Hammertime: It was a slushy/mucky Halloween night 2017

Managing the grandkids on a busy and cold Halloween night


Mike Rainone

The other night outside my door there were witches, devils, clowns, and all sorts of strange looking creatures. It must have been Halloween because our family reunion was in July.

It is really too bad that Mother Nature couldn’t have waited for just one more day before blessing us with our first slushy and mucky winter storm and making it really miserable for most of our excited Halloween night trick-or-treaters. But then again, our Canadian kids are pretty tough, and from the comfort of our living room windows many of us watched lots of wild and wonderful characters out and about last Tuesday night, likely dressed in three layers and big fluffy boots, but still seeking all sorts of sweet treats and scary encounters on as many front porches that they could invade before mom’s 8 p.m. curfew.

I hope that they all got home safe and sound and that their bags were full of yummies that have been inspected and tested by parents, and then tucked away and shared before the sweet Christmas goodies start to arrive. There is no doubt that during the later be-witching hours of Oct. 31 the ‘older’ Halloween crowd headed out into the community in their slick and spooky 20th century outfits to invade the local taverns and parties, but now that it’s over we all hope that they took along a ‘designated pumpkin’ to get them home in one piece…but not to slushed.

My wife and I were thrilled to get a great photo of our youngest grandson Liam (3) out on his first Halloween adventure in Perth, Australia and having a blast in his Batman car and outfit during a balmy plus-32 evening. Thanks to all of those groups and organizations for hosting ‘inside’ Halloween fun-fests, and to all those spirited neighbours and businesses who really dressed up their haunts for the frightful occasion. For sure we didn’t have to wait too long for the stores to take down the Halloween promos and put the left over candy on half price, and then dashed off and filled their shelves with the sparkling joys and gifts of Christmas, which by the way folks is only just 48 sleeps away.

It won’t be long before we can start looking forward to the glorious music and lights as well as lots of family festive events and staff parties that are now in the planning stages for the busy months of November and December. These will include the gala Ponoka Festival of Trees on Nov. 16 to 18, the exciting rush of the Almost Midnight Madness shopping spree on Friday, Nov. 17 from 6 to 11 p.m., the glitzy arrival of the CP Holiday train on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m., as well as Christmas Farmer’s Markets, Santa’s Anonymous, and so much more.

The children will of course be very well behaved and excited as they make up their wish lists and count the days down to that very special day of giving, receiving, and sharing with others. While jolly old Santa will be trying to get in as many ‘sneak previews’ as he can at the local stores and special events, our schools and churches will soon begin preparing their Christmas concerts, where the jubilation of their youth will transform our precious little Angels into Sheppard’s, Wise men, Angels, Kings, snowmen, Elves, Santa’s helpers, and a host of other jovial characters who will sing their hearts out loud and clear to impress the proud and cheering crowds of parents, grandparents, and friends. Don’t forget to bring along the cameras to capture and enjoy every precious moment of this forthcoming Yuletide 2017 holiday, but also let’s always try to pause at every opportunity to celebrate the true and traditional meaning of Christmas.

Now let’s have a little fun

• This week I have decided to go on a Light Diet. I eat by daylight, I eat by moonlight, and sometimes I eat by the refrigerator light.

• I’ve decided to take up photography because it’s the only hobby where you can shoot people and cut off their heads without getting in trouble.

• I’m really trying to understand how I can remember every word of a song from 1964 and every car that I owned since I was a kid, but I can’t remember why I just walked into the kitchen??

Shoveling snow is a very invigorating exercise, but please don’t overdo it. Take a break to enjoy a hot beverage, or even better bribe the kids with treats or a raise in their allowance, and then let them do it while you watch the game. Always take a ‘just in case’ emergency kit and extra warm coats, boots, and gloves in your vehicle, and then be sure to have a great week, all of you.


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