Costumed Charm


The other day we enjoyed Trick-or-Treating with two of our grandchildren in my favorite Missouri city, St. Charles. It is the third oldest city in the state. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Charles,_Missouri Founded in the mid-1700’s by a French-Canadian fur trader, St. Charles looks much like it did hundreds of years ago. The city has been preserved, making visitors feel like they’re stepping back into time. Quaint shops line the original cobblestone streets with a beautiful backdrop of the great Missouri river behind them. Rich in charm, original gingerbread architecture, and filled with history, St. Charles is the last known stop of the Lewis and Clark expedition way back in 1804. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_and_Clark_Expedition

Monday was such a perfect day for Halloween with temperatures rising into the mid-70’s. Surprisingly warm, it might have felt even hot to some of the costumed creatures covered in hair from head to toe. A few were sweating with chocolates melting. Still, others didn’t mind, so thrilled they were to soak up the sun. Charming shops shared treats with characters, big and small until our own little Super Heroes stopped to say, “I don’t want any more candy.” The kids were tired. Little legs had walked a long way. Grandpa carried our grandson on his shoulders while I pushed a stroller. Buckets were heavy, make-up dripped on the monster’s face next to me while a hot pink wig suddenly fell upon a bale of hay.

Afterward, dinner was enjoyed at my son and daughter-in-law’s house while a menagerie of children rang the bell. Ghosts and goblins came to the door, witches of black dusted off brooms and cheerleaders shook pom-poms before cheering for more. Our grand-kids donned satin capes, sure to save a mission or two before calling it a night.

Not long before the children’s bedtime, we gathered ’round the television to watch the movie, Room on the Broom adapted from the children’s book by Julia Donaldson, published in the spring of 2014. No tricks here, just one giant TREAT to end a terrific afternoon and evening of delight.

Below are links to a reading of the book as well as the movie. Please enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWB0goTWZic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuIZThG1APA

 

 

Happy Halloween! Flash Fiction: The Ghostly Jacket of Discovery


A delightful Halloween flash-fiction story from Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx’s Blog. Excellent writing that had me on my seat right from the beginning and left my heart warm and inspired at the end. Please tune in!

M J Mallon Author

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Happy Halloween everyone!!!

I’ve written a Halloween themed piece of flash fiction for Esther Newton’s flash fiction competition. Here is the link if you’d like to find out more. Esther Newton Blog: Last Call for Flash Fiction Entries. But today is the last day for entries so get on your witch’s broom and hurry up. The prompt is discovery, so doesn’t have to be Halloween related!

The Ghostly Jacket of Discovery

Last night the sliding wardrobe had been closed but this morning it lay open.  All of Ed’s shirts were freshly laundered and ironed. His ties neatly arranged in perfect rows, his shoes polished and shiny. Iris pulled his biker jacket off the hanger. It was his one aberration, the one piece of clothing that was different. He had loved that jacket, had said that it carried special memories of freedom, laughter, and happiness. He had refused to throw…

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Halloween Innocence


Trick-or-Treat for Halloween

Costumed monsters or movie queens

Door to door to ring a bell

Heart is beating thumping well

Treats of sweet sinking bag

Stuffed inside so full of swag

Chocolate pretzels plus kids to tag

Distant sounds and spiderwebs

Pumpkin smiles and waxy teeth 

Peek inside then run and hide

Witch’s hat atop hair of red

Have no fear she is a dear

Biggest treat I’ve ever had

Jokes and smiles to send me off

Treasures emptied upon my floor

Sit and count them to the door

One or two gobbled whole

Brush my teeth and scrub my face

Pajama time another race

Tuck me in with story time

Lashes long now falling fine

Friendly ghosts are in my mind

Magic wishes and floating dreams

Oh what a Happy Halloween

Some photos courtesy of Google Chrome

Carnival Day


Last year my husband and I held a Halloween carnival for children living in our neighborhood.  So much fun it was, we decided to repeat the affair.  Anticipation grew as fall leaves turned yellow and red within our trees.  It was that time of year again.  Soon, ghostly goblins and fairy princesses would come a-calling.  Of course, our grandchildren would be stopping by as well.  Little babes dressed in fantasy costumes would be letting their imaginations run away.

Our oldest grand-daughter, not yet three, spent that day with us.  Together, we baked ghostly cookies of sugared purple before she busied herself with Motherhood.  A doll under each arm plus two more stuffed in a pink seat.  A stroller of four feet pushed on maple floors before it was time to eat.

“Grandpa” had to wake our precious princess before the carnival began.  Out of bed she flew, like a hummingbird to sugar-water.  Upon entering our back yard, it was as if magic happened while she slept.  Chocolate cupcakes decorated in lavender fluted frosting sat under the umbrella table.  Games were strategically placed on the lawn waiting for children to play.  Near our tallest pine, a brightly colored pile of leaves was ready and waiting for kids to tumble in.

Soon children and parents from houses near-by began to arrive.  There were characters from Frozen, Mario and his friends from video games, and a darling girl proudly dressed in her very best dress.  She showed it off to me, even letting me touch it!  So soft it was, made of thin wale corduroy, black (of course) trimmed in holiday orange.

Shortly thereafter my grown children arrived, carrying costumed babies on shoulders.  Security was tight.  At six months old and smiling bright, there was a new sheriff in town.  Soon, a sweet cotton pumpkin toddled by.  All plump in bright orange wearing black tights with suede boots to match.  It was as if she escaped from our local pumpkin patch!

Moms from the neighborhood helped out, encouraging kids to play games, where each and every child won a prize…maybe two or three, or even more!  On the patio a giant black tub made of plastic was filled with prizes for all of them to see.  Carnival day is a bit of magic to last the whole year through.  Much more for me than any of the children.

As each one neared the tub to pick a prize, eyes would grow to saucer size.  What would you like?   Play dough, monster trucks or jewels of diamond pink to wear with your princess dress?  Try these skeleton gloves on for size.  Perfect for the cold of night.  They glow, you know!  Rubber dinosaurs or army men?  Glittery bracelets or Barbie stickers?  How about a pack of Halloween pencils with colorful erasers? Or maybe you’d like a sparkling magic wand?   Perhaps a puzzle for later play?

Splish-splash!  Sweet babies dunked chubby hands into tubs of water, grasping for swimming rubber ducks in their mother’s hopes of winning rattles, fuzzy caps or teething rings.  What a sight to see a baby grab a slippery duck!

Shaded In a corner, I painted lopsided pumpkins of yellow, red hearts or black kitty cats on cheeks of warm pink.  Girls with smiles of pearls gazed prettily in a hand-held mirror of blue.  It was the perfect day!

By far, the biggest “Hit” of the carnival was definitely my husband who drove his lawn tractor, shiny and green.  In the rear, a wagon was attached stuffed with straw and yellow hay.  Soft it was.  Kids could sit and sink right in.  And, yes, they surely did!!  Piling in and plopping down, they held tightly to the sides. Giggles and smiles, joyful glee.

Around and around the subdivision my husband wore a silly chicken hat atop his graying head.  An innocent child sat upon his lap.  More in the back.  Up and down straw flew all around.  Some landed on the ground and in the street.  Little hands up in the air helped it disappear.  A bright green machine trimmed in yellow drove through empty lots and up the curb where squeals were heard.

Carnival Day….The perfect one in every way.

Happy Halloween!

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Celebrations


How are my readers doing?  Hopefully, a good holiday was had by all celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

My desert sand family first spent both attending church services where beautiful candles were lit in tiny vestibules  dressed in bright red.  We watched children play “Mary and Joseph,” while singing joyous songs saved for once a year.  It was a calming and peaceful time.

Later, we toured streets of candied-colored light displays, visited friends (some we’d never met before), opened presents with delight, and ate foreign food.  Oh, the food…….The traditional turkey took center stage, surrounded by vessels of every edible fodder imaginable.  It was a feast for hundreds it seemed.  A large table was full of homemade sweetbreads, tamales, cookies and cakes.  There was a great big ham, potatoes, fresh vegetables, bowls of steaming macaroni and chocolates on fancy plates.

The above was a celebration on Christmas Eve.  We ate on great big picnic tables covered in red checkered table cloths.  My back soaked up the warm Arizona sun while several dogs ran around in circles to play tag near a pot-bellied pig (his house had lights, too!).  Later, a horse named, “Midnight,” nuzzled my cheek.  I felt his warm, wet breath near my nose.  I talked to him too. He was gentle, staying near me for several minutes.  Not wanting me to go?

On Christmas Day we repeated the day before, eating “leftovers,” enough for an army or more.  A live band played “Faliz Navidad” on the cement patio with a curtain to shield the sun from their eyes.  When dinner was done we had a party of sorts.  A big cake was presented to my father to celebrate his 81st birthday.  He was embarrassed of course with presents surrounding him.   Sitting at the head of a long wooden table, I thought the only thing missing was a bright jeweled crown to top his grey head!

Near the end of my dad’s party, I gave him one special gift.  About a week ago I wrote a post entitled, “The Gift of My Father.”  Several messages were received, comments, and e-mails about this post.  A reader “friend” of mine suggested I print this out as a gift to my father, which is what I did.  I found a lovely wooden frame with a cream-colored mat.  I printed the post on steel-blue paper to match the blue of the church in the picture scene.  Although it was hard for me to read aloud, I did get all the way through.  Looking over at my dad, he wiped away at least a tear or two.

Yes, it was a wonderful Christmas Eve and a magnificent Christmas Day.  A time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and that of my dear father too.

Happy Birthday


Everyone knows this is the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus: December 25.  When I was a child, my father taught me to sing a song of joy.  Happy Birthday, Jesus.  It was and is the most important birthday celebration of all.

For just one moment, maybe a minute or more I’d like to say, “Happy Birthday” to my father too.  I love you, Dad, and wish you many, many more.

Candle