Haunted in the 'hood.

People stretch them out over their plants and across their doors.  It's part of the annual Fall Festival of Freakiness.  I'm talking about cobwebs.

Our house grows and multiplies cobwebs without effort.  I've never quite figured out the witching hour(s) for cobwebs.  Is it at night?  During the day?  Non-stop?  Do the spiders work in shifts?  Do they get overtime during the Halloween season?  Do they have cobweb contests?  Do the spiders meet up on my back porch for an awards ceremony?  Best design?  Longest thread?  Best catch?  Catch o' the day?

As fast as the neighbors put up their decorative Halloween cobwebs, I'm just as quickly morphing into the wicked witch, swinging my broom to and fro, then slashing wildly trying to get rid of the things all around the house.  Inside.  Outside.  The webs rest in and dress up every nook and cranny:  corners of windows, along the window screens, in the decorative woodwork, up in the tall ceiling corners, column to column,  reaching across potted plants holding on for dear life and then successfully latching on to the next object the breeze sweeps the strings towards.  They are sticky.  Ugh.

The webs are insidious, making their presence known to me only when the light strikes the strands perfectly.  When that happens I jump in fear.  I don't fear the spiders.  And I don't scream at them.  In fact if they are around I usually take the time to trap them in a cup and toss them in the yard.  They are my friends.  Mostly.  What I fear is what others may think about my housekeeping skills if they see those webs around the house.

I'm not a Halloween fan.  I identify more with the Jerry Seinfeld bit in which he donned the easiest costume and just went on the hunt for the best candy.  Give me a white sheet and I'm an excellent Casper the Ghost.  If it's absolutely necessary to disguise myself, the next best costume is either Sutter's or Evan's graduation gown (mostly a cheap thing) that is wadded up in a hall closet.  Makes me feel like I graduated from college.  I didn't.  Well, I got an AA in Aviation Sciences at the local community college.  Never took the 'walk'.

My solution for the kids' outfits was to make a huge clown costume designed to be used for generations.  Yes, I knew how to sew then.  But I missed the class about fitting.  There was an easy adjustment based on need.  Too big, wrap it up with a rope.  Too tight, let the rope out.  I think it got tossed when we moved over two decades ago.  

When the kids were little, Carl was the go-to guy for costumes.  He made a box into a personal computer (back in the day, those were really big) for Sutter.  One year he fit a box around her and made her a table with a place setting stuck on it.  I think she may have gone out as a bag of oversized popcorn or jelly beans one year.  Boys are easier...stick a sport hat on them and a team t-shirt...they're good to go.  Evan's fall-back costume consisted of a Richard Nixon face mask.  That was it.  A son after my own heart.

Hey, maybe there's a way to turn my personal cobweb factory into a seasonal business?  Rent a spider?  Grab a web?  The neighbors save money and I buy a new broom.

Live richly,



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