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January 19, 2017 - Amy Phelps

Trick or treat! As soon as August rolled around, it seemed that we started to be on the lookout for the pop-up Halloween stores around the area. And the very first day their doors opened, we were there. Multiple times. My husband was just as excited as the kids, looking at zombie-related decor for our backyard and his latest acquisition is the skeleton gnome that now hangs out on our porch. (The zombie gnome is currently ready to take a bite out of one of my poor, unsuspecting lawn gnomes.) Our neighbors probably think our family is a bit strange, as it wasn’t even the end of September and I, in a fit of angst, decided to decorate for Halloween, reasoning that if the stores had been decorated since August, why couldn’t our house be? My poor mother just shakes her head. As a child, she had to dilligently keep me away from anything “scary” - including scary stories, scary movies, scary decorations and scary costumes. And let’s never forget, keep any scary clowns away from me. That is still true today - all clowns need to keep a safe distance from me. And by safe distance, I mean at least a state away. And this generally means that I end up getting chased around the Halloween stores by my children in scary clown masks wielding fake machetes, chainsaws and the like. ??? Do you ever do something when you’re overwhelmed that makes you stop and ask why? I have been facing my busiest time at work, and at home have still been dealing with blending a family and the recent move and the joy of packing and unpacking a house, and then discovering that you’ve lost something or misplaced it, or possibly just threw it away because you were tired of packing. And then you notice that your new house has no outside outlets and how are you supposed to plug in any outdoor lighted decorations with no outdoor outlets? Well, in the midst of all of that, I volunteered to organize a field trip to Sweetapple Farms’ Homeschool and Moms’ Group Day for my girls’ online school. I am the kind of organizer that will make the phone calls, fill out the forms and let everyone know what the plan is and seem somewhat organized - and then I will stress out like I was planning an event for the President. What if no one shows up? What if everyone shows up? What if I forgot to let someone know? What if I failed to fill something out properly? All of this angst on top of a work event that I’m helping to plan, and I was a ball of stress. But the day went off very well, and everyone seemed like they had fun, and all of the kids got to meet and socialize, so all’s well that ends well! But I look forward to Thanksgiving, not because of the turkey, but because some of my work stress will finally die down again. But I am planning on hosting my first Thanksgiving in my new house. Which means I have to cook everything and what if I screw something up?


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