Parties are murder on a perfectionist. The last few days have kept me so busy preparing for my church's "Trunk 'n' Treat" party that I nearly imploded, having lain starkly awake in bed each night thinking about what I had left to do, hunching over pumpkins for hours on end, and mostly forgetting about food yesterday except for the occasional piece of candy I bumped into. I woke up this morning aching all over on an adrenaline withdrawal, the taste of Butterfingers still lingering in my mouth.
Last Saturday me and the fam visited a corn maze and pumpkin patch over in the valley for some Genuine Family Fun. After determining that the dog could not, in fact, guide us through the maze, (he kept attempting to lead us into the thick of the stalks), we loaded up the back of the car with many, many pumpkins, some of which later turned out to be mischievously rotting beneath their lovely skin. My plan for the pumpkins was to carve them all and line the walkway to the church, just like swp and I did a few years back at the ol' Gould Farm. Wasn't that fun? I still remember turkey parts floating in jars in the haunted house, and roaming madly through the dark woods. But I digress.
It turns out that carving 14 pumpkins in one's mind is much easier than carving 14 pumpkins with one's hands. By the end of the World Series (why must you suck, Rockies...why?!?) I had hollowed them all out, and then began the obsessive actual carving, in which I somehow gravitated to all of the most complicated patterns I could find - can we say "George Washington Praying at Valley Forge?" Oh yes. It's a lucky thing that the carving kit included two saws, because the first one bit it halfway through my flurry, while working on a rodeo rider at 4:30 in the morning, I think. Cheap Chinese piece o' crap.
Ah, but it was great fun. The idea of the Trunk 'n' Treat is for the people of the church to park their cars in a row and hand out candy from their trunks. Inside, parents can sit down for a while and get cookies and a hot cup of something (not the "something" that some might have been longing for, though, it being a church event and all). It's a safe place for the kids to come to, easy for moms with strollers, and lets folks in the community take a look at our church - building and people - in a non-imposing way.
And man, did they come! Our town only has 5000 people, and over the course of an hour we saw nearly 400 kids. (It felt like they were all their simultaneously, but then, I was a bit frazzled.) I decorated one of our cars with a gigantic spiderweb and child-eating spider (so I said) that kids had to reach underneath to get their goodies. Our other car was a bit more harvest themed, with a gigantic Cinderella pumpkin and two "Spooky" pumpkins, all-white pumpkins that I carved with spots and stripes and lit from the inside with changing multi-colored lights. They were my disco pumpkins. (W, hooray for our trip to the island!) That car was playing some nice Gregorian chant in the background, and one of the kids leaned in and shouted, "Halo 3!" I feel old.
Last night I learned a valuable lesson - If you volunteer to take over a fishing pond, you will never, never be able to escape. Every time I thought I could make a run for it, another clothespin tied to string would come launching over the sheet. (I ended up putting on my unicorn mask just for eye protection.) I quickly abandoned my instructions, "Give two tugs and throw the fish over," to adopt a more realistic fishing situation where I tugged and fought and made the fish leap a few times before finally chucking it over the edge. I was preparing kids for reality. (They needed it. One kid said, "Mommy! The fish won't let go!" Evil laughter.) Finally I ran out of fish and rose up out of the "pond" saying, "Go away you dumb kids! You bother me!" ( More or less.) Luckily, there was another fishing pond outside, so I was able to redirect the rabid candy-buzzed crowd safely away.
The whole thing could best be described as well-mannered absolute chaos, and by the end of the night I was saying, "AaaaaAAAA....Freak OUT!" But it was a satisfying feeling, sort of like finishing a marathon, and I survived with 14 pumpkins to take home and relight on the front porch, plus a very cute giant fake spider.
Most common costume of the night - the white mask thing from "Scream."
Best costume - a little cowgirl with a big inflatable horse in front of her. Her legs made up the back legs of the horse, so it looked like she was riding it.
Scariest costume - a teenage boy in a dress. I'm assuming it was a costume.
Best adult costume - goes to my mom, who made a very convincing baby.
Today may be All Saint's Day, but it's felt a bit more like Day of the Living Dead. My mind says wee! but my body is going eeeh? One of these years I'm going to start thinking about Halloween preparations before October 26...