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From The Publisher

BeverlyDenver_thumbGhosts and Goblins

Even though the temperatures here in Houston are still measuring 90 degrees and above, and it doesn’t feel a bit like autumn, I can’t help but get a welcomed chill up my spine every time I walk into a shop and see its display shelves filled with all things Halloween. 

When I was a kid, I loved seeing all the orange and black decorations. I loved the candy corn. I loved the carved pumpkins (both real and unreal) and the straw-stuffed scarecrows. I loved all the witch hats and broomsticks. Nothing has changed; I still love those things, and having them around my house during the season is fun.

Like many others, I put a jack-o-lantern on my porch and a holiday decoration on my front door. I light pumpkin-scented candles and suspend a flying witch from the ceiling of my kitchen. I adorn tabletops in the living room with Halloween-inspired dolls and figurines. 

I place a black velvet pillow with rhinestones spelling out the word, “Spooky,” on a side chair and place a black and orange needlepoint pillow with the word, “Boo,” on it on the sofa. Clearly, in my house, a theme for the month has been declared and punctuated.

Mostly, I do all of this for me — because doing so is such a simple and delightful pleasure!

It’s also fun to wear a costume on Halloween night and surprise the neighborhood kids when they come to my house, ring the doorbell and shout, “Trick or Treat.” Wearing a costume, more than anything else, reminds me of some of the most enchanted nights of my childhood.

I was blessed with an indulgent mother who sewed well. No matter what I wanted “to be” for Halloween, she found the time to create the perfect costume. And, having a professional photographer as a father came in handy too. Every year, no matter how old I got, the way I looked in my new costume was immortalized on film — dare I ever try to forget how much effort was exerted on my behalf.

Back then, dressing up as a ghost or goblin was not for me — nor was wearing any costume that didn’t enhance my self-image. Dressing up in a pretty outfit —as a fairy princess or a prima ballerina — was deemed much, much better!

When my daughter, Nicole, was young I was the one sewing the costumes. I would come up with some unique ideas but, year after year, she wanted me to make her something “pretty.” Like her mother, she too wanted to be a fairy princess or a prima ballerina. Now, I am blessed with Alexandra, my four-year-old granddaughter. The other day I called her and asked about the approaching holiday. 

“Alexandra, do you know what you are going to be for Halloween?”

There was a pause, so I filled the gap. “Are you going to be a ghost or a goblin?”“No way,” she said with conviction.
“Well, are you going to be a doctor? A lawyer? An engineer?” I asked.

“Grandma, you are so silly,” she said. “No, I’m not going to be any of those people. I’m going to be a fairy princess. A very pretty fairy princess! I’m going to wear a long, pink dress and a diamond tiara!”

I couldn’t help but smile and think: Some things never change!

And, when it comes to little girls and Halloween, I guess that’s okay! There’s no better time to live and enjoy the fantasy!

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