One week from today is Halloween. And I apologize in advance to my readers, but my thoughts tonight are somewhat morbid (and I don't mean the sanitized morbidness of the American Halloween nowadays).
We are so fortunate in the Southern Tier of upstate NY. Nature tricked us (back in September) along with a lot of NY State and the East Coast. And just think of all the neat Halloween decorations Mother Nature left us.
Mud encrusted houses! Mold! Mildew! Bad smells! Bugs! (oh gee....am I being too sarcastic?) That will get us right in the mood.
No Halloween sanitized for our protection here.
But an amazing thing is happening here in the Southern Tier. Halloween and fall decorations are still going up here in the Southern Tier. There is no shortage of Halloween lights, crafted scarecrows, artificial pumpkins, trick or treat banners, fake gravestones in the lawn and...natural decorations.
There are reasons for some of the really spooky-but-safe decorations but for some, they hit a little too close to home this year. It was only a miracle that no one died in the flood.
So we decorate, and we celebrate life and we pray for a return to "normalcy". (is that a word?)
We have no shortage of natural decorations here to choose from -
Dried corn stalks, perfect for the porch
Natural pumpkins - carved or, more popular each year, painted. Orange pumpkins, white pumpkins. Pie pumpkins, carving pumpkins, sugar pumpkins with their warty skin. Tiny pumpkins. Huge pumpkins.
Indian Corn, tied together and hung from a porch
Gourds, of all types. Green, orange, white, striped, winged, warty.
But, as much as we decorate our houses here on the edge of Johnson City, NY, our thoughts wander to the "other half" of the neighborhood, the people on the other side of Main Street, who were flooded so terribly in comparison to the part I live in.
At least one entire street, Endwell Street, lies empty. Speaking of spooky, it doesn't get worse than that. But no one wants that type of spooky. And there is one other spooky statistic.
In past years, we've had a lot of trick or treaters. I'm not sure they are all residents of our neighborhood, but some may be grandchildren or otherwise related to residents. At any rate, we've usually had to buy 5 or 6 bags of candy, at least. But probably not this year.
We have fewer people living in our little neighborhood than last year. Some people "on that other side" are fixing up their houses and will be back. But other families will never be back. Eventually, part of the "other side" may be torn down and become a green space. I hope there is a quick buyout, if that is what their fate will be.
What it boils down to is - a lot of houses here will be dark next Monday. And there is no sanitizing that fact.