Happy Halloween

Confession: I’m not really a big Halloween fan. Mainly because I absolutely despise scary movies. Take for example the fact that Scream and Scary Movie (the movie that parodies scary movies) scare me. The whole obsession with horrifying ghouls and goblins and paranormal activity and haunted houses is lost on me. So yeah, I’m a wuss.

Since I am a past costume winner at the First United Methodist Church in my hometown [I dressed as a rockstar, complete with metallic Tina Turner-esque hair], I do enjoy the idea of dressing up as someone else. I just prefer that costumes involve cheerleaders, raggedy Anns, clowns, and ballerina princesses – not blood, ghosts, guts, or masks.

I like the Halloween innocence of bobbing for apples and participating in cake walks. I also enjoy pranks, as long as they aren’t played on me or, if they are played on me, don’t prey on my phobia of snakes or give me nightmares.

When you’re raised in a large 100-year old Victorian home it just seems to make Halloween easier to celebrate. The large front porch, the windows that sometimes rattled in the wind, occasional creaks when a door was opened…I’m sure it’s a Halloween enthusiast’s dream. I remember years of my dad putting on scary masks [somehow, when he put them on it wasn’t much different than his normal appearance. I kid. I kid.] and handing out treats while my mom had a spooky Halloween cassette tape playing for added effect. Later, they got even more into it, with jack-o-lanterns on the steps and spider webs stretched over the door frame. But, I think my favorite Halloween memory is the year my dad rigged up a ghost, which my mom had made from a white sheet and newspaper, with fishing line to mysteriously raise up in front of trick-or-treaters when my masked 6’8″ dad opened the spider webbed door.

That year? One kid was so scared he bolted off the front porch, through the yard, and back to his parents’ car. Without getting any candy.

London & France…

I decided today that I would wear my favorite and most comfortable outfit, a black knit dress that literally feels like an old t-shirt. Unfortunately, the day turned out to be one of the windiest days yet.

We went into Tampere so that I could get some last minute souvenirs and to go up in the observation tower overlooking the entire city at Särkänniemi, an amusement park. Särkänniemi not only held the tower, but also a fabulous modern art museum that held one of Picasso’s many violin paintings. After visiting those sites, Maddie, Jesse, and Heidi decided to ride the “Tornado” roller coaster, leaving mom and I with their belongings.

I was given the task of photographing them while they were on the ride so I moved to the sidewalk nearest 2 of the big loops of the coaster, putting me on a downward slope. I was practicing the timing of the shot when a strong gust of wind flew under my dress. I thought I had kept a good tight hold on it that nothing had been revealed until my mom said, “I see London, I see France, I see Meggie’s underpants.”

I’m just glad that we saw the World’s Largest Plumber Crack moments later, provided by a woman squatting to help her child. At least 4 inches were on display and she didn’t seem to care or to notice…

County Fairs

I don’t know what it is about fairs, but their sketchy amusements excite me. Last fall, I had the opportunity to accompany a friend and her daughter to our local fair. I was very excited about going, 1) Tilt-A-Whirl! and 2) Funnel Cake, but little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Growing up, my county fairs rarely had any rides. Instead, it was strictly an “old timers” fair with homemade game booths and agriculture competitions. I haven’t been to a “real” fair with rides in probably 10 years and everything I thought I loved about fairs wasn’t quite as I remember…

The Tilt-A-Whirl that I was able to ride 5+ times in a row as a kid? I barely made it through one ride as an adult.

The funnel cake I could practically taste on my lips just by smelling it? I ate maybe half of it before it got to be too sweet for me.

The things I enjoyed, that I didn’t think I would?

Carnival games, I was the Skee Ball champion of our little group.

I also developed a new found appreciation for my parents [all parents, really] who take their children to the fair year after year. Who knew you could blow 40 bucks in the blink of an eye on ride tickets, only use up said tickets in 10 minutes on 4 rides. Seriously, those amusement companies have to be making some serious bank.