Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Poem & Halloween Safety Points

Pumpkins, Pumpkins

Oh,....what color,

Wow, bright,

In every shade of orange, we cut them out then add a light.....

Yummy in pumpkin bread, cookies and pies,

They grow eerily in the fields, on autumn lit skies............

There silly smile makes us chuckle and laugh with childhood delight,

And nothing says HALLOWEEN better, than a lit pumpkin on Halloween Night.............................

So go out, go now and find one, just as big as you like,

Then paint a face or carve one, either one is right...........

For when the monsters and goblins come out to give you a Halloween fright,

The brightness of your great pumpkin, will keep safe the night!


(Written by Kelly Horan)

Well, it is that time of year again, where the Halloween parties, hayrides, ghost walks, pumpkin carving get togethers,....and trick-or-treating all take place. It is a silly and fun filled time, however it can be rife with danger if we are not safe in our spooky escapades.

Below are some thoughts to keep in mind, to ensure you have a jolly while, and no one in your group of family or friends comes to harm.


* The costume is the most important item on this list, because depending upon what you choose, may hamper your visibility greatly. Always try to choose a disguise that leaves clear vision and has easy breathing ability for the wearer. If your vision is obstructed, you may not see a car coming in your direction, or be able to determine the traffic signals directing vehicle and pedestrian flow in town.

* Visibility of the children themselves is of very high importance, dark costumes,...on a dark evening,...can lead to accidents. Use reflective tape on your costumes, can even get creative with it,...and enhance your overall look. The reflective tape, can also be placed on your candy container. This time of year there are lots of light up items, (glow sticks, glow-in-the-dark jewelry, etc.)  buy them and place them anywhere they will be seen. Flash lights come in all sorts of sizes, some you can even clip on. You can even place a flashlight inside your candy container, and light it up! Just make certain you NEVER shine a light into an oncoming car, may temporarily blind the driver.

*Tell your parents exactly where you plan to go,...therefor if something unfortunate were to happen, they know precisely where to look.

* Always walk on a sidewalk. If there is no visible walkway to traverse,.....then stay as far away from the road as possible. When you are walking, stick to the left side of the roadway,...and always face traffic. You want visibility!

* Do not run out between parked cars to cross the street. Always cross the street at the corner, and look both ways, before you venture into the road.


* If you have children that are younger than 11 or 12 years (depending upon the maturity level of the child) you should go out  trick-or-treating with them. If you can't,....then have a trusted friend,....or an older child, go with them.

* Make sure the area that is chosen for your nights activities, is safe and trusted. Like the homes of your neighbors, friends, family,...... and a firm return time is established.

*Communication is a good thing on a night such as this. Have cell phones,...or even walkie-talkies to stay in contact with one another.

* Double check the kids before they leave the house, and ensure they are properly VISIBLE. This can't be over emphasized enough, as pedestrian fatalities amongst children,...QUADRUPLE,....on Halloween night.


* For everyone who will be driving to parties, festivals, hayrides, etc, is especially important to DRIVE SLOW. What ever the speed limit is,...drop the speed by at least 5mph more. Despite kids being coached by their parents, on how to conduct themselves on Halloween night,.....the excitement of the evening will have them wound up and they may forget. You will need this extra time, to react to a child that may dart out in front of your vehicle.

* Even though kids are walking on the side of the road,....many are wearing masks that hamper their vision,...and they may trip and fall out into the road. (This actually happened to me as a kid,....I cracked my head pretty hard in the fall, but I did not get run over by a car, thank goodness.) So even when driving past children, very cautious.

* Keep your headlights on,....even during the light hours,....just to make your car extra visible.

* Always remember that kids have a hard time judging distance, and equating it with the speed of an on coming car. They may see you,...but make the mistake that they can run in front of the car and get to the other side safely. So extra alertness,...for what an elated trick-or-treater may do,...will keep everyone safe on Halloween night.

* Pay attention to streets where there are no street lights, many children may be in the area with no reflective gear.

* Dark alleys with poor visibility, driveways where kids come tumbling out of vans to run up to the house, twisting roads where you can't see around the bend, all require extra caution during this night of the year.

* Driving on Halloween night requires all of your senses, make sure your phone is off and all of your concentration can go on being alert and aware.

If the parents or guardians, children, and drivers all do their part, you will have an absolute blast and be safely back home, counting you candy in no time.

 Everyone remember the candy inventory?

 This is where you set up piles of like items of candy, and meticulously count every piece. I use to document my totals on paper, and keep track as I ate each cataloged portion, always careful to change the number to reflect the new tally.

It was strangely never correct,...... after the initial Halloween evening count! No matter how thorough my accounting efforts were.

 The strangeness of the disappearing candy remained a mystery for years. Try as I may,... the totals continued to slip, and slip,..... my mounds of candy getting ever lower,...despite my fixated record keeping.

 As a child I considered it a perplexing, spooky mystery that must somehow be related to this eerie and mysterious time of year.

That is until the time I discovered the reason for this conundrum, was in fact my stealthful dad wearing ultra quiet suede moccasins. I gazed as he came striding quickly and with purpose straight to the dinning room side table, where my candy stash lay vulnerable but proudly displayed.

 I peered from my vantage point (under the table,....after watching one too many Scooby Doo movies, I fancied myself as a junior detective in training) and gasped at the slight of hand movement he skillfully used, as he swiped one of my carefully itemized Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!

 Into his pocket it went!

 I would have said he was as swift as Santa Clause,...but wearing moccasins, jeans, a plaid button down shirt and spinning my stolen candy in his pocket,.....I didn't want to make ANY references to Santa, in my mind. Santa,........ who I knew as the giver of shinny presents (of which I had already started making my wish list) the other being my dad,...the snatcher of Peanut Butter Cups. I squeezed my eyes shut,...and mentally scratched out the association.

When I confronted him with my new found knowledge, he laughed uproariously and said, " I wondered how the hell long it was going to take you catch on." I can honestly say, he continued chuckling, mixed together with what looked like pride on his face (for getting away with it for so many years, almost became an urban legend) off and on for the rest of the night. I do believe he thought it was the funniest thing in the world.

So anyway,...make sure you have a safe, lighthearted, and memory filled night. Take lots of pictures, win a costume contest (you will brag about it the rest of your life) and SHARE your candy. Believe me, you will save yourself many restless nights, in the happy world of kiddom, not worrying about your candy count.

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