Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall
OMG, today’s is the last day of summer, goodbye summer and hello fall. Autumn starts tonight. It’s the official time of year when the leaves change colors before dropping and the harvest comes in, while witches and spooks make their appearance.
I don’t know if I’m sad to see summer go, (yes) or know that Halloween is just about a month away. Goodbye summer, hello Halloween.
I wish I could get excited about the up-and-coming holiday.
In my old home, I spent hundreds of hours throughout the year preparing for it. Everything had to be ready by the end of September. Come hell or high water, I’d start setting up the display on October 1. Each week, I’d add to it. I finished up by the end of the third week. The fourth week, I’d enjoy it. I remember cars driving down the street, stopping to gander at it.
Then I would sit back, tweak a thing here and there. I’d adjust a spotlight and make sure the sound and lighting system was working as I wanted. I always found something to fiddle with and adjust.
Then, on the big day, I’d put on my costume and makeup and wander among the display, sometimes pretending to be part of the scene as hundreds of people young and old alike would approach the house to ‘trick or treat.’
I’ve never been one for the cutesy displays. No, I had to have a scary theme. There’s Priscilla, the bride left standing at the altar. She held her severed head in her hand, lamenting it supposed this to be the happiest day of her life.
Flying around the display was Lily, a ghost who seemed to flitter this way and that, while flashes of lightning and booms of thunder illuminating her translucent body.
Let’s not forget about Victor and his three brides, vampires whose severed heads rested on pikes. Horatio is a man cut in half at the waist and hanging by the neck from a rope begging for a quick end.
The themes over the years included a mermaid fishing derby, where the catch of the day was a mermaid hanging by her tail and wiggling about trying to free herself. I had fun and frustration fabricating her myself. She turned out great!
There was the year of that included rotisserie roasting a full-size human body over hot coals. Smoke drifted up as dripping fat ignited, burning themselves out. I had a lot of fun with that one.
Another was the Alfred Hitchcock year where I did homage to the movies ‘The Birds’ and ‘Psycho’ complete with music and Janet Leigh in the shower. Blood splatter was everywhere while the shower rained down.
Let’s not forget the end of the summer party where ghouls and skeletons hung out, drinking beers and flirting with each other. One was a female sunbather. She stayed out in the sun for way too long, drinking and partying. You could tell it she was a woman, since her skeleton was wearing a skimpy, red string bikini.
Then I spent the winter to come up with new ideas for next year and plan for and constructing the displays in early spring. There was many a year where I shredding foam and fabricating accessories sitting out on my deck. In the basement, I’d be building, carving, painting, and decorating corpses for display on the butcher’s table, or hanging like a piece of meat.
Those were fun years. In some ways, I miss it. In other ways, I don’t.
I now live in a neighborhood that doesn’t do shit for the holidays, why bother? No one appreciates the hard work. I surprised my family and close friends I pulled back so far from my passion. They miss the Halloween party we hosted each year. They miss marveling at hundreds of hands reaching up from the ground, and other aspects new for that year.
The other thing, I’m getting on in the years. I’m looking forward to retirement, leaving the workforce behind. I will probably find another job to fill the hours and stay active. After all, I can’t sit on my ass all day writing and painting. I need to exercise this body of mine and keep my mind alert.
Now, it may seem that I’m feeling low. That’s not the case. I suspect I’m grieving a loss. Goodbye summer, I will miss you. I miss the loss of the excitement of my favorite holiday of the year. It’s a time of year when society relaxes its death grip hold on civic behaviors and let’s people step outside themselves and do things they love. It’s kind of like those ‘The Purge’ movies. Let’s hope that we don’t get to that point.
Finally, the newest Halloween movie is coming out, and I can’t wait to see it.