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Something Loud and Hydraulic

On any given day, your old pal Spook gets a kaiser’s haul of email.

Or, at least, he did a few weeks back when Halloween was in full swing and everyone wanted to dance. But when the sock hop is over, you’d better already have a ride home because at some point you’re going to realize that you’re the only one left out in the middle of the gymnasium dance floor.

The music still plays, but the DJ left an hour ago and now it’s just you. Slowly turning. Bit by bit, tattered crepe paper tangles itself around your ankles. A few half deflated balloons that have lost their shine bob drunkenly in the lowering candlelight.

Okay, okay. Just kidding. We don’t deny that maybe some of us get that “prom’s over, where’d my date go?” feeling for a few days after Halloween, but anyone who’s still in mourning halfway to Thanksgiving probably should look for a good counselor. Or a quack who’ll prescribe something to help pass the time until Spring.

Luckily, we’ve been too busy with other outside projects to really notice how many days have passed recently without a lick of sunlight, or the growing weight of all those soggy leaves in the front yard. You know they get heavier with every passing drizzling day. Pressing down. Smothering. Flattening. Aack! Where’s my rake? Get me a front loader and a pickup truck!

(Cough) As I was saying, we’ve been off and about, moonlighting on other things. But we still get a letter or two, and for the helpful folks who continue to remind me that I haven’t posted any new pictures, I hear you. I’m devoting a good part of the weekend to making gallery updates, project updates, and a few other odds and ends. Right now, I’m off to rent something loud and hydraulic.

November Can Be Glad, Too.

Halloween is 6 days over and Snug Harbor is still festooned with cobwebs. The Grumble still snarls from his tree, and orange lights still glow in the front bushes.

However, in my sloth, I’ve still managed to stack the tombstones on their shelf in the garage, a shelf that won’t bear the burden of next year’s planned expansion. The zombies are back at their posts above the garage door and around the walls, looking very much like unusually garrulous gargoyles. Notre Dame’s rejects.

Some new faces grin over the room at large. Crow, this year’s skeleton-in-a-tree, seems at home hanging by a bungee from a drywall screw. The witch sisters are stacked unceremoniously on a high shelf, for which I’m sure they will make me pay. Brittle arms, once outstretched and reaching, but now sagging, lay folded across flattened paper bosoms. Their musty cloaks are busy with industrious spiders constructing new homes for the winter.

And unlike those spiders, I have been anything but industrious. Just taking a breather. The galleries will get updated. Soon. There are new projects to post. The website’s ongoing renovation is still … ongoing. I’ve just been distracted lately.

I think that possibly I’ve gone and done something rash. Yesterday began chapter one of “The Matter of The Scarecrow Menace”. Want a taste?

On a tall rotten fence post it hung, had always hung. Its cheerless wide-brimmed hat slung low, shading a skeletal face. No crows ever came near, but there were always hornets. A nest humming maliciously somewhere in its dry, paper-filled chest.

It was a menace. You never wanted to see it, but couldn’t help looking. Was it still there? Yes. Always. From its perch in the last field, farther away than any of the boys could run at top speed in under a minute, you could still feel its dead, empty sockets staring. Closing the distance between life and laughter and the sudden realization that no wall blocked its path. No shining knight, leathery cowboy, or hardened marine stood between here and there. And if it suddenly decided to jump off its nail and stalk across the field to the big climbing tree on top of the hill, then — what?

Oh, I’m in trouble.

So, I suppose sloth isn’t really the deadly sin of which I’ve been partaking after all. Possibly wrath. Anyway, if you don’t see many changes around here for a little while, it’s not because I’m neglecting the Autumn Spirit. It’s just that soon everything will be painted gray, and we’ll be the ghosts haunting the cold night.

Go out and fill your soul with sunshine right now, store as much as you can for later. Jump in a pile of leaves. Take a drive into the country and buy a jug of cider from a man with a beard and a friendly dog. Build a little campfire in your front yard and roast something on a stick. Get a bag of those little hard root beer candies shaped like barrels and share them with some kids. Spend a whole day well so that when you close the door for the night and sit down to supper, your clothes smell like leaves and your warm, soft bed is so inviting that you never once consider turning on the TV.

November can be glad, too.

Hello, November

November 1. All Saint’s Day. El Dia de los Muertos. Today Halloween is 75% off. Discounted to make room for Christmas.

The house is quiet. Nothing to do except start cleaning up and putting things away. Or curl up on the couch and watch the Spongebob Squarepants marathon.

Hee hee … a worm stole Sandy’s tale. Let’s see how this plays out. :)