Jack And The Haunted Museum

Creating Jack

Inspired by a friend’s work, I decided to make my own Jack-O-Lantern with my son this year. Honestly I was clueless as to how to make one but my friend gave me the basic ideas. She said, “all you need is a perfect pumpkin and a knife. The rest is up to your imagination.” After printing out my Jack-O-Lantern design from the internet, I was ready.

Finding The Perfect Pumpkin

My son and I went around groceries for the right pumpkin but nothing caught our fancy. One day after bringing him to school, my wife and I spotted a Pumpkin Patch along a small road. We got excited. Right after school, we brought our son to find his very own perfect pumpkin. He was so thrilled.

Which One Dad?

After going around the patch and looking for our future Jack, my son asked me, “which one should I choose dad?” I answered back, “choose the biggest you can carry.” He smiled back satisfied with my response. He then grinned and said, “okay!”

Too small. This would be great for several miniatures Jack-O-Lanterns.

Too big. He barely lifted this one.

Mid-sized and perfect!

Found It!

Being patient and finding time to look around pays off. I learned that from my wife who reminds me every time I make  “hyper mode” decisions.

I heard my son’s excited voice from the other side of the patch. He kept yelling, “got it, got it.” He ran towards me and  handed me his special pumpkin. As he handed the pumpkin he said happily,  “found it!”

This message made me reflect when it compared us to pumpkins. The thoughts that struck me the most were, “he removes the seeds of doubt, hate and greed. He carves you a new smiling face and puts his light inside of you to shine for all the world to see,” So true. God does takes away our yucky selves , cleanse our soul with his love and make us shine with a renewed heart. Perhaps even be a light to those around us.

Carving Happy Jack

First we took the top off. That wasn’t so hard. Then we had to get rid of the seeds and sticky stuff. My eager assistant did a great job in clearing the pumpkin down to the last seed. He saved the seeds in a bowl so we can plant them later. His teacher taught him and his class where pumpkins came from and how to plant them.

Time to carve. I did the easiest pattern I could think of. I also wanted our pumpkin to be a happy and optimistic one. Thus the huge smile on its face. For little kids, Halloween is suppose to be fun, joyous, colorful, exciting and magical. I’m not really into the “nightmare” provoking costumes and theme for them. We should let kids be kids!

Meet happy Jack. May his smile brings you light on a dark night, hope when the skies are gloomy, sunshine when grey clouds hover for days and an ecstatic heart that brings about inspiration.

The Haunted Museum

What’s Halloween without visiting Haunted places? There’s the famous haunted house and haunted mansion. Today I bring you the haunted museum. To pass the next trick or treating booth we had to meet bravely the dark and spooky inhabitants of the museum.

Dungeon Or Tickets?

First task was to pass the serious looking Merlin. “Dungeon or tickets,” he said. My wife with a shaky hands said, “tickets I guess?” The pirate next to him whispered, “good answer. Aar!”

Creepy Giant Bugs

As soon as we entered, giant bugs creeped down towards us. We had to walk really fast. Whew!

Now Or Never Entrance

Enter if you dare. The light dimmed and something above our heads was hovering. Time to toughen up if we want our treats.

The Witch And Her Potion

The witch that haunted our childhood dreams. If you answer her question right, you got to move to the next level and not be a part of her new potion called “bits and pieces”. The name got me wondering and looking disturbed.

The question was simple. It was trick or treat? We said treat and like magic, the candies appeared. Poof!

Mutated Freaky Bats

If we survived the huge bats, some bigger than me, we got to to make our Jack-O-Lantern orange bag. My son wants to make one so we tried our best to overcome the flying creatures of the night. We barely made it!

Count Dracula And His Pointy Teeth

Hiding his pointy teeth called fangs, Count Dracula asked all of us, “bite or treat?” The answer was easy, “treat!” I was curious though if those plastic vampire teeth do work. By the way, Dracula told us he’s a penguin. Penguin with fangs? Hmm…

Snow White And The Halloween Bracelet

The sweetest character was Snow White. She got away from her wicked step mother, the Witch and made her own magical booth. We got to make a magical Halloween bracelet too. No spell sleep inducing red apple for us.

Casper And The Other Ghosts

Scary-looking yet harmless and friendly, we met a couple of hospitable ghosts that led us to a short cut that led to the next booth.

They just didn’t warn us that we were passing the “Village of the Dead.” Thanks pal!

Scarecrows Of The Corn

After watching “Children of the corn” horror movie as a child, my perception of cornfields and scarecrows were never the same. If we pick up a pumpkin and not wake them up, then we pass the final test. I wasn’t sure what they will do though if they did wake up. I guess scare us? Scare….crow!

Another Round?

Mr. Incredible said invitingly, “another round?” My son said, “nope.” I said politely, “thanks but we’re good.”

It was a fun Trick or Treating event. Hope you don’t mind if I added some fictional characters and thoughts to make this visit to the Haunted Museum come alive. After all , Halloween is a creation of our wild and colorful imagination. Nothing is real or is it?

How was your Halloween? Did you light a candle for All Saint’s Day or All Soul’s day?Every culture has a way to celebrate Oct. 31st and Nov. 1-2. However we do it, hope we made it as meaningful and memorable as possible. It’s all about remembering, paying our tribute, prayers and respect for those we care about that fate chose to take from us. Tonight ,we hope they are in a place where peace and happiness never ends.

About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
This entry was posted in Events, family, Inspiration, kids, Post A Week 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Jack And The Haunted Museum

  1. It is such fun to watch children running around trying to find the right pumpkin in a patch. There are so many choices for them. I used to take my daughters girl scout troops to a pumkin farm every fall. There were hay ride, candy apples and lots of fields filled with pumpkins.
    You write was a trip down memory lane for me. Thanks … ~~~~~ : – )
    Now on to the next fall event … dieting as i write.
    Blessings,
    Isadora

    Like

    • Those are fun and happy Pumpkin Patch memories my friend. I bet your daughters still talk about those times with excitement. It was nice of you to give them an enjoyable memory to cherish for years to come. As parents, we make sure they do.
      As for dieting, I’m trying to do it too but food is my weakness….wish there is a magic potion for it. ha, ha, ha……Have a blessed day and best wishes to your family.

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    • I just read you post on “love like a river,” and I felt every bit of love , loss and hope in such a beautiful poem. Thank you Isadora….it is something all of us should read, reflect and find ways so the river will always flow with timeless love….

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  2. misswhiplash says:

    loved the photos and the story. I especially liked the bit about God and the pumpkin. This reminded me that in my Bible I have written ‘ I am a seed potato’ but I cannot remember why I wrote it..any ideas?

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    • Hi, Patrecia. I enjoyed your thoughts on reincarnation. I bet you were a cool, generous and talented person then as you are now. I rally don’t have a feeling of what I was in the past life but I hope I lived my life without regrets. Wishing you love and happiness my friend.

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  3. What a perfect answer, ““choose the biggest you can carry.” You are wise, IT.

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    • In a way I was trying to teach him the famous food for thought, ” just chew what you can only swallow.” Sometimes I have a tendency to be overly excited and in the end I realized I had to much of what I can handle. It’s a learning process and I’m hoping to overcome them one day at a time. I want my son to learn early that being simple, humble and contended of what you have is the key to inner peace and happiness. Have a blessed day my friend.

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  4. MOL says:

    Pumpkins always remind me of Charles Schultz’s Peanuts. The Great Pumpkin, remember?

    Like

    • Oh, yes I think I remember. Is he from Snoopy the cartoons? I never encountered a Pumpkin Patch before, I thought when I was a kid it was all in story books and cartoon shows but now I got to experienced what it is through my son and it’s just amazing. Makes me really feel grateful. Thanks for sharing and best wishes to you and your family.

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  5. 2e0mca says:

    Excellent post – loved the way the pumpkin was selected and your illustrations of making it just right :-)

    Like

    • Thanks. I read and looked at the photos several times and I felt blessed that I had the chance to share a fun and memorable moment with my family. Makes me realize that despite of life’s trials, I am lucky. That I can find , love, adventure and happiness in having less…
      Best wishes to you and your wonderful family.

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  6. Angeline M says:

    I love your Happy Jack.

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  7. Gail says:

    Sweet post. Your son will have many happy memories of this Halloween I’m sure. It brought back good memories for me as well. I have always loved Halloween. I grew up in a neighborhood with tons of kids and so Halloween was always a big time for us. My dad loved it as well and I have fond memories of him carving a Jack-o-lantern every year on the night before Halloween. Back in those days, I can remember just about every neighbor having one either in their front window or on their front porch. I loved when my boys were little and how excited they used to get when it came time to carve the pumpkin. This year was my first halloween as an empty nester and even though I still decorated my house, I guess I have to admit it was a little boring. Enjoy these fun years with your son and continue to make great memories!

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    • Thanks Gail for sharing your beautiful memories of Halloween with your family. They were full of love and fun in them. I notice this year that only a few houses in my street had a pumpkin or a Halloween decor. I said to myself, “what happened to the spirit of having fun?” I know the economy is sadly shaky but the more we should find ways to make ourselves feel happy and good inside . I bet you really miss your kids. One day, my son will grow up too and I will face the same scenario like you. Oh, well, life is a constant cycle and what matters is we enjoy those moments now when they are happening. Thank you for such a generous and heartfelt comment. God bless you and your family always.

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  8. I wish I had thought to say Pick the largest one you can carry to my grandkids. All I said was keep it under 10 dollars. And that did not bring a smile to their face. Oh well there is always next year.

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    • My son’s pumpkin cost $7 , I thought it was a bit expensive but I closed my eyes, open my wallet and just thought of the priceless fun we’re going to have. And yes, I also was able to make a wonderful story about it that my family and I will celebrate anytime. That’s 365 days of wonderful Halloween memories. Have a blessed day my friend and best wishes to your love ones.

      Like

  9. auntyuta says:

    I thought Halloween would give you the opportunity for some more great pictures. And it sure did. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • The “Hidden” version was just a peak of what’s to come. And it was kind of opposite in a way to this one. The first was a scary ghost experience I had as a child and this one with my son is what Halloween should all be about- fun , exciting and filled with happiness. It’s my way of saying we should teach our kids to overcome their fears , not to be in any sort of fear, to find ways to conquer those fears and be better, stronger person ready to battle and face any monsters particularly the live one’s in our society. Reminded me of the story of “little red riding hood” and the bad wolf. In my son’s school and at the cities’ library I learned that the bad wolf are the child predators that haunt for our kids. They are real, scary and unpredictable. We were all cautioned in the news that even if they are legally told not too, they still give candies to children. The thought of that gave me goose bumps far worse than seeing a ghost. We have several of them in our neighborhood. Just a terrifying reality that happens everyday. The world is never the same to the one I remembered as a child where I could safely play in my neighborhood, wander with my friends without my parents worrying about the bad monsters out there. Thanks my friend for the constant visit and for the wonderful thoughts you shared. Wishing you and your family timeless blessings.

      Like

  10. Frank Bishop says:

    I can feel the sugar high from my house.
    The candy is almost popping out of the pictures. Orange really pops out of your pictures, the colors are always so crisp and sharp.

    When is the scuba diving adventure?

    Like

    • I’ve yet to make sure I can safely swim for the scuba diving adventure. I plan to do some tropical snorkeling with my son when we go home next year. My province is noted for its amazing beaches. Can’t wait. And yes, I’m scared of sharks…that too I’ve yet to overcome. Guess what? My son actually ate one candy, he counted all of them that night, about 53 in total and told my wife, “mom, this is enough for a Lego toy!” I told him if he’s okay with it, I will trade them for a small Lego. I know he loves Lego more that candies and my idea worked. So, my wife was glad he wasn’t jumping around from sugar high . Although she was a bit wired from eating some chocolates herself. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Always with a bit of fun sense of humor just like your posts. Stay blessed my friend.

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  11. thirdhandart says:

    Sounds and looks like you had a fun-filled Halloween. Good job on carving the Jack-O-Lantern!

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    • Thank you. I tried my best to make a good Jack-O-lantern. My friend told me I should have used the scalpel for better carving. I told her it was difficult and I want a simple Jack with a real , generous smile. I wasn’t sure if I was talking about Jack or about me. Ha, ha, ha! Have a fun weekend my friend. Best wishes to you and your family.

      Like

  12. Louise says:

    Halloween was fun! I love your pumpkin. Your pictures were so amazing!

    Cheers,
    Louise

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    • I bet you too had an amazing , unforgettable Halloween with your two sons. This day is all about them having a great time, to be kids and having their dreams and imagination turn into reality. We were once like them wanting to be our favorite character. I once wanted to be a superhero but I don’t think they had costumes at the supermarket then. Malls don’t exist yet in my city when I was a child. Oops, that’s an age giveaway ! Best wishes my friend and take care…

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  13. I just love all the Halloween fun.. and that jack o lantern looks absolutely amazing. And let me just say.. that pumpkin looks bigger than him lol.. so cute.

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    • Well, my son is a bit strong for his lean frame that it amazes me how he can carry stuff that looks bigger than him. I guess when you are happy and excited, you can carry anything bigger than you. Hmm…don’t we all do that every now and then? I’m glad you love the Halloween post. After the event, the fun part is looking for the clearance costumes and prop for next year. Target had them 70% off yesterday. I saw a Bakugan costume for my son the other day and I’m hoping the price will drop more in a day or 2. Don’t we all love great deals? Have a fun weekend Kay.

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  14. Judith says:

    Lovely post – thanks again for sharing your joy in your son.:D

    Like

    • My pleasure Judith. I think we need to share the good things we have, the happy events and memories of our everyday life because someone may smile or feel happy and inspired because of it. When I read a post with so much life in it, my day turns around for the better. In a way, this is one beauty of the Blogger World, there so much out there that can bring us inspiration, encouragement and motivation. God bless you always my friend. Wishing you joy and sweet blessings…

      Like

  15. aRVee says:

    Congrats for making your first Happy Jack lantern… Must be very fulfilling and like it to have seen your son so involved…

    I love the quote that compares us to a pumpkin, it’s very true… How lucky we all are to be loved by God despite our transgressions…

    Stay blessed my friend…

    Like

    • “How lucky we all are to be loved by God despite our transgressions…” Makes me ask myself what I did right to deserve the wonderful and loving people in my life and the happy adventures God allowed me to experience. It’s a humbling reflection. God bless you and your family always. Wishing you tons of happiness my friend. Guess what I’m listening while I’m writing this comment? It’s ” Lift Me Up” by the ” The Afters.” Moving song. Makes me feel that with love, we can do anything, be anything!

      Like

      • aRVee says:

        Thanks a lot my friend for the suggestion. I surely will check this song tomorrow. I want to internalize it, haha…

        You must have done more good deeds than the bad, haha, that God showered you with a bountiful blessings…

        Like

      • aRVee says:

        I have just listened to the song. Very moving indeed. Nice one… Thought of sharing the link to your followers.

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      • Thank you my friend . You are very thoughtful. I appreciate that a lot. On a gloomy day, I will have this song and video to inspire me. God bless you always.

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      • I could barely finish the video. It made me cry literally! ” I have my family, I am loved.” written on the mirror as the song was about to end said it all. Thank you. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s going to shed tears after watching the video. I guess I’m just so human with my emotions….

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      • aRVee says:

        You’re welcome my friend and yeah, don’t be afraid to cry, crying is healthy otherwise suppressing our emotions will just make us ill…

        We are human beings, therefore when we are moved and affected, we cried…

        Thanks for suggesting the song, it keeps me grounded and humbled…

        Stay happy and continue to be a blessing to everyone you meet! You inspire people and thank you, I am one of them :)

        Like

      • As I get older, I stop caring less about what other people think and more on allowing myself to express how I feel. If a moving song or video touches my heart and it feels like shedding a tear or two…so be it. In a way, it’s a great cleansing exercise of the heart and soul. Sometimes we just have to let it out so we can feel free and alive once more. Thank you for sharing the video to me. It was beautiful. God bless you and your family always.

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  16. Cheryl says:

    Fantastic post! I got to re-live the thrill of Hallowe’en. My boys are both grown and living in distant cities; their boys are grown enough to be ‘too cool’ now to ‘trick or treat’. In my neighbourhood we might have had 20 ghosts, goblins, witches, etc. come to the door. Loved walking through your pictures!

    Like

    • Thanks Cheryl. I bet you have cool and fun pictures of your sons and grandsons trick or treating. How time flies. I wish there was away to slow them down so we can cherish each event and experience. Have a blessed and beautiful weekend my friend.

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  17. john tugano says:

    You are so hands on Dad….I can see how satisfied your son is with the effort you’ve been making just to make every single moment a special one.Your son was so blessed to receive treats like these,not all fathers out there would make efforts like what you are doing…Hmnn..I love the outcome of your version of Jack-o-lantern..hehehe..

    Like

    • His everything to me and my wife. our lives are better, brighter, worth waking up each day because of him . I saw God’s great love for me through him. He gave me a reason to makes sense out of life and its struggles. He makes me smile each day. He makes me try to celebrate each event with much enthusiasm. Bro, thanks for liking my version of Jack-O-lantern. I know that it looks so simple as compared to what I saw on the internet. Stay cool always …

      Like

  18. The Jack-O-Lantern your son made is fantastic! (Mine always have a smile, too!) Sounds like your family had a Halloween to remember and the haunted museum looks like it was the perfect mix of spooky and fun. :)

    Like

    • A lot of times, events in our lives are perfect because we want them to be. I just want to make the most of the experiences that come my way and hopefully make wonderful and lasting memories about them. Thank you for the beautiful comment. Stay blessed always.

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  19. That is one happy pumpkin IT! I like happy pumpkins too. This is a wonderful post that is filled with warmth and happiness. Your son must be one super happy kid! The best part of Halloween is sharing the fun with our family, friends and neighbors. By the way, the quote is beautiful. As always, many blessings to you and your family. :)

    Like

    • I wanted to mirror Jack-O to what me and my son feel whenever we are around family- just happy! And so “happy Jack” was born. Halloween should give us enjoyable and joyous memories , not scary ones. Than you for sharing. Wonderful thoughts as always. Wishing you and your family lots of love and blessings.

      Like

  20. looks like you and your son enjoyed a Happy Halloween, what a great post and wonderful pictures. Really liked the part about comparing us to pumpkins in Gods hands, great message for all :) Have a wonderful weekend!

    Like

  21. jakesprinter says:

    A Great holiday picture collection beautiful shots

    Like

  22. Sony Fugaban says:

    I felt like I was actually your son — exploring the haunted house and doing the pumpkin thing — in this post, IT. The words are more vivd than the pictures. “Salamat” for sharing the story and for making me reconsider my view on pumpkins. I’ve been relating only ceepy stuff about it until I read that part where being a Christian is compared to a pumpkin. I was instantly awakened on the beautiful analogy. I never thought that pumpkins are way better than just a symbol for Halloween. IT MADE ME SMILE and I must say it, beyond question, brightened my day! Maraming salamat uli!

    Give my regards to the fam.

    Like

    • “Salamat” too, not just for this comment but for being an amazing and supportive blogger friend. In a way the pumpkin reminded me of the “ball of candle” my siblings and cousins used to make as kids during All Saint’s/Soul’s Day at the cemetery. We would wait for the candles to melt and before it hardens, we would shape them into a ball and make different faces out of them. That was the “Jack-O-Lantern” I grew up with. I guess I can call it “Juan-O-Lantern.” I enjoyed the pumpkin analogy too. It showed me the more meaningful part of Halloween and of the pumpkin. I didn’t know it exist until that day. Whoever made the words, bless his/her heart for inspiring all of us. I’m glad you enjoyed the “Haunted Museum” part as well. It was a fun event and I really had a great time making the post. Made me feel like a kid all over again. God bless you and your family always. Thanks my friend…

      Like

  23. lutfi afifah says:

    There is no halloween celebration in my country. Hope someday I could visit your country and could look up these celebration :)

    Like

    • I wasn’t familiar with the celebration too until about 7 years ago when I move to the States. You can still celebrate it with your friends. Make homemade costumes, bake a pumpkin pie and make your own version of trick or treat. My nephews and nieces does it now in the Philippines. They would do trick or treating in our house and not at the neighborhood since only a few celebrate the event. Thank you for the comment and I wish you could visit my country one day as well.

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  24. ElizOF says:

    Your Halloween outfits and pictures are fantastic… I love how you documented the sites.

    Like

    • The best part of making this post is I get to relive the fun and happy times all over again.
      The museum Halloween was colorful and festive. It was mainly meant for the kids and everyone felt the “child-like” joyous feeling in the air. Thanks and have a great day.

      Like

  25. ristinw says:

    Wahaha! The pumpkins are so huge!!!! :D I wish I had one to carve!

    Like

    • Thanks Ristin. I think we can use squash instead but it is just harder to carve , although I think it will last longer. My Jack-O-Lantern has melted now. I felt bad for him. Oh, well, there’s another Halloween next year. Have a blessed day my friend.

      Like

  26. munchow says:

    Another beautiful story told by your eminent photos. I particularly like the little story within the bigger, the one with the seven first pictures of the pumpkin-joy. The colours are so vivid and alive, popping right out of the pictures. And your framing is wonderful, particularly I enjoyed number one and four of the story within the story.

    Like

    • The colors and forms in both of the events were so inspiring and playful that it seems no matter where I angle my camera, it would still capture the fun spirit of the occasion. Thank you for the appreciative and constructive comments. That means a lot to me and it definitely gives me tons of encouragement. A blessed day to you my friend and best wishes to your family.

      Like

  27. Val says:

    Great post, it looks like you all had a wonderful time! :)

    Like

  28. eva626 says:

    coolio!!! it looks like he had a lot of fun!…i remember when my little brother was four and went on a trip with his pre k class to the pumpkin patches…he was so amazed. the colors are beautiful!!!

    Like

  29. The pumpkin patch is a great and memorable experience to any kids. I just wish everyone would have the chance to enjoy them. May be one day when I can already afford it, I will make a huge pumpkin patch mainly for the little kids who’s parents can’t afford them. My country of origin has lots of poverty and it pains me to see children with sad faces. All kids deserve a better way of life. Thank you for sharing. I bet your little brother will always a fun memory of his trip.

    Like

  30. jhirzel88 says:

    If only I got to go to a pumpkin patch or a haunted museum. I never did anything for Halloween. My sister went with her friends somewhere. I don’t know if they went to a haunted house. They were dressed in costumes so I assume they all went trick or treating. My sister wasn’t dressed in a costume, but she went along anyways.

    Like

    • I hope you sister had a great time with her Halloween with friends. I was at work too during the Halloween night itself. I missed seeing my son in his Captain America costume but we went trick or treating at Children’s museum a few days before, thus in a way I got to celebrate it with him , just a little early. Thanks for sharing . Hopefully next year you got to celebrate Halloween.

      Like

  31. The Hook says:

    My favorite Halloween post by a mile! Your son is just as talented as his old man!

    Like

    • He keeps me young and forget how scary and intimidating it is to journey towards the so called “mid-life age.” I may not get that cool bike or eye popping convertible but he gave me the ultimate gift of all, ” to live a life of fun and adventure. To feel young at heart with each thrilling discovery and exciting exploration.” The Halloween event was just the tip of the iceberg of the joys I was lucky to experience because of him. He reminds me each day how I should I look at life and the days ahead which is ” bright and promising!” Thanks for sharing. I appreciate them . Best wishes to you and your family.

      Like

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