In the meantime, the other kids and I canceled our weekend plans (scrapbooking Friday night for me and a choral performance for them) so we could attend the memorial service for Daddy D's (my stepdad) brother David. I barely knew David, but it was a big deal for Daddy D that his family show up, so we drove to Tennessee Saturday morning. The foliage on the drive was breathtaking. I asked Becca why she wasn't reading the book she had brought and she replied, "I'm just looking at the scenery". You know it's good when the kids enjoy it too. We stopped on the way home to pick a pumpkin at a little farm along the way and got back home in time to visit the Renaissance Faire at the Episcopal church downtown. At the Bee Keeper's booth, the little boys learned how to "pet" a bee without getting stung while I watched in anxious fascination. I hope they don't try this at home.
And I finally gave in and bought the kids new costumes. For 7 years they have been Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger and whatever else we happened to have lying around the house. They are tired of Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger. We have a variety of Pilgrim and knight costumes too, but they are also tired of being knights and it just isn't cool to go trick-or-treating dressed as a Pilgrim. So I gave in- after all, they aren't little for long- and bought them the overpriced flimsy costumes they had been drooling over at Walmart. Philip was Batman, Ben was Robin, Nathanael was Spiderman, and Becca was Cat Woman. I even got John Mark a Clark Kent costume (you can rip the coat and glasses off to transform into Superman) but he didn't get back in time to wear it to Trunk-or-treat. I wish I could post pictures, but John had my digital camera with him and I had to use my "old" camera. It gave me another reason to be irritated with Hunter-Man as I tried to get the pumpkin carved, help everyone get into their costumes, get the food together, and get to Praise Team rehearsal on time on Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday, I also discovered that Hunter-Man had planned an Oktober-fest with his buddy Ted the very next evening- at our house! John does not normally cook, but there are a few things he enjoys cooking: breakfast, grill-stuff, Jambalaya, and Oktoberfest. Back in July, when John and Ted discovered common culinary interests, they immediately began making plans for this year's Oktober-fest (they just forgot to tell me!) So Ted and family arrived last night around 7pm and the men cooked for the next hour. They created a splendid German feast with Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, Spaetzle (German noodles), German potato salad (courtesy of Christina), Rye bread, and a variety of cheeses and German chocolates (mmmm!) They decided that next year, Oktoberfest needs to be an all-day event because they didn't get a chance to make everything they wanted (including the Apple Struesel) and they didn't get to enjoy the feast while watching football (though they probably lose some authenticity at that point).
Today, the last day of October, the sky is overcast and a mist is hanging in the air, making the foliage on the trees seem even more vivid. It would be the perfect day to spend reading by the hearth (if we were fortunate enough to have a fireplace.) I was surprised to look out my kitchen window this morning and see that the old maple in our front yard turned an attractive shade of yellow almost overnight, which is a big change from its normal habit of staying green until the leaves finally fall off the tree in disgust. October has been a wonder-full month.