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halloween amidst flying to and from sunsets

by Shawni

Halloween was just plain weird this year.

I’m sure many can relate. Holidays are just different during this pandemic in general of course. But there was also some weird melancholy quietness mixed in to a holiday that used to be so amped up! Do I just remember it as magic when it was really just plain mayhem?

It was the best day to be home and to get so many things done, and to have my girls working hard alongside me. I don’t ever want to take for granted the luxurious opportunity to have a whole Saturday stretched out before me to get things done. We played tennis first (of course), and then everyone got busy with their Saturday jobs. Claire made our traditional Halloween chicken corn chowder (for us and our neighbors) while Grace replanted our flower bed and although I flitted back and forth to help a little bit, I was proud that they are so capable to get things done.

Even amidst the euphoria of getting so much done there was some melancholy oozing in of Halloweens past: back when my children were a jumble of energy pulling out Halloween outfits over and over again, hair gel and make-up, pieces of costumes strewn around the house, the excitement palpable in the air for the trick-or-treating ahead. The day felt so quiet compared to those days and I tried to embrace it rather than let it haunt me.

Lucy has been talking about being Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games ever since she read and fell in love with that series this year, and Claire decided last minute to be a “joker”…whatever that means. Ha!

Lucy was quite specific about needing a mocking jay pin so we made up a slightly goofy looking one since it was so huge, but I wanted her to be able to see it well.

She loved it and wore it with pride.

We haven’t seen or hung out our awesome neighbors for so long so it was good to just sit and enjoy each other in front of their sprinter they had decked out complete with a fog machine.

Lucy somehow maneuvered these cutest cousin/friends to trick-or-treat with her so she was in and out:

Claire and her friends were busily in and out getting ready for a party (three of them dressing up as jokers), and some friends came to join us to sit around our little fire and to hand out candy and waters to the sparse trick-or-treaters. I loved having Grace with us too, being an exceptional conversationalist dressed as a Texas missionary with a glitter cowboy hat.

When we had cleaned everything up I realized we still had two perfect pumpkins waiting to be carved on the kitchen counter.

How did we not find time to carve those?? Yes, Halloween is different these days!

The next day, right after church, Lu and I headed out for her doctor visits in Wisconsin.

I feel out of practice on these trips since Dave has been the one to go the last few times, and they are only every three months now. We landed amidst the most golden, gorgeous light blanketing all the tidy fields that stretched out as far as the eye could see from my airplane window.

The light was so beautiful!

We played five rounds of gin before bed in our little hotel room. Dave sent a couple pictures of Grace and Claires’ beautifully carved pumpkins (the ones I had been sad hadn’t been carved the night before):

He even thought to have the girls pose in our traditional jack-o-lantern pose that we have done every year for as long as I can remember:

And something about that just filled my heart right up as I dropped off to sleep.

Halloween was finally complete 😉

Even after some time has passed to let a few cobwebs grow on our routine in Wisconsin, we still have it down to a science. We meet up with Lauren or Thomas at 7:30am under the little fake tree in the entrance of that huge, sprawling hospital (that is so eerily quiet in the midst of corona). We turn in Lu’s urine sample we’ve taken at the hotel that morning, they check Lucy’s weight, height and blood pressure in triplicate, they draw her blood while she watches funny dog videos on YouTube on my phone. We shoot the breeze as we wait for the pharmacist to show up with her new vials of medication, accompanied by more syringes and alcohol swabs, wait for a little check-up with the doctor, and then we turn around and start the three hour drive back to the airport, winding through cornfields dotted by barns of all shapes, colors and sizes along the way.

We flew right into another breathtaking sunset filling up my whole desert valley.

I love that Lucy loves sunsets with me even though I really wonder how much she can see.

It was good to be home again, and we ate dinner in between watching Claire’s volleyball streaming on the tv, (it was so far away we couldn’t get there), Lucy yelling the best cheers she could muster up and texting Claire after every good point (she got a watch that can text for her birthday and I had no idea she knew how to use it so well!).

Claire sent us a hilarious screenshot of all those sweetie texts:

So, there’s a wrap for Halloween 2020. So different from years past, but still wrapped up in lots of goodness.

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2 comments

Sairey November 8, 2020 - 11:55 pm

So bittersweet. I feel like we are jumping a year this year and for those of us with teens it’s precious time, and hard not to see it as time lost. Halloween, I think, was the most bittersweet. There but not there, and especially sad because it’s really just for the kids.
Mine didn’t trick or treat at all and instead went to small house parties with a few friends each.
I tell myself this these are still precious times for them and they will remember them just as much regardless. This is their youth and special none the less.
I think the difference is that as the parent, you are more aware of the time, which seems to slip through your fingers as they mature into young adults, leaving the children they were behind in their wake as they forge onward into their own lives.
I feel so blessed to have had my full share of it all.

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Shawni December 3, 2020 - 2:42 pm

I love these thoughts, Sairey. I think you are so right, no matter what we do these can be precious times for our families…any time we are truly present we make the time we have together “holy” and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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