Chaos abounds!! At the exact moment I am typing this out, I was supposed to be well into Maine, on my way to a hotel in Waterville where we would spend the night before driving up to my sister-in-law’s house for her annual Halloween party. But I am not in a car driving in Maine, I am in my chair typing this instead. And I am extremely disappointed. The cause? A couple of the kids in her family have a case of foot and mouth disease; it is not a serious disease but is highly contagious. And with my daughter having a one-month-old, that could be scary. And adults can catch it, not know it, and then spread it.
So the party was postponed to next weekend. Hopefully everyone gets better by then because I am absolutely dying to see my grandkids!! And next weekend it the last chance because we hold our party the weekend after that. I am holding my breath to see if my grandkids can get down here for it – their new house is deep in construction and my son may not be able to break free to come down. I think that others from Maine will be coming down so I hope that possibly the grandkids can catch a ride with one of them in case their parents can’t make it down. Fingers crossed.
This being the first Halloween without my first three grandkids here with us has made the whole holiday a bit difficult, dampened if you will. I am still excited and have every hope that they will be down here to join us. But there are volumes of details to prepare for the party and they have always been a part of all those preparations. Things like bringing the 12 or 14 boxes of decorations down out of attic and going through them, hanging the outside lights around the house, and especially – going to Spirit Halloween to pick up so new decorations. For years now I have taken them to the Spirit Halloween store the week that they opened – usually in August. And we would go back, often every week right up until Halloween. This year I did not go to the Spirit Halloween store until just this past Tuesday; it was hard to convince myself to go without them. But I brought my 2yo grandson and we started a new tradition with him.
I’ve gotten in a couple of decent hikes since my last post, nothing as long as my best so far this year, but all great times on trail. I absolutely love the woods, but of late I’ve become a bit obsessive over the remains of past lives there. You walk, often for miles and miles, on a thin ribbon of a trail through swamps, forests, and over streams without a sign, sight, or sound of civilization anywhere – and then you find an old mill or mill race or cellar hole. Literally miles from anywhere with no roads to be seen yet there is a vestige of someone’s home and life a hundred years ago or more.
It drives me crazy with wonder: was the forest as deep and thick back then? Or had it been widely cleared? What led this person (or family) to this exact spot? What was their daily routine? How often did they see other people? Did they have people walking or riding by daily on a trail or was the sight of another person a surprise and a big deal? Did they did that cellar hole all by themselves or did they have help? And if they had help, was that help family or friends or neighbors or hired? How did they gather the stones for the foundation and hearth/chimney? I know there are literally at least one rock in pretty much every cubic foot of soil in the SW part of the state, so finding stones was not hard, but “harvesting” them surely was, especially considering that they still had a ton (pun intended) of work facing them once they gathered the stones and got them back to the building site.
Jumping back into this a few days since I began it and I finished another hike. On it I got to see a lot of autumnal beauty in the leaves of the forest. But the prize of the hike was a farmstead that dated to the early or mid-1600’s. The town was incorporated in 1669 and this farm was already established and well known. There is precious little left and what is left is quite overgrown. But there are a couple of stone walls of the house and barn till standing; also, the original well for the farm – all well over 350 years old! Truly remarkable!!
I need to wrap this up; heading to Maine for a weekend Halloween party; sadly rain is forecast for the entire weekend which will force the party indoors. And that really cuts into the fun unfortunately. None the less it will be nice – highlight will be seeing my son and daughter in law and of course – my grandkids!! When we get back, I’ll have just 5 days to get our party ready. I still have 90% of the lights to hang outside along with most all of the animatronics, set the cemetery, order and get all the food and drinks, and….. a gazillion other things!! More to come dear reader – I hope you are already deeply embedded into this most spooky of all holidays!! Stay well!