Photographs and random musings from an artist living in the California mountains
Thursday, October 30, 2014
A Halloween Memory
(artwork by Helen Jacobs 1888-1970)
I was fourteen years old, too old to go trick or treating, too young (according to my strict mother) to go to Halloween parties. But I wasn't too old to miss going trick or treating. When my eldest sister asked me if I wanted to take two of my little nieces, aged four and five, trick or treating I jumped at the chance.
Oooh, it was a perfect night for Halloween! The full moon's light was darkened at times by torn rags of clouds flying across her face. A chill little breeze sent eerie whispers through the few dead leaves still clinging to the branches and rattled through the drifts of leaves on the ground with a sound like old, unquiet bones clicking, rattling, shifting.
...Maybe it wasn't the leaves making those noises. Maybe the noise really was coming from the bones of skeletons clawing their way up from their unmarked graves because they were getting ready to come after us.
That's the story I was telling my little nieces as we walked up a very long walkway to get to the porch of an unfamiliar house where the only decoration was a scarecrow sitting on a barrel under a dim porch light. It had a pretty gruesome face but I, in my best fourteen-year-old-impersonating-a-grown-up manner, assured my apprehensive little nieces that there was nothing to be afraid of, it was just a shirt and pants stuffed with hay that someone had placed a phony head on, nothing to be afraid of at all.
But then the thing stood up! Stood up, and screamed the most blood curdling, freeze-your-bones banshee cry I had ever heard! And then it laughed, crazed-serial-killer-possessed-by-a-demon booms of laughter...while it was walking down the steps toward us!
Did I hesitate? No sir, no ma'am, I turned on my heel and ran faster than a college quarterback who knows he's going to get a multi-million dollar deal from the NFL if he makes the touchdown. But only for about four steps. Then I remembered. My sweet, defenseless little nieces! I turned, in a blind panic, and ran back. Scooping up one under each arm, tucking them in like a football, I was just a few steps in front of the monster as I turned again and ran faster than I ever had before, faster than any quarterback, faster than the wind could fly.
But still, that laughter followed and I knew that monstrous, child devouring thing was close because that high pitched giggling ... giggles? High pitched giggles? Little girl giggles.
But, yes. I set the giggling little monsters down and turned to see my sister, laughing so hard she could barely stand up, holding the scarecrow's head in her hand, but still wearing the scarecrow costume.
It was The Great Halloween Set Up. And I fell for it, hook, line and adorable little nieces.
It's a good Halloween memory, though, and we all still laugh about it. We laugh, too, about how I eventually got them in my own Great Halloween Set Up. But that's a story for another evening.
And some other Wildings, big and little, who kindly share their forest with me:
"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Young Steller's Jay
Common to high altitude forests all over the west
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Our task must be to free ourselves...by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. ~~ Albert Einstein
June Is Adopt a Cat Month
But, there are always strays who need a loving home - so don't shop, ADOPT! Click the photo for helpful tips on adopting.
If they breathe, they live. If they live, they feel. If they feel, they love. If they love, they are aware. If they are aware, they have a soul. ~ Williams
I love cats because I enjoy my home and, little by little, they become its visible soul ~ Jean Cocteau (That's Malcolm O'Mewy on the chair)
Feed the Hungry
I think we are bound to, and by, Nature. We may want to deny this connection and try to believe we control the external world, but every time there's a snowstorm or drought we know our fate is tied to the world around us. ~~ Alice Hoffman
What I'm Reading Now:
Give a Child a Book
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers.
Charles W. Eliot
A person who collects or is fond of books. Also, a person who immediately feels safe, happy, even euphoric, when holding a favorite book.
Care for a cuppa?
Where there is tea there is hope - Pinero
Boulder Bay, Big Bear Lake
Click to visit Big Bear
Lake Gregory, Crestline
Click to visit Crestline
Click to visit Lake Arrowhead
A Favorite Quote
"I don't want life to imitate art; I want life to BE art." Carrie Fisher
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. ~ John Muir, from "The California Mountains"
I'm three-quarters Native American (Oglala Sioux and Cherokee), and one-quarter Northern Italian. I live in a little cottage with my furry "children" in a beautiful mountain forest where we enjoy daily visits from the little wild creatures. I love animals (you probably guessed), books, photography, tall trees, clear lakes, rain, snow, tea, the moon, and creating all kinds of art.