Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Peter, Paul, and Who?

Well, Halloween is here, and I have tried to celebrate in style.  I explored the Corn Maze (or is it Maize?) in Milton with my brother, Brandy, and Lola.  The maze spans over 7 acres, and has a different theme each year.  This year the maze teamed up with the American Cancer society and did a breast cancer awareness theme.  You make your way through the maze by correctly answering trivia questions at places where the paths diverged.  Or, alternatively, by letting your 2-year-old niece direct you by yelling "no! that way!"  Lola took the paths less travelled by, and that made all the difference.

Lola on the hay-ride that takes you to the maze (left).
Lola and my brother leading the way (right).
This was the layout for this year's maze.  I was impressed.

This season we also went to the local Pumpkin Festival.  I go every year, primarily for the pumpkin dumplings and ice cream.

It tastes better than it looks.  Sweet, sugary, syrupy heaven.
We bought Lola a duck on wheels.  She pushed it up and
down the sidewalk yelling "quack, quack!"  It was a big hit.

Finally, in celebration of Halloween this year, I am posting an excerpt about Halloween from my book.  I hope you enjoy!

"Halloween was always a big deal in my family, possibly because it is also my brother’s birthday.  Come late October, we carved pumpkins, and baked the seeds with cinnamon as snacks.  We told scary stories around bonfires in the backyard, and at night, after trick-or-treating, the neighborhood kids met at a family cemetery at the end of our dead-end road to play light as a feather, stiff as a board. 
My parents believed that allowing their children to pick their own Halloween costumes would foster creativity.  My brother usually opted for a costume that would allow him to wear fake blood and carry a realistic looking plastic weapon.  I picked out costumes that would allow me to blend in, such as a princess, a ballerina, or a witch.  In the fourth grade, I decided to let my dork flag fly and dressed as Mary Travers from Peter, Paul, and Mary for my class costume party.  I was irritated when no one knew who I was by my straight blonde hair, bangs, hippy clothing, and guitar.
“C’mon guys,” I said, exasperated.  “Puff the Magic Dragon?  Blowin’ in the Wind?  Leaving on a Jet Plane?  Don’t you ever listen to music?”
I looked around the classroom and realized that half of the costumes didn’t even make sense.  Several students had taken their favorite parts of conflicting disguises and thrown them together into some sort of costume casserole.  The girl who couldn’t decide between a vampire or a ballerina opted for a tutu and fangs, while one boy in my class tried to masculinize his pirate costume by wearing a basketball jersey over his frilly white blouse.
  When my mom picked me up I said, “I knew I should have dressed up as Mama Cass and carried a partially eaten sandwich.  Everyone would have known who I was then.”
When it came time to pick out a costume for the Girl Scout Halloween party in the fifth grade, I knew I needed to play an entirely different angle.  “I can pick out a random Halloween costume with the best of them,” I decided. 
After little thought, I informed my mom that I wanted to be a Mexican hobo.  I wore a hobo mask, a Mexican poncho, moccasins, a sombrero, and carried around bright red maracas.   I don’t know why my parents allowed me out of the house in such a blatantly, albeit confusingly, offensive costume.  I picture them having a good laugh about it after dropping me off.
When prizes were awarded at the end of the party, I took home the first place trophy for best costume.  I am as thoroughly confused by this honor today as I was then.  Since the fifth grade I have gone back to safe, generic costumes.  I just can’t handle the heartbreak and confusion that accompany creative costume design."
Here I am humbly receiving my award.  Sorry Simba, better luck next year.

Happy Halloween everyone!


  1. The neighbor graveyard! Good Ol' Gideon Rd - your posts crack me up Jenna!

    1. Thanks Laura! I thought you might appreciate this one. I miss Gideon Rd

  2. hahaha i loved this! unfort i have the WORST memory and don't remember a graveyard at the end of our road. Were the Wilson's involved with this?

    1. You don't?? We rode our bikes by it a lot. It was on the left-hand side of the "circle" at the end of the street. I did a social studies project on it! lol