Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

I finally packed away my summer clothes, bathing suits (which weren’t used but about six or seven times all season), straw hats, and over a dozen pair of sandals. This is a very sad time for me. I love Summer, and while I enjoy the beauty of Autumn and the cooler days, I could do with a much longer growing season. With 78 degree weather, say, year round? Not to mention that these old bones feel much younger in the sunshine!
The trees have not been exceptionally pretty this Fall; not enough water? Too much water? Who knows? The weather has even been unseasonably warm, prolonging the feel of summer. We spent a great week at Gulf Shores recently; temperatures in the mid-80s. Beautiful. And suddenly it was Halloween and then the first of November! Halloween is OK. It is surely much less fun now that my grands are in high school and college and there is no chance of them visiting our home early, as they did when they were small; making the grandparents’ house the first in their trick or treating adventure.
Their costumes were usually homemade; sometimes thrift store or Yard Sale finds were helpful. In fact, Carter’s first real costume was a Dalmatian, a hand-me-down from a friend. His mom painted his sweet little face and he was transformed into a cute little puppy! The next year he was Woody from “Toy Story,” the movie. My mother made his little vest. Erin wore the recycled Dalmatian and then she usually became some version of a princess or a fairy. Precious. I treasure the pictures of those years; I still have the vest in a trunk upstairs, a fairy crown, too. I am sure you have the same pictures and memories.
This year our neighbors, the Zeidlers, around the corner on Willow Dell Drive, outdid themselves with an amazing pirate ship and sea monster theme. I loved the skeletal mermaid! All made from recycled materials. And my friend Sheridan’s son’s entire street in East Point hosted over 1,800 visitors. Parking must have been a nightmare. LOL. (Check it out on Facebook—just search East Point Halloween). We had about 40 or 50 kids this year, down from almost 100 last year. Willow Dell is popular because of our sidewalks, but many of the neighbors were not home or don’t do Halloween, so most of the street was dark and I think we were passed by. Too bad. Bill loves Trick or Treaters, and I have to admit, the kids were especially cute and polite this year. Good job, mom and dad. Some called out to us from the sidewalk to ask if their children had said the “magic words.” Nice.
Anyway, that’s behind us and so, with all that candy to keep me company, I spent two days watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Yes, I did. My daughter in Bluffton, S.C. did too, and now she is in a crazy decorating frenzy. She has sent pictures of the guest bedroom and the guest bath; both look like Santa’s Christmas Shop exploded. There are shiny balls and lights trailing from the ceiling above the bed. I hope Michael and Courtney, the newlyweds that are visiting from Houston will appreciate what is usually “Our Room.” Hmmph.
As much as I would love to spend my days decorating — for Thanksgiving maybe (Bill says if he sees one more Hallmark movie, though, he’s headed to the attic for the Tree!) — I don’t have time. It has taken me almost two weeks to make the “summer to fall’ switch. Two old suitcases (without wheels) were put into service as was a large plastic bin and two cardboard boxes. I was able to eliminate about 10 pounds of give-a-ways and another five went to the rag bag in the garage. There are still far too many clothes in my closet fighting for space and behaving like a game of hide-and-seek when my back is turned. I can NEVER find what I am looking for and when I do, it has been so smashed among other blouses, sweaters, and jackets that I end up having to press each item before I can wear it. Is it any wonder that it takes me an hour just to get ready for a grocery run? Drives Bill crazy. “I’ll wait in the car,” he says heading out the door. Oh, and then I have to pop back in the house several times for: my phone, my sunglasses, my ID which I left in my “other” purse, and a bottle of water. “Ok, finished. I’m ready!”
So, now I have to find somewhere downstairs to hide the two big suitcases and the several boxes remaining of the summer clothes and shoes I just packed (I hate dragging them to the attic). It did hit me in the middle of all this that I would be in big trouble if someone suddenly invited me to Hawaii or if I won a trip to the Bahamas. Probably won’t happen. Anyway, I spent one whole day washing the fall and winter clothes that I packed dirty. Well, they weren’t “dirty” exactly, they had just gotten rumpled, crushed ,and maybe the necks on a few sweatshirts had a little ring around them. I should be finished about time to start decorating for Christmas—which of course means pulling boxes and cartons out of the attic and wreaths off its walls.
Attic! AHA. I just remembered I should head up there and see if I can’t find something for the Auction this coming Saturday night November 10 at the Senoia Area Historical Society #6 Couch Street, Senoia.
There now. Finished!