The Leaves Are Falling Down…Freak Out!

Fall is just around the corner. (For Texas, that means we will have two days of orange leaves, and then sudden winter, ain which everything will be dead and frozen, but narely a snowflake in sight. I’m thinking I just made up a word: “narely”…is that like “barely” and “nare” put together? Or is it “nair”…no, that would be a shaving cream….maybe it’s “n’are”? like “n’are do well”?)

Yesterday I played at St. Matthews Episcopal Church Fall Festival for an hour and a half. I had no idea I have an hour and a half’s worth of children’s music up my sleeve, but lo and behold, I did it. I was in such a stupor at the end of the show! (Usually I just do 1/2 hour shows) The woman who hired me came up, tapped me on the shoulder, saying, “Why don’t you go inside, now, and have a bite to eat?” She sounded like she thought my brain was mush. I must have looked frazzled. I asked her for the time. I couldn’t believe it. I was done! It seemed like I had just started, but of course, the sun had gone down…it was a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong! just wow. I’d been watching the kids running around this giant tree, running and running and my eyes were following them, round and round and round and the music just kept pouring out of me….Rizza rizza rizza! Loopy town!

Then, packed up, hopped in the car and raced over to OUR carnival that was in full swing at our school. Finally found my family in the throngs….Lily was getting her face painted, io was near the dunking booth, waiting to dunk her teacher. Lance and I stood on the sidelines and cheered as each kid picked up a bright yellow softball and aimed it at the metal circle. When one of the boys finally dunked the teacher, the whole crowd erupted in a unanimous chorus of “hooray!”

Standing there with Lance’s hand in mine, I thought that I couldn’t feel any happier than I do. This community of friends and families is so dear to me. My heart felt so much love standing there, gathering the array of colors and faces and costumes and sounds and smells (pizza, cotton candy, popcorn)…I love being a mom, I love being a wife.

Then, io and went into the Haunted House. Very good this year. A maze of giant cardboard walls leading me to a dead end with a werewolf puppet taped to a wall and a light bulb hanging ominously over his head (ooh…scary!) Crawling through small openings with black thread and strange rubber tubes hanging down, tickling my face and arms, io on the other side saying, “C’mon, mom! Hurry!” and chasing after her in her witchey outfit, momentarily lost, calling out her name; then, suddenly she calls back, “Over here!” and I swear if I wasn’t disoriented and started calling back, “Where? Where are you?” while waiting for someone to jump out in some hideous costume and freak me out (I HATE haunted houses…eekola.) I see her face pop out from around a corner, and we run past a giant white ghost hanging from the basketball hoop, internal white christmas lights for intestines…not scary, but pretty, so I stop and bop it so it swoons in the darkness…Out the “exit” door into the crisp night air, laughing. That ate up our last 15 tickets (it was supposed to be 16, but they let us in, anyway. End of the night, they get lax.)

Today I sing at Pioneer Farms, always fun, and today it is sunny, thank goodness. When I have to play out there in the mud, as I have in years past, I end up feeling like I want to WRESTLE! Mud is so cool. And there are pigs out there. Who wouldn’t want to try to tussle with a pig?
You know I love pigs. I used to collect them when I was a girl. Not real pigs, mind you. Tiny ceramic and glass pigs. That was when I was a teen. Before that I collected dinosaur models, toys, posters…anything to do with the prehistoric because I thought I was going to grow up to be a
paleontolgist (or an underwater architect.)

Once I was in a haunted house in Dallas with a boyfriend. This was one of those warehouse versions, where everyone looks like an axe murderer and the hallways get more and more narrow until you feel like you will burst. Anyhoo, my boyfriend thought it would be funny to take me in, knowing how nervous I get, and then, of course, what does he do but go on ahead and leave me BEHIND in the DARK in this open area that looked like a strangely lit kitchen. What do kitchens have? Yes. Stoves. And that is what was in the corner. One ugly mustard-colored stove. With a wierd-ass light behind it. So, I’m in this big open area, with a stove, and I start saying, “Sandy? Saaaaaaaaaaaaaandyyyy! Where are you?” when all of a sudden this…..thing….this gruesome, scary, freaky looking thing….it comes out from BEHIND THE STOVE and starts walking towards me with a big KNIFE (the other thing kitchens have!!!) and I totally lose it….now I’m screaming and crying and shaking…I can’t see in the dark how to exit this big, horrifying room and the person approaching me rips off his skeletal, bloody mask and says, “Hey, lady…!
Lady! Look! I’m just a kid! Don’t cry, lady! Look!” and I peek through my shivering tears, and sure enough! The kid is all of 11 years old!

He says, “I’ll show you how to get out…” and he leads me to a secret emergency exit and out into the night I pour, gulping in the fresh air, happy to be alive, ready to kill my boyfriend.

Who appears moments later, laughing his head off.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! There, I’ve said it!

I think this year I am going to be a giant banana.

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