So it was time to make the yearly popcorn balls but we made them the night before because Halloween day was getting pretty filled in and I didn’t want to still be making them when people showed up — like last year. Especially since we were doing something special this time … but I’ll get to that. As usual the hubby pops the corn while I make the goop, then we switch places and he perfects the goop while I remove all the kernels because I have better eye sight for that.

The first batch went smooth as silk, except that there was a lot of goop left over so he decided to increase the popcorn ratio from 2/3 cup to ¾ cup. This caused him to feel the need to shake the pot harder, which then caused him to shake the top right off the pot. Popcorn was popping all over the place and so were the kernels. In fact they were hitting me in the face. But I couldn’t stop stirring the goop lest I ruin it so I was ducking, dodging and yelping while he was trying his best to get the top back on. Oh what a mess. It was everywhere! A good pile of popcorn was gathered around the burner and as if we didn’t have enough problems, the popcorn caught on fire!

I’m talking “get the marshmallows out” kind of fire and yet we were both up to our armpits trying not to ruin our delicious intention. I couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of my kitchen afterwards. I was finding popcorn in all kinds of funny places, even the toaster. I was also glad we did this the night before so there weren’t any witnesses.

As for Halloween itself, I felt bad that my grandchildren couldn’t partake of the door-to-door trick or treating this year so I got this idea, and with Jodie and Derek’s help I was going to be able to pull it off. I turned my upstairs rooms into four apartments, decorating the doors and setting pumpkins outside each place. It looked real homey. 

So day of: hubby came home late from fishing, which made dinner late and I was getting antsy. All I had to do now was the dishes and change into my costume as soon as I finished my tasty popcorn ball. But then my grandsons face-timed me from North Carolina so I could watch them open the Halloween package I sent them — which was filled with candy and toys to make up for what they wouldn’t be getting elsewhere this rotten year.

My son had given 6-year-old Grayson free use of his phone for this so I was in for a lengthy show of all my treats up close and far away, even half chewed, but fear shot through me when he ran off to get scissors to open some of the candy. The scissors were huge and his little brother was nearby and I said “where’s your dad?” and he said “In the garage.” And I said, “how about you put those scissors away before your brother gets hurt.” Whew!

While Grayson ran to get his costume to put on for me, I headed to Apartment One where I had laid out my costume and started to get ready. Grayson said, “Gramma, I’m taking off my shirt” and proceeded to give me a close-up of his bare belly. I said “Well, I’m taking off my pants” because I needed to wiggle into the striped pantyhose that only witches wear and I knew it would be a timely struggle as they don’t actually fit me. He was shocked that I was undressing but he could only see my face so no need to call the cops.

As he prattled on, Jodie arrived and came up to see what was taking so long, yet had no desire to help me get those tights up around my ample rear. I left her chatting with Grayson while I ran to Apartment Four for a pair of spandex that ought to keep them in place. They did not. Those stockings clearly had an escape plan. But I powered through because I could hear Trisha’s kids in my driveway. I told everyone to get in place, including the stockings.

I had turned off all the lights downstairs except in the foyer, and the sign that said to “Follow the arrows if you dare” scared them so much they fought over who had to go first up the stairs. While most of us were going to be benign, I knew Jodie was going to scare the be-jeepers out of them. I didn’t know how or when, but when she did she scared a couple of years out of me, too. She had gone into Apartment Three looking like a pretty pirate but donned a cloth mask that made her look like nothing I’ve seen before.

So we survived this Covid Halloween. The stockings did not — may they rest in peace.

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