Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Travels to NJ, Part II

Just some ramblings:

I’m about 1/3 of the way through my trip. Today I was supposed to have visited my mother, but the weather was completely, totally, and unequivocally uncooperative. Snow, slush and high winds do not make for a safe scene on Interstate 80 through the Poconos -- so there will be no ‘over the river and through the woods’ to momma’s house this Fall. Bummer.

Had lunch instead with an old and very dear friend – a real treat since we seldom have the opportunity to get together. Our friendship began when we were raising our kids, and the bond between us remains deep and strong, even all these years down the road and across all the miles that now separate us. After today's lunch she sent me a text message saying that she misses US. Me, too, Trace.

Halloween will mark the end of this week, and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” was on TV tonight, for what has to be the 40th or so time. Produced in the mid-1960s (I haven’t researched the exact date), this 30-minute Peanuts cartoon is a classic piece of nostalgia – from a time when Halloween really was just innocent fun and no one projected any dark, spiritual implications onto the bed-sheet ghost costume of a five-year old eager for candy.

We grew up on a farm, so were not able to walk through a neighborhood to go trick-or-treating. My parents took us in the car to the homes of their friends, instead. We must have driven our folks nuts, bouncing all over the back seat in our excitement (this was before seat belts, so we were very much “at large” in that enormous back seat). My very first Halloween costume was a pair of overalls, a short-sleeve shirt, a half-mask, and a straw hat – I was a four-year old farmer (I still have the photograph somewhere to prove it, too).

One year I was recovering from the chicken pox or German measles and had to stay at home. Dad took my brother out in the car and, since we trick-or-treated only at the home of friends, Ed took along my bag and asked for an extra piece of candy. So I still got my bowl of candy, but none of the fun, that’s for sure. Ed, if I recall correctly, wasn’t too terribly gracious about having to do this for me. Hmmmm… I’ll be seeing him this week and I think he may owe his sweet little sister an apology.

(to be continued)

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