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Judy R. Hall: 2012 monster storm stole Halloween

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Admiring all the colorful fall decorations and sweet treats in the stores lately made me realize I have no memories of Halloween 2012 -- because there was no Halloween for us last year.

I began writing this article on Oct. 31, 2012, and never got around to finishing it. However, with Halloween 2013 drawing ever so close I feel compelled to put pen to paper and try to describe the disappointment of being "tricked" out of Halloween by the Frankenstorm. Here goes ...

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In all my many years, I have never experienced a year without Halloween, one of my favorite holidays. This year, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, I am experiencing yet another first in my life -- the utterly unbelievable total absence of Halloween!

Our area of West Virginia was hit particularly hard with Sandy's wrath wrapping around and meeting up with a cold front to create one monstrous October snowstorm, of all things. As I sit here on this Halloween night, we are completely without electricity, cellphone service, cable and, worst of all, trick-or-treaters!

I've been a big fan of Halloween since my childhood days as a trick-or-treater and have many fond memories of my Halloweens past. I have enjoyed it into adulthood with my own children and grandchildren.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of sewing numerous costumes, carving countless pumpkins, taking the children and grandchildren trick-or-treating and giving treats to the little goblins. From my childhood I can remember to this day which neighbors gave the best treats and also which neighbors gave the tricks instead.

I was a more than willing participant of Halloween parties in my children's 4-H Club and also at school. Why I relished it so much growing up is a mystery to me. Maybe it was the time of the year (with fall still being my favorite), or the fact that I got to dress up and pretend to be whoever I wanted to be for the day, or maybe it was getting candy -- don't forget the candy.

But on this particular Halloween, while sitting in the chilly, eerie darkness, I am so sad because the weather simply would not allow it to happen this year. There are no decorations, no excited children to treat -- just darkness and lots and lots of snow.

I felt better today trying to avenge the "trick" the Frankenstorm played on us. I decided to roll with the punches by making a snowman. But instead of topping it with a Frosty the Snowman head, I carefully but defiantly placed a jack-o'-lantern on top. Take that, Mother Nature!

Judy R. Hall is a retired school secretary who lives in Webster Springs. She may be emailed at jrhjwh69@shentel.net.


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