As I sat in my living room this month, I glanced over the decorations covering the walls and shelves. A ceramic pumpkin with a smiling expression, candlelight glowing from his jagged smile, synthetic spider webs with spider rings delicately placed upon it lining the walls, and an overflowing candy dish offering chocolate bars and sour treats of numerous varieties. Following in suit the likes of my grandmother and mother, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I always felt sheer excitement when I watched my mother carry the box of Halloween decorations from the basement, and observed as she quizzically determined where each pumpkin candle and sparkly Frankenstein’s monster should be placed. This was the kickoff before one of my favorite days: Costume shopping.
There was something alluring about purchasing a brand new look, all packed snugly into a plastic, vacuum-sealed bag. It was a blast to frolic around the house in a glittery witch dress, or a velvet vampire gown. Putting the sticky makeup on in globs to complete my look was almost as fun as running around the neighborhood filling a pillowcase with goodies. There was nothing like paying a visit to my grandparents’ house, where the lawn was covered in wooden lawn stakes featuring ghosts and pumpkins with sparkly eyes, handmade in Pop-Pop’s wood shop. Taking home treat bags packed with the best candy from my grandma was always thrilling on Halloween night.
While I have retired my pumpkin pail, I sure haven’t retired my love for Halloween, and October in general. The autumn activities are endless. Whether spooky or lighthearted, there’s no shortage of local fun. I am happy to be a part of Go Local this year to highlight all of the great businesses and events as they get ready for the holiday season.
This issue, we experience the fun of being an adult in the fall. Hampden Hills Alpacas’ Erica Jansons welcomes Go Local into the farm to meet the warm and fuzzy animals that reside there, and show us how we can keep warm as winter approaches. The South Windsor Democratic Town Committee is all about the treat of apples and no tricks, with their annual Apple Harvest Festival. Willow Barn Designs’ Michele Martinelli gives us a look at the ideal decor to replace your Halloween decorations once the holiday is over, and Healthy Kids Running makes sure kids don’t eat too much candy, but still have a blast.
This month, be yourself (or don’t be, just for a day). Indulge in the sweeter things in life. Don’t fear spirits (Two Week’s Notice Brewery serves up some of the best). Don’t be a zombie, live the best life you can. Smiles aren’t just for Jack-O-Lanterns, and it’s okay to cackle like a witch.
October is all about having fun, and basking in the autumn air. It’s about enjoying the abundance that the harvest season brings to our lives, and having fun in the process. Be sure to get outside and experience the corn mazes, apple orchards, pumpkin patches and hayrides that Massachusetts and Connecticut offer, before fall is a distant memory and we start focusing on snowmen and Christmas dinner.