You can tell it's mid-October when the signs get erected in the front lawn.

You can tell it's mid-October when Jennifer starts making body parts, covering bone with paste and colouring, hanging them out to dry on the front porch. And when every day she sports a new pair of very luminous, very scary contact lenses!

You can tell it's mid-October when her husband, Brad, starts to assemble the shanty on the front walkway... the shanty that will turn into the house of horrors complete with music and ghouls!

One of the best things about our new neighbourhood is the enthusiasm of the young family that lives next door.

While we (the empty-nesters) select one pumpkin, and dutifully carve it, filling a basket with chocolate treats and new pencils for our costumed visitors on Hallowe'en night, Jenn and Brad are into the festival full swing!!! And we get to enjoy the preparations for at least three weeks.

The burlap is going up along the eaves, and in the dark, with the tombstones and gallows, the house takes on an eery look. So will Brad and Jennifer on Sunday, October 31, dressed in unbelievable costumes, lurking behind hiding places and giving their visitors a scare!

And this year Brad's built a platform on the roof to accommodate the blowup dragon who ducks and weaves, its eyes glowing in the dark.

Sort of makes our house a non-entity, if you know what I mean. Well, why bother??? The kids run up the steps, say thank you for their goodies, and dash next door for the 'real stuff'... scary music and all that goes with it. Brad and Jennifer's kids are well into the spirit, too... excited about their costumes and playing on trikes and bikes while mom and dad make body parts in the front yard. It's just another day in Hallowe'en prep for them.

And so, as I watch the excitement in kids' eyes and listen to the costume prep, it takes me back 20 years ago to when I was designing and sewing a Masters of the Universe He-Man costume for an excited 10 year old, and when carving a dozen pumpkins kept us all busy for days. We had ghosts hanging from the trees in the front yard and while one of us stayed at home to give out treats, the other took the kids around the neighbourhood.

Now, I enjoy those memories as I watch the development next door. But, really, Brad and Jenn have topped anything we would have dreamed of. On Hallowe'en night, it'll be the high point of our neighbourhood tour, I'm sure.

Thanks, neighbours! Thanks for your spirit!

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