Blended Tea & The Softer Side of Halloween

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Spare me the witches, ghosts, and goblins associated with Halloween. If I want to be frightened, I’ll watch the nightly news on television.

I lean more toward the softer side of Halloween and autumn in general. You know ~ pumpkin patches, baked apples, smiling jack-0-lanterns, little kids in clown suits, pumpkin pecan bread, and spiced teas.

How about you? What do you like best about October and especially Halloween?

I’ve seen a few seasons, Halloweens, Thanksgivings, and Christmases come and go. Seventy-five of each, to be exact.

We are on the eve of another Halloween. I don’t have many trick-or-treaters anymore, and I miss seeing children in their costumes. Especially the little ones, they are so cute.

When I was young there was no such thing as a store bought costume. Why would anyone spend good money on a costume when lipstick, an eyebrow pencil, and a little imagination could transform a kid into a clown, a hobo, a princess, a cowboy, an Indian, or whatever they wanted to be?

I always made Halloween costumes for my three children. They carried a pillow case or paper bag  (or maybe that was what I carried when I trick-or-treated, I think the kids carried those plastic pumpkins with a handle) for candy contributions, and it never crossed my mind that anyone would do anything harmful or unkind as we patrolled neighborhood streets. I usually made popcorn balls for the trick-or-treaters, wrapped them up in clear wrap and tied them with orange ribbon.

I found this photo taken in 1967 of my three children.  Geni (now 55) and Jeff (now 57) are on the back row. Little Eric (soon to be 51) is in front. My aunt made these costumes that the kids wore every Halloween until they were sick and tired of being a clown and begged for something new. Continue reading

Make New Friends, But Keep The Old

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When everything’s said and done, how many good friends remain over a lifetime?

Last week, my friend Tonya and her friend Teresa came from Alabama to spend a few days in our little town. Apalachicola, Florida, lies on the banks of the Apalachicola River where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It is, among other things, an artsy-fartsy town blessed with writers and artists of various sorts. Karen White’s “Flight Patterns” is set in Apalach. Tonya is a fan of Karen’s and wanted to see places that are part of her story.

Here’s a selfie taken with the pier at Lafayette Park in the background. We didn’t walk all the way to the end because some folks were fishing, and we didn’t want to disturb them. And it’s a long way down there.

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It is the off-season here. The summer vacationers have gone home to get their kids in school, and the snowbirds aren’t expected until December. They usually stay until April when things begin to warm up. Tonya and Teresa pretty much had the Coombs House to themselves. They loved staying in the old house that has been beautifully restored. Continue reading