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Cooler temperatures mean holidays are looming

Published September 25. 2010 09:00AM

It is hard to believe but this is the first "official" weekend of the fall even though the temperatures the past few days were no different than they were in July.

This was definitely one summer about which we really cannot complain, unless of course you did not like the high temperatures and humidity. It was a long time since I can recall a summer quite like this one weather wise. I remember when I was younger we would have a week or two of hot weather, but this year it seemed like there was only a week or two that was not hot.

I am no weatherman, but I have to wonder if this hot weather might be an indicator of a bad winter. One can only speculate on the future weather. I think most of us believe weathermen do this most of the time anyway. Most of us joke about it being the one profession where no one holds you to your word if you are wrong most of the time.

Besides cooler temperatures, this is the time of year the holidays start to creep into view. Unfortunately, this year the holidays slammed into view much sooner than expected.

I think it was just a few weeks ago and Labor Day did not arrive, yet we walked into Big Lots and came face to face not only with Halloween decorations but Christmas items were actually out on a few shelves. I could not believe my eyes. I said to my wife that we probably would be able to buy Easter candy in October.

Some things really have changed I suppose. I remember when I was a boy, you did not see anything Halloween oriented until October first. Christmas did not appear until after Thanksgiving and the Easter Bunny never showed up before Ash Wednesday. Now we are in such a hurry that we leave these traditions in the dust for the sake of the consumer dollar. Too bad.

Speaking of traditions, I remember when I first joined the high school band. We needed white shoes and it was August. Today it probably is not difficult to find them, but in the late 1970's and early 1980s the no white shoes after Labor Day tradition was still in full swing and it took my parents much hunting to find them.

As I recall we ran to Allentown to get a pair as the shoe stores around here had already sold out of them for the year. Yes, most of you my age probably remember the shoe stores in Lansford. I believe there was two of them at that time. Of course today there are zero.

Even though some of these memories of how life was no longer applies, this is still one of my favorite times of year. Both my daughter Kathryn and my nephew Evan were born in October about two years and two weeks apart. I married my soul mate Katie in October seven years ago, and she made me ecstatic when I proposed to her on Halloween eight years ago and she accepted.

I also love Halloween. I still like dressing up and enjoying the holiday just as much as the kids although I stopped trick or treating more than twenty five years ago although I love handing out treats now. Each year since we have been together Katie and I and now Kathryn have gotten dressed in costumes to hand out treats to the neighborhood trick or treaters.

One year we were in merry old England as a knight and a lady in waiting. Another time we were Roman royalty. A few years we were Civil War era personages. I was a soldier and she was a lady. One of my favorite costumes was the year I dressed up as the devil with real horns and all. With my receding hairline, they definitely fit into my forehead.

Of course I have had disastrous costumes as well. Once when I was younger I tried to do a movie makeup face from a book I bought. It was a dripping face and in the book it looked really cool. It used corn syrup, oats and food coloring to make this dripping concoction.

The book directed you to use the corn syrup to apply cotton balls to your face above your eye and on your cheek and some other places. Next you were to coat them and your face with the oatmeal, corn syrup slop and it was supposed to make it look like your face was melting. It was nasty and while it worked, it was uncomfortable and it didn't last very long. When I started sweating, it started running all over the place.

One of the cooler makeups I did one year was to make a flour paste and used paper towel strips to create bandages. A bald cap covered my hair which I did have in my youth. I mixed the concoction and my dad assisted me in applying the strips all over my head and face.

When we finished and it dried, it made one of the coolest mummy masks I ever made. Of course all I could do was grunt but it was cool.

I wasn't so elaborate every year though. Some years it was just some makeup and vampire fangs to be a vampire. This year, you will have to stop by the house on Halloween night to see the 2010 edition costumes. They should be good.

Til next time …

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