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Calendar Pages

Fran LoBiondo
by Fran LoBiondo

Halloween has come and gone in our house, and it was a blast. Our oldest son, George, came down from Brooklyn to trick-or-treat with wife Kate and our three-year-old grandson, Ben.

When they arrived, Ben was frenetic. His parents had explained the custom of dressing in costume and visiting homes to ask for treats.

Usually, Ben can be counted on for laughs and surprises, but this morning he was running at high speed, upending toy boxes and leaving them for another game, doing the long jump from ottoman to couch and crumpling with mirth when he bounced off.

When it was time to start the Halloween Promenade, Ben was zipped into a bright green dinosaur with an automatic inflator, Therese rode an evil looking red-devil monster with a full set of flesh-ripping teeth, Kaitlin sported a purple spotted dino, and George wore some flavor of Jurassic monster and stayed out of the pictures.

Off they went, looking like the actors from the movie Land of the Giants from my childhood, protected by down jackets from the autumn chill.

They were gone about 30 minutes and came home with red cheeks and bags of candy. The grownups were bushed, but Ben went right on trawling for toys. The sun was setting, and Ben looked wide awake as they started back home on a three-hour trip.

He resisted getting ready because he wanted to stay and drink the last of his chocolate milk. Also, he spied a toy “lobster” on a shelf, and he wanted it. (It was really a crab.)

Frustrated, his father said, “Now look, you have two options. Finish your milk and get in the car!”

Ben thought it over.

“Daddy, I have something to tell you.” So, Dad picked him up and Ben whispered in his ear, “You have two choices. Get me that lobster, and then I get my shoes on.”

Therese was cracking up to see her attorney big brother lose a case to such a pipsqueak.

In other news, we had been needing a new roof and we waited until summer was over to get it done. The intel we got was that the roofer and a team of workers would arrive early Saturday, tear off the old roof and install a new one, clean up the detritus and be gone by early afternoon. Which, in essence, was true. At the crack of dawn, the team climbed up a ladder to the roof above my bed and went to work.

I woke up inside an MRI machine. Tick tick tick tick WONK WOONK bash boom bang!

No matter where we went in the house, the roofers kept up their noisy work, demolishing the old tiles and sliding them down the house past our bathroom window and our bedroom and into a dumpster.

It all went well and looks great. My head will probably stop throbbing soon, and I can skip my next MRI appointment as well.

We had a very pretty October, and I enjoyed it all. Greg went back to his adult program under the rules of Covid, and he is glad to have a routine after being forced inside for the summer months.

The oncoming winter season sometimes gives me the blues, and when the grey times come on, I tend to get depressed about what I can’t get accomplished. That’s when my husband tries to cheer me up with his bizarre ruminations on life. Like this one:

“The advantage of low expectations is that not only are they easier to reach, but it’s also less disappointing when you don’t.”

Pretty deep thinker, eh?

Well, the Halloween decorations came down on October 31, and Thanksgiving arrived by noon of the first, which was also All Saints Day and the end of Daylight Savings Time. We always enjoy that extra hour of sleep in the fall.

Gregory can be counted on to turn every calendar in the house, and to haul the Halloween stuff down to the basement and the turkeys up. I’m getting too old to haul decorations up and down the stairs and decorate with every single ornament in the box, but Greg loves to do it. He knows where everything goes.

The only thing we made him keep in the kitchen is Jack, the sparkling Jack o’ Lantern who lights up the holiday kitchen with a pumpkin-orange glow.

It makes me want to grab a champagne flute and toast the coming season!

Once or twice, even.

Life Sentences