Spirit of the season

I donít know about anyone else, but I could not be more excited about the fact that itís autumn. I absolutely love this time of year; the scent of falling leaves, the colors on the trees, the crispness of the air.

That being said, I plan on completely ignoring the fact that fall leads to winter, that most horrific of seasons.

Instead I will concentrate on the fact that, although it was a fantastic summer, I can now focus on two of my favorite things about autumn: Hiking and Halloween.

For anyone who has read my blogs, you most likely know I am a huge camping buff and take almost any opportunity during the summer to pack up my gear and hike out into the woods for a weekend of relaxation in the outdoors.

Despite the steadily dropping temperatures, I still try and go camping a few times in the fall. Sure I have to pack some extra clothes and blankets but do you know what I donít have to pack? Thatís right, bug spray. No more bees, wasps and most importantly... mosquitoes.

Not only is it infinitely more beautiful to take a stroll amongst the auburn, goldenrod, and deep scarlet leaves adorning the trees, I find a hike to be much more relaxing when not swatting at any exposed portion of your body every five seconds. But hey, thatís just me.

Now, to what makes fall especially exciting to this humble reporter: Halloween. Canít you just feel it in the air? Parents are busy sewing together costumes for the kids, families race to local farms to pick the best pumpkin to fit the frightening visage that will adorn their front steps. And of course, my favorite part of the whole celebration ... decorations.

Some of my fondest memories of when I was a child include donning hat and gloves and setting up decorations with my dad to delight passers-by during the day, and sometimes terrify at night. My dad was always a wizard when it came to props, sets and decorations (he was in the theater business) so we always had some of the coolest and most original decor on the block.

One of my favorites was a 15í long spider web that he had created by tying lengths of thin white rope together and spanning between two trees in our front yard. I am actually horribly afraid of spiders, but I never shirked from helping my dad set up the monstrous web complete with fake spiders of every shape and size. It was by far the most eye-popping design on the street and I was always so proud that my dad had made the piece himself.

Between school and other factors, this will be the first in quite a few years that I will have the opportunity to Ďspookifyí the house and I canít begin to explain how excited I am. Iíve already created a few pieces out of some broken furniture that I hope will delight the neighborhood and I have a few more ideas up my sleeve.

Alas, when I went to look for the spider-web of which my dad was so proud, I could not find it and I am afraid during the last round of garage cleaning it was mistaken for garbage and thrown into the trash. However, when I stop to think about it, the thing was sort of a pain to string up, and I will always have my fond memories, so maybe itís for the best.

Anyway, I have my own decorations to make and I hope everyone is having as much fun as I during this gorgeous season.

Happy Halloween!

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