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  • Paula Wesselmann

A Spine-Chilling Halloween

My favorite time of year has arrived with the promise of fond memories, a potpourri of fall

smells, especially apple and pumpkin spice, and one of my favorite holidays, Halloween. I have so many happy memories about October 31 st that stem from my childhood, flying for Pan Am as a stewardess when in Ireland, the perfect place to be on Halloween, and now living in Coeur ’Alene, Idaho.


Now that the crispness of fall stirs the air and the leaves merrily swirl and dance

on the ground and in the air, I start counting the days until Halloween. It is a magical time, where our imaginations soar, and we can become someone other than ourselves. The game to scare and be scared is delightfully spine-chilling as ghosts and witches and black cats appear in our path.


There are superheroes and fairies, robots, and Frankenstein, and Halloween sounds from lit-up houses with ghastly creatures daring us to approach. Of course, the first thing I think of when Halloween is in the air, are my three beloved pumpkins, Pete, Charlie, and Meredith. Over the years, what a comfort and joy they have been to me, my family, and friends, and to hundreds of my classroom children when I taught school. As I share Halloween memories with my grandson, James, we picture a wicked witch at her cauldron, adding bat wings, spiders, and creepy crawly things to her bubbling pot of Halloween brew. We see ghosts and goblins come out to play, a black cat hissing, and through the web of a deadly spider, we hear the witch’s cackle. As our imaginations rise with more creepy thoughts, we run outside to stare up at the moon. We hear the howl of a werewolf off in the distance and scream with the most outrageous fear as we hurry back inside. To calm our nerves and smiling faces, we make hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows and whisk away our scary thoughts with a warm fire and one more Halloween story before we go to bed.


So, as you go A-haunting this Halloween, may you have a safe journey filled with laughter, love, and priceless memories.

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