land. There is no water, other than what you carry in. The electricity is provided by a gasoline-powered generator that is attached a short distance away from the camper via a power cord. There is no one near us. We drove off the expressway to a highway then onto a back road. After awhile we turned onto a dirt road, then took a fork off that road to a sandy path leading to a hard-to-find-unless-you-know-where-it beaten path that is only wide enough for a 4 wheeler…. or very determined hunter/campers. If you drive another 15 minutes and take a couple hard to see turns…. That’s where we are. Alone. From the time we turned onto the first dirt road until we got to the campsite we saw no people and no camps. All we saw was a nice sized doe that ran across the road in front of my truck. I turned on my Google Maps once we were at the RV to pinpoint our exact location, it searched for several minutes before responding with “NO WHERE”.
The theme here is quiet and conservative. In the summer, at the campground, there is a plethora of activities and things for everyone to do: Fishing, swimming, bike riding, mini-golf, canoeing, bingo, karaoke, softball, the game room, beach, and activity sheets with things for the kids to do every hour. At deer camp there is very little noise. Pete and Lexi head out to hunt with Jay’s husband (JD) early. Jay and I hang out in the RV on our own, talking and drinking coffee. There is no one but the two of us until around noon when the hunters come back for lunch. After lunch there is target practice and checking on all the equipment and gathering firewood for the nights fire. Then it is nap time. Jay and I hang out by the fire pit now loaded high with sticks while the hunters sleep and re-energize themselves for another taxing session of searching for deer and not falling out of tree stands.
There are tiny silk worms that dangle from the trees that I can see when the light hits them just right or they drop onto my computer keyboard. I can hear an occasional bird or a bee buzz by every so often and watch as the breeze blows leaves gently to the ground like soft falling snow. It is so quiet I can hear the soft snore of Jay’s bulldog, Dozer asleep beside the RV.
I’ve been looking forward to this trip since I came up to deer camp last year with Pete. I hope to do it for many years to come….. it is a fantastic way to end camping season. However, with my direction sense and the lack of signage in these woods it will be a miracle if I can ever find it again next year….. come to think of it, I may never find my way out!! ☺