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Indian Summer?

I don’t know if what we have been enjoying qualifies as Indian Summer or not, but I like it.

The weather this month so far has been more like August than October I think with temps around 75-80 degrees during the days and cool nights.

The color around here, although it is starting to fade around the area, is still pretty spectacular. I’ve been doing a lot of driving lately and I’m sure enjoying the show. The leaves are coming down like rain every time the wind blows around here. When fall is like this, it really is a beautiful time of year.

And there’s still flowers blooming all over the place, in fact, some of my fall perennials are just starting to bloom. Here’s hoping a frosty night doesn’t get them before they do.

The feeders are still going strong. Jack has to fill them about every second or third day just to keep those little beggars happy.

October also seems to be the time for critters of the smelly kind. The last few evenings when I let our little dogs out after dark, I have to go out and watch them, since the aroma of eau-de-skunk has been in the air. I certainly don’t want them defending the yard if those felines happen to come in it.

Halloween is only two weeks away, and the kids are busy deciding what to wear for the occasion. Hopefully our mild weather will hold on so they can have a good time when they are out Trick or Treating.  All three communities, Clare, Farwell and Harrison, will hold their annual hours on the 31st, which falls on Monday this year.

I love holidays, but Halloween is one of my all-time favorites. As a youngster, months of planning went into the costume. When the big night finally arrived trick or treating in town was always topped off at the annual school Halloween Carnival, complete with a costume contest and even a bonfire out in back of the school, complete with marshmallows to roast.

Guess I never really grew up – no surprise there Jack would say – because when our youngsters were little I always got dressed up and went trick or treating with them. When they got a little older and no longer wanted Mom as a chaperone, I still got dressed up and sort of “hung around” our own front door waiting to scare certain selected neighborhood youngsters. Later in the evening I would go out and ring a few friends’ doorbells as well. Some of those people are still wondering who that old hag was…

Now that I am a bit older, and a “semi-retired” respectable business person, I try to limit the shenanigans to Lisa and Terry’s annual costume party.

In fact, Halloween is almost as popular with the older set as New Year’s Eve. One in every four adults “dresses up” for the occasion.

Halloween originated as “All Hallows Eve,” the holy evening before All Saint’s Day. It was once a night to really be feared, when many believed the souls of dead wandered freely. In Celtic history, these wandering spirits were offered food and drink, then “tricked” into leaving town.

Even before the Celts, the Druids (an order of priests in ancient Gaul and Britain) believed that on Halloween, ghosts, spirits, witches and elves came out to harm people.

Jack-o-lanterns originated with an Irish tale about a man named Jack who couldn’t enter heaven because of his miserliness and couldn’t get into hell because he played practical jokes on the devil, so he was condemned to walk the earth with his lantern until “judgment day.”

Black cats, another Halloween staple, were believed in ancient days to be humans being punished for evil deeds during their life.

Whatever the origins, Halloween these days is fun for young and old alike.