Well, it's Halloween night and Mr. Moon just left me for the hunting camp, making me a weekend hunting widow. We've had four Trick-or-Treaters here already which is four more than we've had in years. They were all of one family, and all of dubious costumage. I bought one small bag of microscopic Snickers bars to give out because I don't care that much for Snickers. I thought about the peanut allergy thing after I bought them but folks in Lloyd probably don't suffer much from peanut allergies. I don't know why I'd even say that but I have a feeling it's the truth.
I had a chat with my next-door neighbor this morning. She is the keeper of the goats and Mr. Peep, the famous aged turkey, and the mule and the donkey and about fifteen dogs. She was driving to the dump and I was on my walk and I stood in the street and talked to her for a good long while, mostly about chickens, while people had to drive around us. That, too, is Lloyd. She just heard about wolf urine which you can buy at the feed store to put around your coop to deter small predators like raccoons. She said, "Now I can get some more chickens!" Her inventory of hens is down too. We also talked about the barking dogs I can hear from the yard on the other side of her property. She says that they are hog dogs and she's spoken to the owner about them and their barking. Hog dogs, for those of you who may not know, are dogs who are kept to hunt wild hog. They are not pets. I do not truly approve of the keeping of dogs for such a purpose in a small enclosed area but this is the country and country folks do not need my approval. We all live out here because we don't want to live where there are rules and regulations that interfere with what we deem to be our own inalienable rights. For me that may mean nothing more than the fact that I mostly want to wear overalls and keep chickens and hang my clothes on the line when I want to and for some people it may mean they can keep hog dogs. For the guys down the road, it means they can fly their rainbow flag outside their double-wide. This is the way of it.
My neighbor and I have very little in common except for the fact that we both live in Lloyd and we both keep chickens and neither one of us much wears a bra. She's very Christian and very Republican and we don't talk a whole lot but when we do, we're friendly. She's tough, that woman. Tough as an old boot. I have seen her covered in mosquitoes and not even batting an eye, much less a hand to smack one. But I realized something today which I had never noticed before- she is beautiful. She's probably my age or a little older and her skin is like porcelain. She doesn't do one thing to "fix up" but honestly- she's gorgeous. How did I never notice that before? I am not sure, but I noticed it today.
I had a good time in town with my boys although Owen threw a fit in Target because he was so very sad that he couldn't have one of the same toys I got Waylon for his birthday. Lily and I tried to explain how it's Waylon's birthday, and so he's getting the present, and we told him that we know it's hard, and we talked about how Christmas is coming up and all that crap you say to a kid when he wants a toy that another child is getting. When Owen goes into these deep dramatics, it reminds me so much of his mother when she was a child and it gives me the same stomachache I used to get when Lily did it. I told Lily that and she said that it didn't affect her that way at all. She just talks to him reasonably and lets it go. That was another lesson for me today- that not everyone reacts the same way to situations that I do and I said, "Can you imagine if I'd gone into pediatric nursing?"
I can still remember doing my pediatric clinicals for nursing school and how horrible that was for me. I remember one patient I had, a tiny little thing who had Cystic Fibrosis and I will never, ever forget the way my heart tore in two when I read up on the disease, when I realized how short the child's lifespan might be, and especially when I was the only one in the room with the baby and the way he cried, his chest filled with mucus.
I was never really meant to be a nurse. I would have carried every patient's pain too much in my self. Working at the birth center for awhile was good. Childbirth involves pain, yes, which I understood all too well, but I also knew what the miraculous reward would be and so I was effective there. Ironically, if I HAD to work as a nurse again, I would want to work with the dying, I think, like my friend Terry, who is a hospice nurse and who writes about that HERE.
She helps midwife the dying and she is an angel to the families she serves. I can only imagine the sense of comfort she brings with her when she walks into a home where a beloved member is in that place of getting ready to change planes. It's a blessing to this earth that she does the work she does.
Well. It is Halloween. I remember Trick-or-Treating as a child, going around Roseland, sitting on the folded-down tailgate of my best friend, Lucille Ferger's mother's old brown station wagon. I was usually a gypsy and I can't remember what Lucille was but we bumped along the dirt roads until Mrs. Ferger would stop the car and let us scatter to the lighted doorways to hold out our paper bags and yell, "Trick or treat!" and we'd get whatever candy was offered and hop back on the tailgate and bump down another road. You'd get arrested for that now. We survived and no one had ever heard of peanut allergies.
Here are Owen and Gibson tonight in their costumes.
The Hulk and Scooby-Doo. Lily found the Scooby Do costume at the Goodwill last week. Score! Gibson is learning so fast these days. I've recently started doing something I've never done before and I don't know why because it's such a southern thing to do. I demand "sugar" from them and kiss their necks below their ears and make noises of great delicious appreciation. Owen barely tolerates this but Gibson loves it.
"Guga," he says, offering me his neck. I kiss and smack it with great glee and then he offers the other side. "Guga!" I kiss him until I swoon from diabetic shock.
Owen has promised to share his candy with me and I appreciate that greatly. I told him that I'd take any Mounds bars he got but that since I'm a grown-up, I can buy my own candy if I want it. One of the great things about being an adult- being able to buy and eat all the candy you want.
We've had no more Trick-or-Treaters but someone to the south of us set off fireworks. The hog dogs are quiet. I am alone.
It's Halloween night in Lloyd.
Eat all the candy you want. You're a grown-up. You're allowed.