Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween In Lloyd

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?"
She laughed.
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. 
Oh, sweetness. 

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.

Love...Ms. Moon 


  1. Oh! Those two!!! I am loving the hulk costume to death!
    I sometimes marvel at how different my daughter and I are as mothers. She did not get her laid back mothering style from me but I so appreciate and admire her for it. I'm still learning.
    Happy Halloween!
    I'm alone too. They've gone to fetch candy without me. Yay.

  2. Ms. Yo- We will never stop learning. That's a good thing.
    Alone can be very, very goodl

  3. I too love the boy's costumes and Gibson's forever smile. Lily sounds like a perfectly made mother to her perfect boys. Happy Halloween. Sweet. Jo

  4. I love this post so much. You have guys down the road who hang their rainbow flag? That is SO cool!!! Right near the hog dogs...which I first read as "hot dogs" and was picturing dachshunds.

    About Owen and Lily's (as a child) mom often said, "I can't wait 'til you have a daughter just like you ~ then you will understand what I'm going through" ~ I've always felt a *little* guilty that I never had a daughter so that my mother could feel understood! And I'm proud of Lily (and YOU) that Owen didn't get the toy...a hard lesson, but a good one.

    If you stopped writing your blog, my day would be so incomplete. It makes my happy that you are compelled to write. It makes me feel safe that I can still keep coming here and getting my daily fix!

  5. My sister reminds me SO much of your Lily. She was a difficult kid, but is perfectly equipped to dispel her own two boys' meltdowns. She sounds exactly like Lily in her parenting style, and her boys even look like O and G! Too funny.

    Girl, you beat me with "hog dogs." I've heard coon dogs, but not hogs. I wonder if Kentucky even has wild hogs. Somehow, I feel certain we do.

    DC does not. That I Know for sure.

  6. Hog dogs, who knew. The things I learn from you, I swear.

    We are done for the night of Halloween. Back to my jammies and ratty bathrobe, off with the kitty ears.

    I love those boys. How could I not?

    XX Beth

  7. It was really difficult for me to get past the hog dogs -- you know me and dogs.

  8. The hog dogs stopped me too. The first image that came to mind was part hog, part dog. I guessed that couldn't be right.

    I'd like to be a trick or treater in Lloyd. Maybe in my next lifetime I'll get to grow up there.

  9. LOL -- "sugar"! That IS southern. My babysitter/nanny used to say that to me all the time when I was little: "Gimme some sugar!" She grew up on a farm near Madison and was about as southern as a person can get.

    I imagine you'd be a lot more inured to the tears of children if you HAD worked in pediatric nursing. But I guess it's good you didn't have to go that route. It would be awfully draining work for anyone.

    I'm a weekend band widow(er?) so I understand how you feel! It's kinda nice to have the place to yourself, though, isn't it?!

  10. Lovely post. I can understand the taking on of others pain.I am one that will always cry at animal commercials. Let not talk about the You-tubes of children and grown-ups in cancer wards etc.(Have you seen the one with Katy Perrys "Roar"?)Bless your little ones always and there is no such thing as to much Sugar. :) Thanks for the pic of Firespike will try and find some for up my way. Have a lovely day!!

  11. Sweet Jo- She really is. She is such a wonderful mother. Loving and patient and sensitive but not crazy. I am so proud of her.

    Lulumarie- I would never want Lily or any of my kids to have to go through the honestly very hard times of Lily's growing up. The fact that she grew up so beautifully is a daily miracle in my life.
    Thank you for saying you'd miss me. I mean it, sweet woman.

    SJ- I hear that in Texas, wild hogs are such a problem that there is absolutely no restrictions on hunting them. Don't know about Kentucky.
    That is funny about your sister. I love being able to tell parents of difficult children that if they just hang on, all will be very well.

    Beth Coyote- I wish I could have seen you in your kitty ears.

    Elizabeth- Sorry for the report of possible cruelty. I know how sensitive you are about dogs.

    Andrea- Most people who grow up here get out as fast as possible. A half-dog, half-hog would be a fierce creature.

    Steve Reed- Give me some sugar! Uh-huh.
    Yes. It IS nice to have the house to myself.

    mary i- Oh god no. I have not seen that video and will do anything to avoid it. I don't have any idea where Firespike will or will not grow.

  12. I couldn't imagine being a nurse. I'd be crying 24/7. I just don't have a shutoff valve for the tears sometimes, especially for kids or the elderly. Sigh.

    I haven't counted the chips to see how many we got. It was less than 20 though. I got more in the country. They were very polite though, that's important when begging. Ha!

  13. It was rainy & windy here so we had WAY fewer visitors than usual. Mike sat out there under an umbrella because he thinks of it as a ministry of some sort (the missionary of candy! no theology involved!). At one point he was flinging candy to neighborhood teenagers. We still have gobs left. Which I can't eat due to the tooth being removed yesterday. Whew!

  14. trick or treating when we grew up was far different from trick or treating now. once grown, i have never lived anyplace that got a lot of T & Ters. 10 at the city house would have been a big number. zero is what we get at the country house.

  15. actually, what I meant to say was that the best thing about being a grown-up is PIE for dinner.

  16. Ah, a nice snapshot of life in Lloyd on this one particular day. I appreciated it. I could never have been a nurse, I'd have freaked out on day 1 I think, and stayed awake all night and every night worrying about the patients

  17. I had already read Terry Joy's latest post, it made me cry. She is amazing.

    I love the boys costumes, they are great.

    I love your happy pumpkin on the post. And I love the firespike.


  18. Great photo with the costumes. We don't get any trick or treaters back here on this long dirt road. So as usual there was nothing but the squirrels and the other beasts of the wild that come up to the feeders to eat. Next year, I do want to go to Skinful Halloween which is quite a fest here in town.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.