Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween party pooper

My last-minute nerd costume

Some things about Halloween I love. Having candy galore is always fun, and caramel apples are delicious. The costume thing, though, has never been my favorite part of the holiday.

Some people can’t wait to dress up. In fact, I have friends who plan their Halloween costumes literally weeks in advance. This enthusiasm always surprises me since the costume tradition in my family of origin differed so widely. Right before going out to trick-or-treat, we'd race up to the attic, rummage through an old trunk overflowing with random costume pieces, grab something that fit, and dash out the door with our friends to get a haul. In my mind, a costume was just a means to an end.

Friday, October 7, 2011

You can't hurry love

Mom’s well-earned wrinkles and gray hair belie the busy, vibrant life she once lived raising 13 children. Even in her day, she was an anomaly. Having such a large family today is virtually unheard of. “How did she do it?” I’m always asked.

First of all, she and Dad made up their minds early to have a big family. In fact, they planned to have 17 children (12 sons and 5 daughters). When they ended up with only 7 boys and 6 girls, they joked about falling short. 

Dad had just one older brother and a twin who died when they were about seven months old, so he felt he missed out on the fun that comes from being part of a big family. Consequently, he always wanted to have his own big family. Fortunately for him, Mom was a willing partner who was also extremely organized, smart, and capable.