When Sweet Potato came home we threw together her witch costume, transformed Buckaroo into a skunk, and boogied down to the FMF's house. I have to say, All Hallow's Eve wasn't nearly as chilly as I thought it would be, although some people did mention that it's usually a much colder holiday.
Sweet Potato darted off with the big kids fairly early, and that gave me a twinge of the saddies, but she's her own woman these days. As Buckaroo was running up the street shouting, "house! house!" (as in "Let's go to the next house and get some candy! Why are you walking so slowly?!") leaving a trail of pawprints behind him, I remembered Sweet Potato's first foray into trick-or-treating. She was two months older than skunk boy and dressed as a tomato. She didn't want any part of it and shook when I took her near the front door. I was so disappointed because -- as I've mentioned-- I love candy, and even nine years ago I was a bit too old to parade the streets as a tomato and ask for candy. I did drag her to a few houses. I thought she needed to face her fears, but she just shook more violently. My mom says it was child abuse, but Sweet Potato doesn't seem to be scarred, and she's come home with a bag full of sweet loot every year since.
Buckaroo, on the other hand, that stinker sure could charm the candy from the ladies.
The next day, the beginning of my birthday month, R and I decided to hike the mountain overlooking the lake from the opposite direction. Unfortunately, we couldn't find the trail head. R wanted to trail blaze, insisting that we'd bump into the trail eventually. I insisted that we'd get lost in the wilderness and neither one of us had a pocket knife or flint. We veered from the trail for a while, and I kept trying to remember everything Bear Grylls said when I watched him at my parents' house last Christmas, but for some reason it's hard to concentrate on what Bear is saying.
We stumbled around for a while and eventually ended up in someone's back yard. From there we walked the very long road home. It was cold, but the sky has been the bluest with long streaks of white clouds, like a marble, with plenty o' sunshine. Plus, we saw a few cool things:
1. Pheasant hen in our neighbor's yard. Also, just after I took the opposite photo of R and the sleeping Buckaroo in the maple leaves, we startled a couple of pheasants into flight and the sound of their wings hitting the ground was like a mini-stampede.
2. Which maybe should have been 1: a cemetery. Just right out there on the road, across the street from somebody's house, is a graveyard. It's so small that I never noticed it while driving. The cemeteries out here are so interesting. They just pop up any old place. I imagine they must pre-date city planning. We didn't stop to investigate this one as Buckaroo was singing a chorus of "Meelk, meelk," and the only thing that would quiet him was when we'd jog side by side chanting R's old call and response Navy tunes. We improvised the words, and my favorite was "Heeeey Sweet P--! Put down your candy and run with me . . . ." because she did stay home to enjoy her Halloween booty.
3. I don't know what these red-berried sticks are, but they're so brilliant against the dull swamp background I had to take their picture.
4. The folks out here sure do love their rock walls. Here's what Traditional Masonry magazine has to say about them: "Traditional dry stone walls have many benefits. These 100 percent recyclable walls become stronger as they settle, are earthquake-resistant, and can last for hundreds of years if built correctly. Because dry stone walls are free-draining compared to mortar walls that require weep holes and a drainage system, they don’t need the elaborate foundation of poured concrete. You can build in any weather — you don’t have to worry about your mortar setting. Finally, stone is unmatched for beauty."
The thing that baffles me is how the people who built them, at least a hundred years ago, could drag all of those stones up these hills when I can barely drag my own bum up and down the hills. Plus, the walls go on for miles and miles. They had some kind of energy. It's probably the non-processed food they were eating, but that's another post.
5. We were so happy to see our little lake when we finally returned, and we saw that The Keepers of the Lake had "pulled the boards" which means that the lake is draining now. It lowers about four feet, I'm told, and then freezes over. Sweet Potato can't wait to have adventures on the ice. I've never walked on a frozen lake, and the thought of it makes my tummy do a spazzy-floppy thing, but I'm trying to overcome that feeling.
Then today I went to Pickity Place with the Mass Mamas and piggied out. Yum! I had to balance out all of that exercise somehow.