All Hallow’s Eve

I remember the biting cold on the tips of my toes and fingers as I walked from house to house, ringing the doorbell and repeating the mantra – “Trick-or-Treat” more times than I could count. My nose was numb from the bone-chilling wind blowing in my face as I watched other kids participating in the Halloween festivities, wondering what kind of treats they were collecting,  hoping I would go home with a bagful of my own treasure that would last me several weeks (if I didn’t make myself sick eating most of it that night). Always hoping that I would miss the houses that were giving out toothbrushes and apples.   My go-to costumes were simpler than they are today:  a gypsy (with lots of bracelets and hoop earrings) , a hobo (yes, with the bandana on a stick over my shoulder), a witch dressed in all black, perhaps a vampire with plastic fangs that wouldn’t stay in my mouth for longer than a few minutes and fake blood dripping from my mouth or the pirate with one eye patch and a hook for a hand.  Regardless of what costume I chose for that year, Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve, was one of my favorite holidays. Pure excitement building up while putting on my costume and then running out of the house with a pillow case ready to collect as much loot as I could in the shortest amount of time before it got too cold and dark. Memories of many a Halloween bring back that feeling of anticipation as the month of October approaches.

I still feel that same excitement when October arrives marking summers end, the beginning of the fall season, apple-cider, Jack O’lanterns, changing leaves, baking and cooler weather.  This time of year has a different meaning than when I was a child, however.  It is the time of reflection of the year almost past and thinking about the new year slowly approaching, and what I want to accomplish in the remainder of the year.  Even though I still enjoy a good Halloween party and dressing up, being scared just a little bit in a haunted house and indulging in too many sweets, I will take some time this year to have a little introspection on the end of this season and looking forward to starting a new one as the year comes to a close.

What does All Hallow’s Eve mean to you?

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Making Memories

The last two weeks I have been creating beautiful memories with my 76-year-old mother.  See, I took my mom on a trip to Ireland and Scotland. With all good intentions, I had a well-thought out plan – where we would go, what we would see and how much time we needed to drive between these different places.  But sometimes the best laid out plans don’t work.  We weren’t able to see as much as I had hoped and we had to take a much slower pace when site-seeing than I was used to.  However,  through this, I was able to see and appreciate, not only the scenery, history, and culture around me, I was able to appreciate the differences between my mother and me. This is not without saying that there were moments of impatience at her ability to talk to any stranger and turn a 2-minute conversation into a half hour dialogue, her slow walking pace, which forced me to not be in as much of a hurry, or the fact that she tired so much easier during the day.

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Despite what I considered set backs, we had a great time traveling together and we made some beautiful memories. Memories that will be with both of us for years to come — walking in the rain in Edinburgh and spontaneously stopping in a pub for our first pint of Guinness… gleefully sipping our drinks and listening to Scottish music.

 

Walking the cobblestone streets and hearing the sweet sound of bag pipes drifting through the wind, peaking our curiosity as to where they were coming from so we had to seek out their melancholy, sorrowful draw.

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Driving the curvy, winding country roads of the Scottish lands, mesmerized by the different shades of green, the serene hills, and the historic architecture of the fallen castles, Abbeys, and monasteries and catching a sunset in the seaside village of North Berwick.

Our Ireland adventures brought just as many amazing memories.   From the smell of the sea and deep earth, to the hustle and bustle of the city centre, each minute was filled with a plethora of astounding and breathtaking sites and sounds.

Through all of this, I learned more about myself and my mother. I realize that I need to be more patient. Be more patient, not only with her but with myself.  I want to ignore the fact my mother is aging and deny the feelings that I have when I think about losing her. I also learned that our parents can still embarrass us, even when we are adults but we shouldn’t be embarrassed, we should be proud. Proud that they can re-tell stories of our families history, or strike up a conversation with a complete stranger and make them giggle, or let this stranger know how proud they are of you when you think they don’t notice the things you are accomplishing.  I am thankful. Thankful to be able to take my mom on this trip to see places she has always wanted to travel to, to see the sparkle in her eyes when she listened to the bagpipes playing or touched the Irish soil.  These will be the memories that will stay enmeshed in my heart and forged on my soul.