October 31

I’ve always had a fondness for the last day of October. I remember the pumpkins my mother carved every year and set out on the porch. The big bowl of candy for Trick or Treaters, getting to dress up and go around our neighborhood begging for candy (and wondering what was up with the house that always gave apples!)
 
When I had kids, as neighbors are few and far between in the country, I held a Halloween party–decorated our lower level with cobwebs, fake blood, fashioned a haunted house maze. As my parents were in the theatrical rental business, we even had a smoke machine.
 
Scare the kids–good times! Good enough I’ve had those grown kids share their spooked memories of those parties.
 
October 31 has other connections for me. It’s the birthday of my late, adored mother-in-law, a woman with the best laugh ever. Big, bawdy, infectious. You couldn’t spend ten minutes in her company and not laugh with her. She loved her family, old movies and coffee, could talk about anything. But when I think of her, I think of that wonderful laugh first.
 
It’s also my parents’ anniversary. They were married 63 years when my father died. Together they built a home–some of that literally as I still remember the day my father took a sledge hammer to a wall when they’d decided to build a sprawling addition to the house–raised five kids, welcomed over twenty grandkids and a scatter of great-grandkids. They built a business together, lived, loved and worked together for more than six decades.
 
So today, on Samhain, the day the veil thins, the day we celebrate the end of harvest, I light candles and think of three people I’m  blessed to have had in my life.
 
Happy Birthday, Sally.
 
Happy Anniversary, Bernie and Sis.
 
The last week of October equaled work week for me–including today–but a week also includes a weekend. Saturday Turn The Page held a signing, and as it was close enough to Halloween, some of us dressed for the occasion. I decided to go as Black Widow–mostly because, hey, easy. All I had to do was buy a Black Widow wig, then pick the appropriate clothes and footware from my own closet. Laura’s costume? A Cranky Publicist pin Kat made her last year. Talk about easy. [I go with my strengths, Laura]20160209_143924-2
 
BW dressed as a mechanic he called Vern. Also easy as he had the coveralls, the gimme cap, the shop rag, and fireplace ash to smear up his face.
 
The winner here, and it should be no surprise: Our Kat as Wonder Woman. No wig needed–she already had the super hero hair–and the costume? Awesome. When she left here early Saturday morning for TTP–wearing just that awesome and scanty costume, the temperature was still nippy. I might have been dressed as Black Widow, but under it, still a mom.
 
You need a jacket, I say.
 
But . . . I’m Wonder Woman. And out she went, hopefully into her heated invisible jet.20161029_105340
 
A fun, happy signing.
 
Sunday I finished up some on-line shopping, and now have just bits and pieces, stocking stuffers and the like to deal with. And since Kayla’s already on board to help with wrapping, I’m feeling pretty smug about the holidays.
 
img_1750Got a solid workout in as the only thing I exercised on Saturday was my signing hand–wandered outside in the spectacular gift of the summer in October day to cut flowers still happily blooming. BW harvested our little crop of potatoes. Sweet! We planted them late this year, so yes, little crop, but for me, adorable and satisfying.img_1746
 
So I made potato and ham soup–not using our crop, as I’ll save them for this new pumpkin dinner I have for the kids. With all the weekend chores complete, I sat down with a set of galleys.
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I whined a little about having yet another set of galleys to proof over post-signing champagne and pizza. Cranky Publicist pointed out I had no business whining. I wrote the damn books, didn’t I? 
 
Cranky Publicist is annoying when she has a point.  [Note to self: mark the day in ther record book and hunt up smug emoji. ~L]
 
Tonight Boonsboro has it’s Trick Or Treat night. Businesses stay open late, hand out candy to the swarms of spooks and faeries and all the rest. This year Kayla won’t be part of the swarm but part of the handing out at the bookstore.
 
Time flies.
 
It might be fun to become Black Widow again, go into town, see that swarm, but I’ve got a full workday ahead–and galleys to proof, books to sign in the evening. I have a feeling I’ll be home in my pjs.
 
Maybe somebody’ll bring me some candy.
Nora

18 thoughts on “October 31”

  1. How wonderful and lucky you were to have such great parents and so many happy memories. Personally, I can’t wait until it’s over. Love the costumes! Kat’s costume is perfect because she is definitely Kat McGyver Wonder Woman! Happy Halloween!

  2. I was watching you sign one year and asking about carpal tunnel syndrome. You said it was all in your shoulder. So your “signing shoulder” got a workout. ;).

    And tonight you’ll be an introverted author. Or secluded author?

  3. I have a JD Robb book that you signed back in Austin, 2003, you were there to sign Birthright, which you also signed and the store told me I couldn’t get you to sign the Robb paperback, but you were kind enough to do it. My daughter and granddaughter are now also hooked on both and we have most of them, some have been loaned out. Thank you for hours of pleasure.

  4. Donning my awesome witch’s hat and handing out treats…this year combing it all with a friend who gets many more children at her door than I do!

    Remembering the small town joys of Halloween parades and parties at school…and then the magic of being out late and getting treats!!!

    So enjoyed your trip down memory lane…these are the people who have shaped lives and brought us to where we are on our journeys!

    Cap off the night be delving into Enchanted!

    1. My Dad died November 1st 24 years ago, but My husband and I spent Halloween taking care if him with my mom and he died early the next morning. It also is bittersweet that Halloween nite was our last night. together. I do think the veil is thin that night. Miss him still.

  5. Samhain Blessings! I too remember my parents today, and my beloved son lost way too soon. I also remember happy times and memories made. Celebrated on Saturday with my group- always a fun and reflective time. My High Priest and High Priestess are master decorators- their house is always amazing and fun. Trick or Treating tonight with my four year old granddaughter who is so into the spooky this year. She had great fun decorating her room. She will proudly tell you “I’m not afraid of anything- I even have fake blood on the mirror in my room!” Blessings to all- as the veil thins remember those who came before you.

  6. What wonderful memories! My Dad turned 83 today. We’ve had some amazing birthday parties for him through the years – much quieter these days. My mom used to make the most amazing candies. One year she fashioned sugar pumpkins using a small ball, filling them with candies, then sealing each one shut with frosting. I think we went to store-bought after that – lol. Great costumes, especially Kat’s! The soup has me thinking that sounds great for tonight. Hoping you have a fun and happy holiday.

  7. Wow, Nora, you look great as the black widow. That is some pair of great legs! You also left me wondering- is it just candy you want, or are you a chocolate fiend like Eve. I must have a strip of chocolate daily. good milk chocolate, w/toffee pieces & almonds.

  8. Please tell NR to keep the books coming….She #1 on my favorite author’s list. I wish she could crank out one a month, but then the quality wouldn’t be there. I love love her character development, the interaction between them and the humor. I am an avid fan of Ms. Robb/Roberts. I have all the In Death Books and just about all of her others from the beginning.

  9. Celebrating my 60th today – yes today is the actual birthday but I did start on Friday with my hair stylist to cover the wisdom with color. Saturday was at Pizza Luce with the girls from high school – Sunday at Cheesecake Factory with my two best friends and today the Lakeshore Grill in Macy’s Southdale. Now I’m at the DMV to renew my drivers license. Planning to shop soon!!!

  10. What a wonderful story. It reminded me of my parents, carving the pumpkin with my dad and cleaning the seeds so he could roast them and mom helping us get ready. My boys are older and one of the fondest memories of taking them out is when my oldest wanted to be a mummy. He was 10, 18 (wow) years ago. It wound up raining and he left soggy globs of mummy with every step. The next morning my friend wondered what on earth the white gooey mound of white mucky stuff lined her driveway 🙂 Now off I go to finish some revisions and try not to eat the leftover chocolates. Happy Halloween!

  11. This was my first Halloween without my mother. She passed away in late July. We always had awesome Halloween parties, traditions, and decorations.
    Her two favorite holidays were always Halloween and Christmas. I barely made it through the day, I cried a few times. Christmas might be worse. I don’t know, I’ll see how that goes.
    Anyway, my mother raised my sisters, step brother, and I to not be afraid of anything… So there might been a few horror films that the other kids in the neighborhood weren’t allowed to see that we did. The other parents ostracised her for letting us, but she always said that we turned out right and was proud that we weren’t *complete* psychopaths.
    She had the greatest smile and the greatest laugh. I miss her terribly. So, I had lit a candle in her memory at dawn and *tried* to keep it lit until midnight… The breeze blowing through every time the door opened. I’m sure she was there each time, laughing at me fumbling for a lighter or a match. Not only was she beautiful, but she had the biggest sense of humor.
    I had always told her that one day I would get your autograph, ma’am, and it would be for her. So, one day, I will accomplish that and read to her up above from the book that will hold that great honor.
    Thank you for sharing your memories and allowing others to share theirs.

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