This year's theme was: The Funeral. It came about after having had 4 family members and one good friend die in the last 10 months. Yeah, sometimes a morbid sense of humor helps.
For the longest time, I couldn't get into the spirit of things due to all the stressors, and then the Alaskan cruise took up a lot of planning and thinking time, as well as the week itself. It wasn't until I had the casket out and up on pallets and was wondering what I could do to keep it protected until the big day, that inspiration struck when I erected the canopy tent.
So the last few weeks have been frantic, and some of the things I hurriedly planned were just too involved or time-consuming to come to fruition. In addition, of the twelve real pumpkins I purchased, 8 were gourd-like in their hardness and inability to truly carve, and I filleted a small bit of my left forefinger in the process, slowing things down even more. But I got lots of compliments from kids and adults alike, even before the lights went on. Some came for candy and a look before it got dark and then came back after dark to walk through again. Some, after getting their candy, asked if they could go through the yard and were excited when I said "Please DO!" Others, especially the little ones, were content to view the yard from afar.
The Deceased. So to speak.
Fans of "The Walking Dead" will get this small tribute.
I had planned to put the scary or gruesome stuff towards the end of the display, so parents could just walk the little ones up the driveway to the porch and back again. But Zombie Girl wasn't battery-powered as I thought she was, and she needed a flat surface. So I plugged her in to an outlet in the garage and placed her on a sheet of foam insulation board.
Unfortunately she scared some of the little ones and one pre-teen dissolved into tears. I did regret that.
Each year, I think it will have to be my last. I turned 60 this summer, and it gets tougher to do this all alone. I drool over all your creativity, your wonderful handmade props, and fight the urge to compare my small yard haunt with yours.
But then, as I sat on the porch steps, shivering in my Zombie Nurse scrubs, watching adults, teens, and kids alike wander through the graveyard, turn their flashlights on mysterious object dangling from trees, and try to sum up the courage to peek into the casket, I realized I won't stop as long as I can get around. I can't stop. It's heady. It's a rush. It's too much fun.
Besides, I already have an idea for next year.