The school is its own fiefdom. Instead of the government decreeing that holidays fall on a Monday for a three-day weekend, here we make them fall on Wednesdays so all staff are on duty. Thus Wednesday was Halloween.
This is a big, old-fashioned, child-friendly event. The dining room’s windows are covered and it is decorated with giant artworks made “in secret” by the faculty, working at night. The menu is appropriately ghoulish (often green spaghetti).
Since I’m no longer working for the school, I wasn’t going to the event but of course both Lucy and DH were. Everyone must come in costume and all have to be homemade. Lucy had been working on her costume with her friend Anabell for two weeks, sewing, painting, and contriving. They went as Raggedy Anne and Raggedy Andy. Here they are at the after-supper carnival run by the 8th graders, trying to eat donuts off fishing lines.
And here they are before the action began (click to enlarge):
We are so blessed to be part of a community in which children are allowed, even expected, to stay children. Where else would a group of fourteen- and fifteen-year-olds come to a party dressed as M & M’s? And play games with candy corn prizes?
I have made DH’s and my costumes for almost thirty years but somehow I was so busy this year that it got by me.
“I guess I’ll be the color red,” DH said idly on Halloween morning. “I’ll wear everything red.”
“The color red?” I asked.
Lucy’s eyes silently begged me to intervene.
DH’s second thought was that he could be an iPad (he’s a technology geek). I said I would work on it between chores at the farm.
This was due to be a big day for the garage project. After months of delay, O.B. had promised that this would be the day when Dean’s mis-laid roof ridge cap was finally fixed to eliminate leaks. I’d been beside myself with worry because with the wiring, insulation, and sheetrock now installed, any further leak would do serious and expensive damage.
It took me a long time to realize that O.B. kept putting this chore off because he is almost as afraid of heights as I am. Last week he climbed up on the roof, sat on the peak, and then called down to me in a thin voice, asking if I could toss him a rope to get down. Because I am not a climber and don’t know how to belay without DH to set me up, I’d had to tie the end of the rope to a board and nail the board braced across the inside of a window frame for his protection.
Now there was a plan to get a man-lift.
All day long I rushed back and forth to the farm, mucking the barn, burning horns, cutting brush, and stopping in at home to put in a few licks on DH’s costume. DH emailed me photos and design ideas.
But where was O.B.? It was 2 PM. The work site was deserted. The wind was picking up. Days of rain and snow were in the forecast. I controlled my impulse to scream. I raced home to keep working on putting together something that looked like a big iPad for DH.
I watched for a few minutes, chewing my knuckles, as they set up. Climbing is like excavator work to me. I can’t begin to do either myself, but I’ve watched it so often I know what the moves are supposed to look like. And I wasn’t seeing those moves. I’d lent O.B. DH’s climbing harness but apparently it didn’t fit. O.B. had decided to just go with his tool belt. Augh!
I tried to argue with him.
“It’ll be fine, dear.”
I have listened to climbing death stories all my adult life. I couldn’t watch. I went home to finish DH’s iPad.
However, as often happens when I’m beside myself, everything did turn out fine. By the time I returned for evening chores, the roof was neatly fixed and the boys were gone. And DH was off to Halloween supper as an iPad geek. His “screensaver” is a panorama of the school from the pond.
I realized after I cut and glued all the pieces of the photo down to enlarge it that it was a bit off, but no worries. The school children were much more interested in “pushing his buttons.”