Thursday, September 24, 2009

" A Halloween Dilemma "

I have what I guess one would call a dilemma. A Halloween dilemma. I shall try to explain. You see for many years I have decorated the house or apartment , depending on where I was living at that time , for Halloween. When the first child came along almost thirty-two years ago , I found myself decorating even more . Both the inside and the outside of the house.

Year after year I would always buy some new decorations to add to my collection . I still have all of them as I have taken very good care of them each year. There are many that you can't even find in the stores anymore .

These decorations are not what you would call cutesy . No, they are all scary . Since we bought our own home ten years ago , my husband has gotten into this practice with me as well. four years ago he went so far as to cut out old tombstones out of wood which I pained black and then painted crazy names on them like " Hacker Cough, 1808-1829 " and " I. Ben Better ". Some of them have little poems that I made up like, " Lazy Bastard- here lies a man that had nowhere to go, he sat and pondered all of his life and never had anything to show ".

Well you get the idea . My husband and I have made I think, about a dozen or more of these. We put some on each side of the porch in the lawn with dark purple lights laying on the ground around them . And then comes the fun part . We rake piles and piles of leaves in the shape of graves ! Then I carefully put cobwebs all around the tombstones. From there we hang scary heads , witches , and skeletons all over the porch, fence and front of the house. I could go on and on but I think you can picture this by now.

It usually takes us two to three days to complete this scary vision. Another two days to disassemble ! It has grown quite a bit over the last ten years and the neighborhood children just love it as do the adults that stop to read all of the tombstones.

My next door neighbor being one to get into the spirit as well , also decks out her house for Halloween. Sometimes I think that we compete to try and be scarier than the other . Together though our houses look great ! And every year the kids just love it.

This annual tradition is something that my now fourteen year old Katie has always loved as well. With all of the orange and purple lights turned on and the house lights turned off , it looks very haunted . Oh I forgot the music. We play spooky sounds and music c.d.'s while the trick or treaters are out and about the neighborhood.

Two years ago the local newspaper took photos of mine and my neighbors houses. They weren't featured in the paper but they did post them on their website.

I have always taken my three children trick or treating. Every year. I always dress up too. Every year. The first year that I met my second husband , while still living in Chicago , he drove right past me and the kids as he didn't recognize us ! I was dressed as a man, beard and all . That was a fun year.

When my oldest daughter, Ginny, still lived with us ten years ago, she still dressed up to take her little sis trick or treating . Those days are gone now . Katie doesn't trick or treat anymore . They have parties at school for the teens . My grandchildren live in another town so they trick or treat where they live.

It is the end of my " young " children days. And I am getting tired. All of that decorating is a lot of work. I am not sure that I feel up to decorating this year. Katie doesn't care if I do or not. She will probably go to a Halloween Party at school again this year to be with her friends.

Now here is my dilemma . I have been pondering this situation for a couple of weeks now. In case you have not read any of my past posts I will tell you this first. My son Frank and his family live in a one-hundred plus year old house . The previous owners of that house which is right in the center of their town, used to go all out decorating it for Halloween. It was known back then as the Halloween house.

My daughter-in-law Amy has asked me ever so sweetly if I was going to decorate for Halloween this year. I told her at that time that I really hadn't thought about it yet. But I have been thinking about it since.

It seems that she and my granddaughter Sarah would like to borrow my decorations if I am not going to decorate. They would like to make their house look scary this year. My fear is that if I don't decorate this year, that I never will again. My other fear is that if I loan the decorations to them that I might all of a sudden get in the mood to decorate and it would be to late.

They said that they would take good care of them and return them when they were done but if I don't decorate anymore then I may as well just give the decorations to them. I just don't know what to do. It would be somewhat of the end of an era for me. Not quite sure I am ready to give it up yet, but the thought of not doing all of that work this year is kind of nice.

This is my Halloween dilemma !


Wanda said...

Diana I have been there myself...we always decorated and had parties for the kids and then grandkids, there were rugs that would scream if stepped on, a life size witch that I made...spooky recordings, a strobe light, grave markers, crushed oreo dirt cakes with gummy worms, a haunted maze in the basement, my mother would even dress up and tell fortunes and honest my DIL and I dressed like men too one year and no one knew us...I have a photo I should post. Anyway I know how you feel...we didn't do much last year except for the witch and a few ghosts making spooky sounds...there just comes a time when you maybe keep a few special things for your home and let others in the family carry on the tradition...or do it all again, cause it is's your decision!

Well, I didn't help much did I!

Maria said...

Although I do nothing for Halloween (except the candy part)
I totally get your dilemma...
I've got a basement full of them. (If that helps ;o)
Someday we have to say goodbye to all this stuff... and as Wanda wrote, only keep a few fav's.
This week we celebrated my neighbor's 96th birthday. She's recovering from her second broken hip. She's worked hard with the physical therapist and is coming home tomorrow (lives with daughter). What an inspiration!

She owns very little of her own now...
She still knits when she can, loves her sweets and just glows. It makes me think about all the stuff I hold on to and don't really need...
I, too, have a lot of dilemmas with stuff, it will take some real letting go on my part. Husband's ready to get the dumpster though!
Keep us posted! Maria

Being Pramoda... said...

HI Diana,

better to give them the needy..let them have their hand on the decorations and helpthem if they want...if at all u wanna do it for this time, try a different idea.. how abt it ..?

u will surely get a new idea and u may love it once again ..:)

Teacher's Pet said...

It sounds like you still miiiight want to decorate....
Continue to give it some thought.

Bernie said...

Diana, I think Wanda has a great idea, keep some for your home and enjoy the kids then share the rest with your DIL, the grandchildren will love it as well as the the kids in the neighbourhood. That way Halloween will be fun for both of will have less work and still enjoy the fun as well. Good Luck sweetie, Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays so the poor kids only get the outside light on and still have time to think about it though.......:-) Hugs

Eileen said...

I understand your dilemma, we used to decorate a lot for all the holidays when the kids were little, then as they grew it got less and less, and to tell you the truth, I did feel a little bad, but it was also gave me a sense of new-found freedom, Di! So for the first few years it was sort of bittersweet, a realization that a part of my life was over, but in a way happy it was over.
Then Jayden became a part of our household, and now I do decorate more, not a lot of Halloween like we used to, just more Fall decorations that stay up through Thanksgiving (a few Halloween will go out on the front porch early October for him), and then Christmas decorations (but not like we used to).
But to tell you the truth, as much as I love the Fall and the Christmas season, and I'm happy with the house once all the decorating is done, it is a chore.

Maybe you should try it for just this one year and see how much you miss it. See if the 'relaxation' of not having to do it is more enjoyable than the feeling of sadness or that something significant is missing from your life.
And even if you do miss it, at least you can feel good that your grandchildren are getting joy out of it, and that might help ease the longing a little.
Let us know what you decide.
Love you, E
PS ~ I had to laugh at a comment you had on Linda's post, I'm the same way in the MRI tube! If I wasn't so preoccupied with being nauseous and dizzy at the time I think I would have been in a full-blown panic attack! I hear they have open MRI's now and that you can sit or stand (whew!), much better I would think!

Gail said...


Ya, a dilemma indeed. It seems like you are just not sure yet. And that is okay. I wish I could advise but I have no clue waht to tell you except that give yourself time to make a decision and don't be pushed or pulled before you are ready. It is the end of an era should you decide to give them away - decisions like that are not an event, but rather a process.

Love to you

Tranquility said...

First things first. I really like your new about me picture :)

Really liked your crazy ideas, specially the poem " Here lies a man who had nowhere to go..." :D

My unsolicited suggestion: Lend a few of the decorations to your daughter in law and keep some for your home. Don't give up decorating your house just yet. Even though your children are away, for old time's sake, do it one more time. You don't want to spend Halloween thinking "I wish I had.." You CAN do it Diana. Little by little. It took you 2-3 days earlier, this time it might take 4-5 days. Big deal! Go for it :) I would love to see your decorations! I've heard a lot about this festival from my sister, but don't know much about it. I would love to know more :-) AND see more. You most definitely can Diana! You're a sweet heart :)

Being Pramoda... said...

@ MY 55-NON Fiction post

yeah, the word limit is 55..ppl used to write 55-fiction, and i tried as 55 non - fiction ..:)

Thanks dear ..

Terrie said...

Hummm, now that is a dilemma. I fell out of the decorating mood when my kids grew up. Now, it's even hard for me to decorate for Christmas if it wasn't for the grandkids expecting to see a tree. I would think about it for three more days. If you are still on the fence, then share them. Sounds like you have enough for both houses to have a full effect.

Diana said...

Oh my gosh, you girls are sooo helpful! You all made really great sense with all of your comments.

I will be honest and tell you that Jackie really sort of made me realize for a moment the real truth.

However I had an epiphany tonight!

I have learned in the past that when I am not sure of what to do about something to just let it go. The answer will come.

It does seem that this is such a silly dilemma! So many more important things in the world going on!

I have made a decision tonight. It came to me earlier. It just hit me. Without over thinking.

I am done. I am going to give my decorations to my sons family. I double checked with Katie and Jake. They both seemed to not care and left it up to me.

So tomorrow I will call my DIL and we will go through things. Some of which I will keep but the rest will be enjoyed by my grandchildren.

As much as I have enjoyed the whole experience over the years, I must admit that I am tired. I do have some fall decorations that I will put out. But I need some relief.

You all were so right on the money with your suggestions.But I knew that the answer had to come from my heart. Thank you so much for all of your input.

Your suggestions were so amazing that I think that it helped me realize the right thing to do.

I love you all. Thank you, Love Di

Rebecca. Harlan, IN said...

I'm glad I came on board so late! Now I don't have to weight in. Sounds like you've made a thoughtful decision for this year and are "good with it".

You ought to make ONE MORE SIGN - maybe in the shape of a tombstone to put in your yard and direct people to your son's place. You could come up with a cute rhyme....

I also gleaned insight from Gail's comment about decisions not being events but processes! That's profound. I should just sit with that for awhile!

When did you change your profile picture (or am I simply non-observant)? I like it.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

What a dilemma!!!! I don't know what I would do!!! So hard to let go of happy, fun memories...but also so difficult to keep it all up!!! I hope you make the very best decision for YOU!! And if you do decorate, please , please take photos and post so we can see your wonderful creativity!! Thank you for you so thoughtful and lovely comment today!!! You are wonderful, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!!!!! ~Janine XO

Sunder said...

Stay Young - don't ever give in to "growing up" - in other words, you should create more decorations this year!! Get together with the kids, grandkids, and whoever else...go online and get ideas (I made huge pumpkins that we hung from all the trees - martha stewart), and then decorate your house with some new and old and give the others some of your old decor and they will also have new ones that you all made!! The holiday's keep us young and we must never stop taking delight from the moments of creation and participation!

Teresa said...

Hi Di
Since you are even having a dilemma, tells me you are not quite ready to give up something you love, and enjoy. Follow your heart : ) ((((Hugs))))) TT

Dr.John said...

There is no easy answer. Do you want to quit? That's where the answer lies.
Do you want to carry on or pass on the tradition?

Brenda said...

Good for you for coming to a decision and being at peace with it. I like Rebecca's suggestion of directing people looking for your decorations to your DIL's home. You will find a creative and simple way to do that. I hope that you find your decision freeing. I am loving giving things away that used to be important to me. Keep us up to date how you are doing on this.