haunted house

10653815_10203120678073749_584939759546150558_na100_0023When I was a kid, dressing up for Halloween was for kids. Things have changed since then and these days you see lots of adults going to parties, teenagers roaming the streets trick or treating, scaring kids or just acting weird…and of course, there are still the little kids doing their usual thing…collecting candy. It’s the night when everything is turned upside down. Kids are taken to do things they normally aren’t allowed to do…knock on the doors in their neighborhoods and ask for candy. Of course, most are also, schooled in all the safety tips designed to keep then safe as they go, because lets face it, they are excited, and there is always the possibility of one of them running across the street without really looking first…hence the need for watchful parents.

It’s much different today, than things were in my day, because while my dad always took us out trick or treating, we didn’t have to be worried about the candy we received. We made a haul. In fact, we took a pillowcase to collect our candy in, knowing full well that we would almost fill it up, and sometimes we even had to go home, empty it out and go out again. These days, kids only go to the homes of people they know…for the most part. Candy must be x-rayed to assure its safety. Many children are taken to places like the mall or to 1896927_10205212699852986_7498749312055281589_nparties. All this to insure their safety in this unsafe world we live in now.

Most of the teenagers either don’t participate, work, or stay at home to hand out candy, but lots of them go out with their friends. One hopes that the majority of those teenagers are not out getting into trouble, but often that is not the case. At least for the troublemaking group. There are still good teenagers, who respect authority, their parents, and their elders. I am thankful that I live in a state where most teenagers are still taught good values, and I wish that was so in all the states in our nation.

This year, my youngest grandson, Josh Petersen is participating in something new for Halloween. Although it is not a Halloween event, it requires him to don a costume, but please don’t call it an outfit or costume, because it has a specific name…bunkers. Josh’s event is not a party or haunted house or really anything that has anything to do with Halloween, but is does require going into a situation that is very much out of the ordinary for him, and strange for us, his family, to think about. Josh is doing fire science training at the drill tower today. The training will include a practice fire, in which real fire will be used…hence the unusual situation 10676195_10202953479705529_3463465173877702689_n[1]Firefighter Joshinvolving a building, that most of us would consider a nightmare if it happened in a building we were in. While these are not a real fire situations, it is these training sessions that prepare our firefighters for the real life scenarios they will face on the job. Yes, this is an unusual way for a seventeen year old to spend a Saturday, especially on Halloween, but it is one that Josh will find exciting, inspiring, and a great learning experience for the career he has chosen to take on. We are all very proud of him.

Whatever Halloween finds you and your family doing, I hope you have a great evening, be safe, watchful, respectful, and have fun. Happy Halloween!!

For as long as I can remember, going to my grandmother’s house brought the smell of potato milk soup or oyster stew. Now, don’t get me wrong, my grandmother made other foods, and was an excellent cook, so maybe that is just the memory that makes me think of her. I was never very fond of oyster stew as a child, although I like it now, but potato milk soup was always a yummy favorite. Grandma always had the oyster crackers too, and I thought those were always fun. Grandma’s kitchen was always full of great smells and plenty of food.

Grandma loved having her family come for visits. The more the merrier. And all of her grandkids would have to agree with that. We always had a great time playing at grandma’s house. She had a huge back bedroom where her kids had slept, and while I always that it was scary at night, it was a great place to play. It had lots of room and plenty of beds when it was time to put the babies down for their naps. Playing house back there was always great fun, and since my grandparents had 9 kids, there were always plenty of cousins to play house with.

I think my grandmother must have been a Popsicle person like me, because her house was warm. I was always cold, so it was nice to go to grandma’s house, because it was always warm and cozy. As a kid, it seemed like I could never get warm enough…except at grandma’s house. I suppose many people wouldn’t think that was much of a memory, but to me, it was a great memory. It never seemed to matter how warm it was in the house, I still wanted to snuggle up in a warm blanket, but at grandma’s house, I never had to get a blanket…Grandma understood.

When my grandparents moved from their old home to the new one on 3rd Street, I remember playing in the basement. It was a great place for a haunted house when we were kids, and the pool table in the rec room was a definite plus…if you could get a chance to play. It was definitely a first come first served basis, and the older the kids were, the quicker they got there, and somehow it always seemed to me that the boys got there quicker than the girls.

I didn’t really matter what we were doing when it came to going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, we always had a good time. Whether we were playing in one of the many rooms in her house, or playing hide-and-seek outside, it was always fun…mostly I suppose because we were at Grandma’s house.

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