Wednesday, October 31, 2007

B O O !

The Halloween Nerd

Last night was a not-so-sp00ky night at Mimi and Grandad’s. For one thing, Grandad wasn't here. He went to join in the festivities at Shannon and Molly's house - their annual night of Halloween fun. There is always a party on the front porch of their house, complete with a candy-encompassed skull shrieking “take one!"as the kids approach; a well appointed table of eyeballs, green gruel, a bowl of worms and the like, is available for all who missed dinner. This year there were two coffins with spooky voices shouting out at approaching treaters. Even Magic, their greyhound, joined the fun, lying in costume at the foot of the stairs. They had hoards of kids come by, and everyone enjoyed getting in on the action.

Brother Nerds...

On the contrary, here at the Heath, few spooks knocked at my door. Now, as much as I dislike Halloween, I miss the children dressed in fairy costumes and pumpkin suits, holding out bags to be filled with the treats that I carefully picked to please them. It seems that the eleven houses in our neighborhood won’t produce enough of a haul to make it worth the walk around the cul de sac.

Back in "my day", Halloween was quite different. As I recall, after school, Betty, Judy, Hugh and I would head off to the attic looking for something we could make a costume out of. I mostly remember coming up with a “hobo” costume, ripping and layering some old clothes (it was colder then and the layers usually felt good). We would put black stuff (charcoal) on our faces to look dirty and we were good to go! I'm sure, if we could find an old one, a bed sheet over our heads with cut-outs for the eyes would have made a pretty good ghost, but I don't remember actually doing that myself. I would sometimes go as a "lady" - I liked dressing up in Mother's old dresses and putting on lipstick...but never did we buy a costume!

We always went out just before dark, when we couldn’t wait any longer to leave the house. I remember how hard it was to wait for darkness to fall; besides, I was always afraid to stay out too late, even though the prospect of getting candy overcame most of my fears. You see, the later it got, the fewer little kids there were, and the more older, firecracker-throwing boys lurked the streets...Now, in the dark, THAT WAS SCARY!

Back then you could always count on some tricks being played: soap on windows and cars, t.p. in trees and turned-over flower pots on the front porches of people not at home. That was what made Halloween scary for me…those people who were out there that would do that sort of thing! (But if the truth be known, I still don't like to watch scary movies or see gruesome pictures...okay, I'm a chicken.)

Ultimately, my siblings and I would arrive back home, after staying out as long as we could in order to gather as much of the annual all-you-can-eat candy as possible. Back then you only got one small piece at a time; it was really hard work! Houses were further apart then, too, and people didn’t have unlimited supplies. When they ran out, lights were turned off and tricks were played. Anyway, we would all pour out our sacks, sort, count and exchange (this was the one time when different tastes and a lot of siblings came in handy).

I don’t ever remember grown-ups being involved in Halloween. This was OUR time, and if you could survive the night…the rewards were awesome! Except for Christmas, treats were never so plentiful and the goal was to make it last for as long as you could.

I thought about all nine of my grandchildren tonight…out there, somewhere, beneath the same moon light…wondering how you looked in your costumes, how much candy was in your bags and if you were having a good time. I just can't wait for more pictures!

My sister, the hygienist, would want me to remind you to be sure to brush your teeth after eating all that candy!
Thanks to the S-C's for the great pictures. A Halloween Nerd and his brother with an adorable bunny they hauled in enough candy for the rest of the year! Great costumes guys.
(Hey, I just got a picture of Clark Gable and his Pirate friend, with a promise of more pics to follow!)
Got Halloween Pictures? I'll post them.
Mimi Josh and Melissa's first pumpkin carving as a married couple.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Perhaps Love

I went home this past week to spend a little time with my mother and to attend a Floyd family reunion. I had to get up early on Friday morning to take Mother to get an MRI at a diagnostic center just a few blocks behind her big house on Church Street. I lay in bed, taking a few extra minutes, thinking about the house, listening to the cars pass by outside the window of the room that I once shared with my two sisters over 50 years ago. It isn't exactly the same, but it hasn’t changed that much in the 40 plus years that I have been gone.

My childhood home must be way over 100 years old; and oh, if these walls could talk! I don’t mean “skeletons in the closets” kind of talk, I mean the kind of talk that families learn from, laugh about, and hold dear. As I looked around I recalled chandeliers being hit by practicing yoyos and operatic singing coming from the kitchen during the preparation of a family dinner. I could almost hear the clicking of the adding machine on Thursday nights while accounts were being balanced on Dad’s insurance books, and three teenage girls talking on the one telephone located on the desk in the middle of the house. I thought about the long hours my mother must have waited in the bathroom for me to come home from a late night date. (Did she do that for all the girls?) She listened to every detail and asked endless questions.

I began to understand and see clearly how all the memories of yesteryears, in this home, have brought comfort and peace when tragedy raises its ugly head.

I hope you will stop and think of the connections each of you are making among yourselves and those that make your house a home. I want you to be aware that when good times are spent together, over extended periods of time, it prepares you and yours for the times when things aren’t so easy. It will give you a safe place to go, even if only in your heart and mind, when and if your world comes crashing down.

We’re about to come to the anniversary of my sister’s death… I remember my Dad checked out of the nursing home, took his place at the helm of the family and held us strong, even in his weakness. We followed his lead, and, together, we did what would have been impossible to do alone. Then the time came that we had to persevere without Dad…and because of his example and his love, we did just that.

I love the line in the old John Denver song that says:

“Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm
And in those time of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home.”

I pray these times will be few in your lives, but they are part of life, and if you live long enough, they will happen. Just remember, you can always gather around each other to cushion the blows as well as to share the laughter.

“If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you.”


P.S. Mom’s MRI showed a small stroke. She is fine, and on a medication that, we hope, will prevent it from happening again; but keep her in your prayers. She loves you so.

Oh! At the Floyd Family reunion (this was the 10th year that the reunion has taken place) Rep. Stratton Bone from the Great State of Tennessee came for what we thought was to be a speech about why one of our favorite family members, Edsel Cordell Floyd, was honored by the State by having a bridge in Watertown named after him, but instead got up and presented the family with a House of Representatives Proclamation honoring the Floyd Family itself. Wow! The proclamation is quite impressive (I'm sure another favorite family member and historian, Kenneth Anderson Floyd, must have supplied the detailed data!). You come from a good family, kids, pass it on.

Monday, October 15, 2007

An Amazing Day...

Our week end started off, on Saturday, with a couple of pretty terrific ball games, and inbetween games, a tour of Mike and Mary's new home. Sunday (after church) speaks for itself in the above slide show...enjoy!

Morgan visits Isabelle's new bedroom...Wow!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Fall Day to Remember...

October 6, 2007 will go down in history as the day Jeremy asked Kate for her hand in marriage....

With the back drop of Acadia National Forest in Bar Harbor, Maine, at hand, from Cadillac Mountain to the sea, with majestic historical lighthouses and a palette of magnificent fall colors on every tree, Kate's answer to the timeless question, "Will you be my wife? " was, "YES!"

And here starts another branch of our family tree. Jeremy has been carefully chosen by Kate, to be part of us. In this blessed family, where we have come to realize that the more love we give away the more we have, Jeremy will take his place among us; and as our love increases, it multiplies our joys and divides our sorrows. Welcome Jeremy! Our hearts have already grown fond of you and we look forward in the future to hearing details about marriage plans...And to #6; I don't have to tell you (or anyone else for that matter) how happy I am that you have found your one true love. During your months of preparation, you will be in my daily prayers. I will lift you up and sing praises for your happiness. I will always be but a phone call away.

Congratulations to you both; may your joy be contagious and your promise treasured.

As you start your journey together, know that you are loved,

Monday, October 01, 2007

All about Tom

Click to read.