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Posts Tagged ‘Ilwaco Halloween’

Monday, 31 October 2016

4:15 PM:  I take a walk before trick or treaters start to arrive.

comfy porch across the street

comfy porch across the street

Those of us familiar with Ilwaco Halloween are grateful to have a covered porch because answering the door to hundreds of rings is rather too much.  It’s better to be able to sit outside.

One block east, Missy and family just moved in here and are big fans of Halloween.

One block east, Missy and family just moved in to this house and are big fans of Halloween.

Missy's "pirate name" is Lucy Dagger.

Missy’s “pirate name” is Lucy Dagger.

They really are pirates for hire (for festivities).

They really are pirates for hire (for festivities).

across the street from Missy and John's

across the street from Missy and John’s

another half a block to the east

another half a block to the east

a well decorated porch

a well decorated porch

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a plant lover lives here

a plant lover lives here

Boo

Boo

spiders over the path

spiders over the path

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I walked one block north to Spruce Street and turned to the west.

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4:22, first sign of trick or treaters

4:22, first sign of trick or treaters

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Ilwaco Fire Department

Ilwaco Fire Department

Ilwaco Fire Department

Ilwaco Fire Department

The Fire Department held a food drive for the local food bank.

The Fire Department held a food drive for the local food bank.

Our firefighters are volunteers.

Our firefighters are volunteers.

back on Lake Street

back on Lake Street

From previous years, you might recall the house three blocks west of us that always has a elaborate display.  Due to an ill fated set of circumstances, those folks were unable to complete a display to their satisfaction this year (in case you remember and are looking for it).

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one block west

at the J's

at the J’s

Doug as Dracula

Doug as Dracula

 

Our Jodie and family friend Doug

Jodie and family friend Doug

4:41, the first set of trick or treaters next door

4:41, the first set of trick or treaters next door

Trick or treaters arrive at last!

Trick or treaters arrive at last!

among the first

among the first (Allan’s photo)

5:16: At least the rain squalls were intermittent and the weather was nowhere near as bad as we had feared.

5:16: At least the rain squalls were intermittent and the weather was nowhere near as bad as we had feared.

5:15:  Allan went for a walk and took these:

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The Inn at Harbour Village (B&B)

The Inn at Harbour Village (B&B)

inside the Inn at Harbour Village

inside the Inn at Harbour Village

looking down Williams Ave from The Inn at Harbour Village

looking down Williams Ave from The Inn at Harbour Village

at our friend Annie's house on Spruce

at our friend Annie’s house on Spruce

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Now the crowds are gathering!

Now the crowds are gathering!

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Missy in the doorway

Missy (Lucy Dagger) in the doorway

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on Lake Street; the lights are beginning to show.

Maddy (Pink Poppy Bakery) next door

Maddy (Pink Poppy Bakery) next door

If you had seen on Facebook to say “I love Pink Poppy Bakery”, you got a Pink Poppy cookie.

and back home again

and back home again

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We both stayed home for for awhile during the busiest time.  Allan continued to take some photos.

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Our Corridor of Spooky Plants

Our Corridor of Spooky Plants

our porch

our porch

an excellent costume

an excellent costume

I was horrified by a Donald Trump mask until I realized the costume was Trump in a tutu and tights.  One of  my favourite trick or treaters, about 9 years old, said (because of our campaign sign) “I’m glad to see you are voting for Hillary!”

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We garnered many compliments:

“I love your decorations!”

“I like that, that’s cool!” (about our caged skeleton bird)

“Oh my gosh, spiders!”

“Your house is awesome, best one I’ve seen.”

Overheard:  “It must have took them hours to do this.”  Yes, about eight hours total of decorating.

“You guys went all out!”

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At 6:15, I took a walk while Allan took over the candy handling.

I said I was just going next door to get a Pink Poppy treat (I knew the magic words).  Then I was lured into the night.

our place

our place

next door

next door

Pink Poppy Maddy, next door.

Pink Poppy Maddy, next door.  (She lives in Chinook, but it’s more fun to be in Ilwaco on Halloween.)

Maddy's squad

Maddy’s squad

across the street

across the street

next block east

next block east

Missy's pirate lair

Missy’s pirate lair

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Here's that spacious well decorated sunporch that we saw earlier.

Here’s that spacious well decorated sunporch that we saw earlier.

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The house next door.

The house next door.

The J's house

The J’s house

The J's house

The J’s house

One block west

One block west

Soon after I returned, Teresa from The Planter Box and Dave and Melissa of Sea Star Gardening joined us to admire costumes and hand out treats.

Teresa and Dave

Teresa and Dave

The owners of the wonderful Himani Indian Cuisine in Astoria.

The owners of the wonderful Himani Indian Cuisine in Astoria.

At 8:00, Teresa and Allan went for a walk so that she could see the lights. 

He regrets that by then it was so dark that he did not bring back many good photos.

our house

our house

the office at the fire station

the office at the fire station

in The Inn at Harbour Village

in The Inn at Harbour Village

After Allan and Teresa returned, trick or treaters kept arriving till 9 PM, and then our company departed.  I took down the cobwebs in the dark because I find them so tawdry the next day. From the driveway to the west, a young deer with small antlers came strolling by, looking for something other than candy.  At 9:20, the streets were quiet so we turned off the outdoor lights.  Jodie at the J’s texted me at 10:20 that she was still getting stragglers!  (Little ones, too, she said, even more surprisingly.)  I texted back “Turn out your lights!”

We kept a tally, and so did Jodie and Missy.  We all came up with 470 to 490 trick or treaters this year, not bad for a rainy Monday.  (Last year, Halloween was on a fine Saturday and we had over 500.)

I congratulate those residents of the Ilwaco flatlands who went all out again to make this little town a Halloween mecca.  (We are a town of about 900 people, so we know the children come from all over the Peninsula area.)



Tomorrow: my mother’s garden diary for October, complete with illustrations and non gardening entries.

 

 

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Friday, 30 October 2015

In the morning: the rare sight of Frosty and Smokey sleeping together.

In the morning: the rare sight of brothers Frosty and Smokey napping together.

Mary in her latest favourite spot.

Mary in her latest favourite spot.

I was determined not to be “down to the wire” decorating for Halloween at the very last minute, so despite some concern about the predicted 40+ mph wind, I added some material to the Corridor of Spooky Plants™ and decorated the sunporch.  Allan has a large box of Halloween decorations that he inherited from his mother, and we use them to lavish effect.

The bird and cage are new this year, from NIVA green.

The bird and cage are new this year, from NIVA green.

There are certain books that I like to put out each year.  Our Kathleen said (not unkindly) on Halloween night that the kids don’t notice them.  That’s true, but they mean a lot to me, and sometimes the parents have noticed, and besides, YOU will notice because of the photos I am about to post.  ( I missed taking a photo of Margaret Millar’s Beyond This Point are Monsters in the window by the stairs.)

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The Dark Secret of Weatherend by John Bellairs. I also strongly recommend his book The House with a Clock in Its Walls.

The Corridor of Spooky Plants at day's end

The Corridor of Spooky Plants at day’s end

The weather was not especially conducive to outdoor decorating.  I was fretting about how this would affect Halloween, as the storm was supposed to continue into the next day.  I held out hope that the forecast showed a break in the rain at 6 PM Halloween evening.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan made a reviving snack with tuna and olives and capers.

Allan made a reviving snack with tuna and olives and capers and celery and cheese.

In the late afternoon, Allan went on an errand to deliver presents to Don Nisbett’s art gallery for Jenna’s birthday party.  We’d been invited…but I felt too tired to make words at a crowded social situation.  Jenna is a dear enough friend to understand.

Don with a painting he had done of his wife, Jenna.

Don with a painting of his wife, Jenna.  The painting is by Susan Wallace of the Painted Lady Lavender Farm.

On the way there and back, Allan saw much evidence of the upcoming commercial crabbing season.

gear stacked behind the gear shed that is just east of our back garden

gear stacked behind the gear shed that is just east of our back garden

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sorting crab pot floats

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He also brought me this photo showing that the pond at the back of the Lost Garden is filling back up with rain water, after going totally dry this summer.

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One of his projects to get done by Halloween: to clean up the Park sign and get it installed on one of the front arbour.

It was rusting away.

It was rusting away.

The cockles of my geeky heart were warmed by these photos from the staff and teachers of Ilwaco High School:

Ilwaco High School teachers and staff

Ilwaco High School teachers and staff

Saturday, 31 October 2015

I awoke early to the sound of a roaring wind and anxiety about Halloween being stormed out.  I managed to sleep some more, and when I got up my first action was to look out the front windows to make sure the Corridor of Spooky Plants had not blown down.  It still stood!

We were expecting up to 9 guests for Halloween evening so I actually spent some time thoroughly cleaning house.  My goodness, that was hard and unaccustomed work.

Allan got the Park sign installed on the center front arbour.  He had also spent the last couple of days preparing chili and pumpkin pie.

He thinks maybe the word "Park" needs to be painted a contrasting colour.

He thinks maybe the word “Park” needs to be painted a contrasting colour.

He did not want the Flower Ghost  (a sheet over the front garden tuteur) to have a pointy head.

Allan's photo: before

Allan’s photo: before

Last year he had topped it with a pumpkin head, but this year we did not have a pumpkin of the right size.

last year

last year

He came up with ingenious idea of using a wheelbarrow tire (and said it was hard work getting it securely attached).

(actually taken when he was dismantling the ghost after Halloween)

(actually taken when he was dismantling the ghost after Halloween)

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On Halloween afternoon, an excellent rounded effect and an appropriate guest

On Halloween afternoon, an excellent rounded effect and an appropriate guest (Allan’s photo)

Allan also spent some time assembling little ghosts made of bits of white cloth over apples.

ghost assembly (Allan's photo)

ghost assembly (Allan’s photo)

The first trick or treater arrived at 2 PM before I had even put the cobwebs up!

Allan's photo of an early trick or treater across the street

Allan’s photo of an early trick or treater across the street

Fortunately, the others did not begun to arrive till after four, as I found myself down to the wire on decorating, as usual.  I had waited till 3 PM to do the cobwebs, because the pouring rain would make them sodden.  I felt a bit of panic when I looked at my watch and saw it was 3:20 already. I was still SO hoping that the rain would stop for the evening.  So far, about 3.11 inches of rain had fallen on the Peninsula.

Allan's photo: applying cobwebs in the storm; "Look happy!", he said.

Allan’s photo: applying cobwebs in the storm; “Look happy!”, he said.

A couple of years ago, I thought I might skip the cobwebs as they look so tawdry the next day that I’ve sometimes taken them down at midnight on Halloween eve.  However, the Corridor of Spooky Plants™ did not look scary enough when cobweb free.  This year, the new deer fencing gave even more area for cobweb application.

spider lights and cobwebs (Allan's photo)

spider lights and cobwebs (Allan’s photo)

While I was hastily applying cobwebs as witching hour approached, Garden Tour Nancy and Phil drove by.  I didn’t have time to stop and chat, or even to say that they were much too early to get the full effect of Ilwaco Halloween.  It is tricky to get the cobweb stuff to spread out enough; no matter how I work at it, I lose patience or run out of time and parts of it end up clumpy.

Nancy and Phil's drive by.

Nancy and Phil’s drive by.  (Allan’s photo)

totally drenched and decorating with some red twig dogwood

totally drenched and decorating with some red twig dogwood

Allan's photo: He had put the window film up.

Allan’s photo: He had put the cats and bats window films up.

The pressure was getting to us and there had been considerable squabbling about where the double stick stuff for the window film had gone (I had used a bit to hang some pictures, since I was cleaning house), why weren’t the white lights on the apple tree hooked up yet, and so on….exacerbated by our being a little hard of hearing so much yelling back and forth ensued.  We were both, I am sure, deeply glad to get all the tasks done on a decorating job that had started a week ago.  (I did notice that by the next day, despite torrential rain overnight, the cobwebs looked just fine and not at all sodden, so next year I will apply them early in the day no matter what the weather.)

Allan's photo: ready at last! 4:15 PM

Allan’s photo: ready at last! 4:15 PM

The Corridor of Spooky Plants™

The Corridor of Spooky Plants™ is ready!

and the rain stopped!

and the rain stopped!

Allan's photo: Mary checks out the scene

Allan’s photo: Mary checks out the scene

Our Kathleen arrived bearing corn muffins to go with the chili, and some cookies, as well.

Right after 4:15, the first trick or treaters began to arrive.  And miraculously, the weather changed at that moment to rain-free and almost windless perfection.  Mother Nature smiles on Ilwaco Halloween; I have observed this phenomenon more than once over the past five years of living on Lake Street.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

With the first trick or treaters arriving, I went on a walkabout down Lake Street and back on Spruce, and over to Willow where there had been one extra good display last year.  I was disappointed that several houses chose not to decorate this year.  Spruce was almost devoid of decorations and Lake was better, but still lacking compared to last year.  Two of the households had moved away, but really, what happened to the others?  I feel that decorating in Ilwaco is a civic duty, and it bothered me a lot that some residents had let down the side by not making an effort to at least put out a few pumpkins and be home with treats at the ready.  It’s just not right.  When I returned, I told Allan “If I ever die or go to hospital on October 30th, you WILL do Halloween anyway!”  In fact, I had given Our Kathleen a key and told her that if anything catastrophic happened to us at the last minute, she was in charge of running Halloween at our house.  I heard later from a couple of parents that they noticed the downturn in decorating this year.  We have all raised the bar high here in Ilwaco, and I do hope that next year, more people will step up. I was so glad Allan and I  had put together a tableaux that made the kids thrilled and excited (and garnered many compliments from  children and adults alike).

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan and Kathleen await

Allan and Kathleen await

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo “Vampire Stick Figure”

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Shelly and Steve arrived (owners of The Great Day Café in Surfside, and NW Insurance and Financial in Long Beach).  When they had seen photos of the huge number of trick or treaters in Ilwaco last year, they had made plans to join us this year to hand out candy.  No one comes on Halloween to their quiet block on the north end of the Peninsula.

Shelly arranged some scrumptious shrimp that Steve had made for the occasion.

Shelly arranged some scrumptious shrimp that Steve had made for the occasion. (Allan’s photo)

Steve had also made this fabulous garden pumpkin.

Steve had also made this fabulous garden pumpkin.  Steve said the broccoli nose and kale hair had gotten flattened in transit.

We started by sitting on the porch to hand out the candy.  Soon it became apparent that with the number of folks greeting the trick or treaters, we should be on ground level.  Karla, from Time Enough Books at the Port of Ilwaco, came to give us her left over Halloween candy so that we would have plenty.

Karla, and Steve in orange handing out candy (Allan's photo)

Karla, and Steve in orange handing out candy as I replenish his bowl (Allan’s photo)

Steve and Shelly (Allan's photo)

Steve and Shelly (Allan’s photo)

Steve and Shelly

Steve and Shelly

Shelly's excellent hat

Shelly’s excellent hat

Karla's niece, Kelli, with her sons (two of our favourite trick or treaters) (Allan's photo)

Karla’s niece, Kelli, with her sons (two of our favourite trick or treaters) (Allan’s photo)

a four-armed creature and a bat

a four-armed creature and a bat

Children like Kelli's sons, who examined the details, make the decorating well worth while.

Children like Kelli’s sons, who examined the details, make the decorating well worth while.

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J9 arrives (Allan's photo)

J9 arrives (Allan’s photo)

Kathleen on candy detail (Allan's photo)

Kathleen on candy detail (Allan’s photo)

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Shelly and the pumpkin

Shelly and the pumpkin

Steve, Shelly, and Allan had walked down the street to see Chris’s Halloween extravaganza  (three blocks west).  Allan lost track of Steve and Shelly on the way because of so many distractions, so I don’t even know if they found Chris’s house.  They returned eventually so I do hope they found it.

Dave and Melissa and Todd arrived, and shortly after that, Teresa from The Planter Box came.  We left Steve and Shelly in charge while the rest of us walked down to Chris’s.  Meanwhile, Allan departed on a walkabout of the surrounding area to collect photos for our Ilwaco blog.  You can see photos of our walkabouts on the Our Ilwaco blog.  Here is a preview in the form of a thrilling video of Chris’s 2015 display.

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Realizing that the weather had truly turned pleasant, we arranged a semi circle of chairs and settled in to enjoy the show.

Kathleen, J9, Dave, and Melissa

Kathleen, J9, Dave, and Melissa

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Wendy Murry got this photo of the double line of trick or treaters

Wendy Murry got this photo of the double line of trick or treaters

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan returned after Steve and Shelly departed for another evening commitment, to find us seated at ground level, still inundated with trick or treaters.  Dave and Melissa had left just a few minutes before to go home and walk their dogs.  Todd had helped me move the skeleton bird’s cage to hang in a tree next to Kathleen.  She told the trick or treaters, who were fascinated by the bird, “Tweetie has had a really hard day.”

Tweetie

Tweetie

Kathleen, Todd, me, Teresa, J9, and Lynn of Pink Poppy Farm visiting from a party next door.

Kathleen, Todd, me, Teresa, J9, and Lynn of Pink Poppy Farm visiting from a party next door.

Allan's photo

Tweetie, Kathleen, and Todd (Allan’s photo)

Next year, I am going to line the entry corridor with all the ceramic Halloween figurines that Allan got from his mother.  They are wasted on the porch when the weather is so fine that we can sit outside, and they will be quite visible from a child’s eye view.

quite spooky indeed

quite spooky indeed

Todd and our cheerful ghostie (Allan's photo)

Todd and our cheerful ghostie (Allan’s photo)

Teresa takes a turn handing out the treats.

Teresa takes a turn handing out the treats.

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It was fortunate that we had plenty of candy, including some extra contributed by Karla and Teresa, as our neighbour one door down across the street ran out after 500 pieces.  I told her we had plenty and that she should feel free to come for more if she needed it, and so she did!

The quite amazing costume of Julez (owner of Salt Hotel), who visited from the Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm household next door.

The quite amazing costume of Julez (owner of Salt Hotel), who visited from the Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm household next door.

I knew it was Julez because Salt Hotel at the Port of Ilwaco (which he owns with his wife, Laila) had posted this photo earlier in the

I knew it was Julez because Salt Hotel at the Port of Ilwaco (which he owns with his wife, Laila) had posted this photo earlier in the day.

Julez said he could neither see nor breathe, and he seemed to have a special affinity with Tweetie.

Here's a photo of Julez and Laila of Salt Hotel relaxing next door; photo by our neighbour, Jessika Tantisook

Here’s a photo of Julez and Laila of Salt Hotel relaxing next door; photo by our neighbour, Jessika Tantisook

At the Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm house next door, if you knew the secret words, “I love Pink Poppy Bakery“, Maddy of Pink Poppy would give you a special treat.  She was kind enough to bring us a packet of her cookies:

Pink Poppy Bakery

Pink Poppy Bakery

It is so gladdening to see friend after friend come trick or treating.

our good friend Terran and her son Greydon

our good friend Terran (“Crazy Cat Lady”) and her son Greydon (Allan’s photo)

At about 8:30, we decided the last trick or treater had come, and Teresa made her departure.  Actually, the last group of five rang the doorbell at 9:20, just as I was about to turn off the Halloween lights.  At about that moment, Allan remembered that he had baked two pumpkin pies and completely forgotten to serve them.  Todd and J9 and Kathleen each got a large piece to take home with them, and due to the overwhelming nature of Halloween in Ilwaco driving thoughts of dessert from Allan’s and my memory, our other friends missed out on pie.

The tally showed that we had about 515 trick or treaters.  Because the tally sheet got passed around a lot, we did not have an accurate account and the number might have been higher.

As we sat inside relaxing at about 10 PM, the torrential rain returned and continued all night long.

Next year:  Because we are so touched by the appreciation of all the trick or treaters, we want to put on an even better show.  Steve and Shelly want to dress in costumes,  perhaps I can do a better job with the cobwebs, perhaps we could have some scary music, and we promise to remember the pumpkin pies.  And no matter what happens, our intention is that someone will be here to make Halloween dreams come true.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Nature had had her revenge:  When I had pulled wild grasses along the meander line a week before, I had cut my finger.   I thought it had healed well, but today it was sore and looked inflamed.  As a hypochondriac, I was quite worried; fortunately, rain let me stay in and read a book, because the sore spot was right where it would hurt to pull weeds.

much fierce rain

much fierce rain

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  I became completely absorbed in the book  (with some guilt, as the weather improved considerably in the afternoon).  I should have got me arse in gear and hied us down to Cheri’s and Mike’s garden, both close to us, on the pleasant hours of the afternoon.  But I did not.

Allan was more ambitious.  I had pointed out, last time I weeded in the front garden, a limb that might be removed from the ornamental plum tree.  He had been thinking about it, and today he cut it.

before

before

after

after: more light for the shrubs underneath.  I do not especially like that tree.

He also hung up all our Halloween lights for the upcoming Halloween trick or treating extravaganza.

front porch

front porch

gate

spiders

 

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purple lights on the front arbour

purple lights on the front arbour

..and he hung two new pots (given us by our client Jo, I think) by the garage door.

..and he hung two new pots (given us by our client Jo, I think) by the garage door.

I went out to admire his handiwork, and noticed one plant blooming nicely in the front garden.

some sort of rudbeckia?

some sort of rudbeckia?

the front gate, ready for Halloween

the front gate, ready for Halloween

Now we just have to erect our spooky corridor of dead plants for the trick or treaters.  That will have to wait until later as windstorms would tear it apart.

Here is the book that had me so absorbed:

book

A couple of bits that spoke to me follow.  The first reminded me of stories I have heard about the end of life, including Jo’s dear mother who said something like “I don’t mind going but I’m not enjoying the trip”, as she died in her late 90s.

death

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Why must death be so hard?  It is a mystery that plagues me; the concept of it being a passage, like birth, even though hard, is comforting, and I do hope it is toward something more than just the dark.

The following passage reminded me of my questioning about whether or not it was right for me to try to control nature in the far reaches of our property (and the revenge of nature that had my finger looking worrisomely weird and making me think of going to urgent care, although I can tell you, as I am writing this days later, I did not go and it turned out ok).

nature

bats

It’s a great book, and I recommend it so highly that on a scale of one to five I would want to give it a ten or a twenty.  I finished it by evening and was in mourning when it ended.  Sometimes Julia Glass has revisited characters in her novels (Three Junes, and then The Whole World Over, and now her new book And the Dark Sacred Night revisits the same characters).  I do hope she revisits the characters from The Widower’s Tale in a future novel.  I did not want to let them go.  Meanwhile, I am impatiently waiting for Three Junes to come from the library so I can reread the first two books of her trilogy before I read the third one.

 

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Thursday, 31 October 2013

How tedious it can be when someone tells all about their dreams. But let it be said that I slept very late on this rainy day off and dreamt that I was enjoying an extended stay at the Sylvia Beach Hotel and that every day I added one more night to my dream vacation there so that I could read more of the room journals.

Upon awakening, I created most of the day’s blog post because I knew I would have little time at the end of the evening. All I would have to add after Halloween activities would be the sunset photos. I am still running two days behind on the blog because of last week’s revelries with visitor Debbie Teashon! That’s nothing, though, because there are times I have been blogging actual years behind.

Friends awaited at coffee klatsch at Olde Towne Café. Our dear friend Patt had been unable to make it back to Ilwaco, her former and much missed home. We had a photo taken to let her know we were thinking of her and were so sorry she would miss Ilwaco Halloween.

Jamie, Donna, Tom, Judy, me

Jamie, Donna, Tom, Judy, me

Judy must be thinking how tired she is of being photographed by us, or how sad it is that Patt was not here. Sorry, Judy…. Tom’s quizzical “look” is the one Judy says she sees every day and something about him that we find quite endearing.

On the left, above, a regular blog reader (one of the not huge number of about 40!) joins our group! Jamie had introduced herself to me and Allan in one of the Long Beach parks and I knew from our conversation that she would be deeply sympatico with Donna, Tom and Judy as well. They bonded immediately on dogs, liberalism, and New York!

We had one more photo letting Patt know how very much we missed her.

We miss Patt!

We miss Patt!

Coffee klatching carried on into the afternoon until we departed with a sense of panic as we still had much decorating to do before trick or treat time:

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This bit of garden decor can look quite scary

the webbing of the Corridor of Spooky Plants

the webbing of the Corridor of Spooky Plants

Tom and Judy hustled to get their scary clown set up. (complete with scary music). Here he is in a photo showing the wonderful fall foliage:

judy

and the photo I used for the Halloween Ilwaco Facebook album:

more Halloween-y

more Halloween-y

Allan working on last minute touches.

Allan working on last minute touches.

Just as the trick or treating began (as early as 4:30!) I went for a walk to catch the completed decorations at the other houses on the two east-west flatland Ilwaco streets that are a Halloween mecca. Chris was still trying to figure out the best way to structure his giant squid.

Chris's Halloween house

Chris’s Halloween house

We believe that Chris is the one who MADE Ilwaco the Halloween center of the SW Washington coast. The town was not much of a Halloween spot when I used to live over behind the boatyard. Over recent years, Chris’s creations have drawn people in and inspired others to decorate extravagantly as well.

Chris's moveable shark in 2010

Chris’s moveable shark in 2010

the dragon of 2011

the moveable dragon of 2011

the moveable hippo of 2012

the moveable hippo of 2012

As he worried over his giant squid I warned him the trick or treaters were already appearing! “They’re too early!” he said; “They have to come back after dark!” But they were here…

Spruce Street

on Spruce Street

Below is the creature that inspired me to at least put a sheet over our garden tuteur. Next year, I hope we (read: Allan) can construct something big and spooky with plant materials.

Spruce Street monster

Spruce Street monster

at the same house

at the same house

one house down....Next year, I want to have window things like this.  They add a lot.

one house down….Next year, I want to have window things like this. They add a lot.

a gardening aside:  azalea blooming just east of Spruce Street

a gardening aside: azalea blooming just east of Spruce Street

walking east on Spruce past one of my favourite houses in town....

walking east on Spruce past one of my favourite houses in town….

Shell Cottage

Shell Cottage

a bit further east

a bit further east, another house with a pretty garden

arch

girl

I love the curtain in the entrance.

Some decorations were very simple, but a pumpkin, a porch light, and an open gate are all that is needed to say “Welcome”.

decor

The rain had turned to a light and moody mist, perfect for the evening.

rain

On the corner just down from us, the house of the Lost Garden is, sadly, lacking an occupant. It would have made an excellent Halloween house.

house

a very old house

Although it was my turn to relieve Allan so he could go see the sights, I had to POP down to see Judy and Tom’s house once again.

Hornbuckle garden with good Halloween colours

Hornbuckle garden with good Halloween colours

Tom at the door

Tom at the door

I walked back home (four doors away) as, at 5:30, the crowd on Lake Street became thicker.

walking past Mary's house

walking past Mary’s house

The misty air echoed with the sound of excited yelling and running feet. Sometimes the echoing voices in the distance sounded riotous and quite startling in the usually quiet streets.

Lake Street looking east

Lake Street looking east

our front garden

our front garden

our spooky walk

our spooky walk

It was time to put out the battery operated candles along the spooky corridor…and I realized we could use real candles plunged into the soil further back in the garden, safely away from the children’s costumes.

spooky corridor detail:  I lose patience at spreading out the cobweb stuff.

spooky corridor detail: I lose patience at spreading out the cobweb stuff.

When I volunteered to take over the rather overwhelming and frenzied task of handing out treats to the ravening hordes, Allan said that in his experience, parents tended to be suspicious of a man out photographing trick or treaters, and that it would be better if I went back out till dark. It would save him having to explain that the photos are for the Ilwaco Facebook pages (and are not close ups of unmasked children without the parents’ permission, that is to say, children of people we know).

5:40 PM

5:40 PM….I am off into the streets again.

across the street, the J's house.  (The whole family has names that start with J.  Very helpful for people with a bad memory for names.)

across the street, the J’s house. (The whole family has names that start with J. Very helpful for people with a bad memory for names.)

a big lineup at Tom and Judy's

a big lineup at Tom and Judy’s

Judy told me their scary clown was photographed hundreds of times. One child ran madly up the walk and back to get his candy while the clown was down inside the Jack in the Box. (It hides, then remerges in a ghastly fashion with creepy music.) One mother stayed at the gate, saying she herself was terrified of clowns.

clown rising

clown rising

Judy was undaunted.

Judy was undaunted.

at Lake and Myrtle, the prettiest Halloween porch

at Lake and Myrtle, the prettiest Halloween porch

I love the way the "orange house" owners decorated with boxes.  Very clever indeed.

Further west: I love the way the “orange house” owners decorated with boxes. Very clever indeed.

Next door to the orange house, Chris and his friends had gotten their squid plan all sorted out.

pair

The tentacles would wait till trick or treaters came up the walk…

squid

and then would swoop in.

manned tentacles

manned tentacles

Nearby stood one of the many elegantly costumed adults. I noticed a definite steampunk theme this year.

a steampunk gentleman

a steampunk gentleman

excellent detail

excellent detail

I like the look of the groups of costumed folks walking our usually quiet streets.

fog

at Lake and Pearl

at Spruce and Williams

at Spruce and Williams

The Inn at Harbour Village, just up the hill

The Inn at Harbour Village, just up the hill

Kelly

At her home and business location on Spruce Street, Kelly of Blue Crab Graphics sported a most interesting costume.

kelly

She explained, “I’m not a witch; I’ve been labeled as a witch.”

I popped just around the corner at First Avenue to peek into Olde Towne where the 6-9 PM potluck party was just getting started. We would not be able to go till it was almost over because of the trick or treaters. Luanne’s son Michael had been perfecting the art of zombie makeup.

Café owner and barista Luanne

Café owner and barista Luanne

Michael

Michael

a ghostly photo of café regular Linda crossing the street to the Café

a ghostly photo of café regular Linda crossing the street to the Café

(She’s wearing Kelly’s Blue Crab Graphics Ilwaco semaphore sweatshirt. I had to take the photo on the move because a car was waiting for us local zombie grrrls.)

The Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Dept. always opens for trick or treaters.

The Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Dept. always opens for trick or treaters.

on the right, fire chief Tom Williams (who also built Judy's kitchen cupboards!)

on the right, fire chief Tom Williams (who also built Judy’s kitchen cupboards!)

firefighting suits at the ready

firefighting suits at the ready

across the street at the home of one of the firefighters

across the street at the home of one of the firefighters

further east, an old porch with one string of lights

further east, an old porch with one string of lights

the M and J Plumbing house

the M and J Plumbing house

Allan and I were trying to think of a last minute fake figure to put in a chair. We came up with nothing. This mummy is a great idea:

The Mummy of M and J Plumbing

The Mummy of M and J Plumbing

I very much like the spooky hand skeleton lights at Advent and Spruce Street.

6:15 PM: I very much like the spooky hand skeleton lights at Advent and Spruce Street.

at Lake and Advent

at Lake and Advent

and home again at 6: 20 PM.

and home again at 6: 20 PM.

our ghost

our ghost

Allan had tried lighting the inside of our ghost. That made the yellow roses show too much, which was not very scary.

I had one more look at Tom and Judy's house...

I had one more look at Tom and Judy’s house…

Halloween participation is not mandatory. Those who do not want to hand out candy just keep their gates closed and turn out their lights, especially the porch light.

looking west on Lake Street

looking west on Lake Street, another spooky old house with no candy

Now it was definitely time for me to go home and take over the treat detail from Allan. It was his turn to go out and take photos, and here they are:

earlier:  the spooky corridor

earlier: the spooky corridor

across the street

across the street

looking west on Lake

looking west on Lake

looking west from our house down Lake Street

looking west from our house down Lake Street

our Corridor of Spooky Plants with candles

our Corridor of Spooky Plants with candles

me ensconced on the porch handing out candy

me ensconced on the porch handing out candy

a simple costume

a simple costume

You shall not pass....

You shall not pass….below our porch

along our sidewalk

along our sidewalk

the J's house

the J’s house

that scary clown

that scary clown

Tom waiting behind the door.

Tom waiting behind the door.

After the first year of answering the door for 300 plus trick or treaters, I found it easier to just sit on the porch. However, our porch provides a bit of a hidey spot off to the side which is most effective.

Tom, AKA "Mr Judy"

Tom, AKA “Mr Judy”

There is a longstanding tradition among my internet friends (sometimes “imaginary friends”) that if one of a couple is more active online, the other one, usually male, gets called by their partner’s name, as…Mr. Judy.

another window treatment I would like to have for next year...

another window treatment I would like to have for next year…

I had not taken time to walk up the hill to the Inn at Harbour Village, but Allan did.

Inn at Harbour Village

Inn at Harbour Village

Inn at Harbour Village

Inn at Harbour Village

Inn at Harbour Village

Inn at Harbour Village

While Allan was out photographing nightlife, I and the Hornbuckles got to see Luanne and the Olde Towne crew as they zombie walked through town.

Luanne zombie walked into our garden.  Photo courtesy Jenna Lanette Austin.

Luanne zombie walked into our garden. Photo courtesy Jenna Lanette Austin.

Allan returns home...

Allan returns home…

and captures the perfect Halloween accessory.

and captures the perfect Halloween accessory.

We still had trick or treaters, including some very small and young ones, up till 8:30 when we turned out the lights. One young chap, about twelve years old and very articulate (dressed as Julius Caesar) expressed sadness that “so few houses were giving out candy.” I told him he needed to start earlier next year, as many houses had run out, and gave him five extra pieces. Tom and Judy had gone through their 400 pieces of candy by 7:40 and then closed down the scary clown. By then, Allan had goneon an emergency run to the local store, after an anxious call from me, and picked up four more bags of rather pricey candy (compared to the economy candy we had stocked up on in advance). Next year, the Hornbuckles and we will prepare for 600. We heard that on Spruce Street some households had that many.

Our attempt to keep a tally failed to be exact.

the tally sheet

the tally sheet

You can tell the difference between Allan’s neat start, divided into fives, and my chaotic scribblings. (“Ate one two three–hungry!”) By the count of the number of candies, we also had closer to 400. When the children arrive in drove after drove it is terribly hard to count them.

We made it to the party at Olde Towne only twenty minutes before it ended. My tabouli had arrived at the potluck earlier, thanks to Allan delivering it.

tabouli with hot mustard leaves and cilantro and flowers from the garden

tabouli with hot mustard leaves and cilantro and flowers from the garden

I will rely on another photo from Jenna to show the party we missed:

wild times at Oldie Townie

wild times at Oldie Townie

And then home…to finish the blog about gardening work of two days ago and to upload over 100 photos to a Facebook photo album

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