Tuesday, October 31, 2017 – My First Halloween at the Lake

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 – My First Halloween at the Lake

I don’t really know if I love Halloween, but I know I love Twix bars, M&Ms, Milky Ways, and 100,000 Grand Bars!

I don’t particularly love dressing up for Halloween, but I know I loved watching the little Cinderella’s, Belle’s, and Snow Whites tiptoe to my door. I loved watching “Jesus” approach my door and he made me smile as he said, “Everyone could use a little Jesus”. I had to agree with him as I handed him a Snickers and bag of Skittles. When the “referee carrying a white stick” inched to my steps as a “bind ref”, I had to laugh again.

This was the first time EVER, at 54 years of age, that I was home handing out candy to the children out trick-or-treating! As I stood alone at my front door, I watched with excitement as children of all ages (with and without their parents)  approached, took a candy, and said “thank you”. I smiled to each of them, recognizing the fact that my role on this night had somehow shifted. I wasn’t sure how that shift had happened, but it did. I was sure when it happened, but it did.  I began to recognize that I was experiencing a nostalgic emotion that felt a bit heavy somewhere deep inside me.

I was having a fun time with the kids who came to me. They were all so cute. I was doing OK until the mom with a dragon in her stroller made her way across my yard. Her princess and army man were carrying their pumpkin baskets alongside the stroller, and her football player, who was collecting candy in his helmet, was leading the way. That is when my eyes filled and I couldn’t look at the kids’ faces while I handed them a piece of candy. I got so weepy! An emotional floodgate was about to burst.

For those few minutes, my eyes blurred and I got choked up as I heard the mom say, “Take only one and what do you say to the lady?” and the little princess said, “Thank you!” and turned away with anticipation of the next house.

I texted Kali to ask her is she was having an “emotional Halloween”. I was relieved when she wrote back three simple words, “I’m so weepy!” We exchanged texts reminiscing the many Halloweens we shared together…Ralph and I taking the kids around the neighborhood, as Vinnie and Kali handed out candy at our houses, and then all ending up at Kali’s for cake to celebrate her Dad’s birthday, as she had done for years as a child. And here we both were, in what seemed like a blink of an eye,  in two different towns and our children grown and gone, handing out candy to the little ones whose parents would never realize how fast those Halloween nights would go by.

By 8:15pm, I was emotionally spent and physically tired. So Vinnie and I poured a cocktail, turned off the house lights,  and strolled down to Colleen’s fire pit. A new neighbor, a new routine for Halloween night, and yet the same crisp October air that conjures up the emotions of good times that are forever tucked away in my mind and heart.

Walking to Colleen’s and passing the few straggling trick-or-treaters, I had to admit to myself that maybe, just maybe, I actually do like Halloween more than I ever realized before.

Sunday, October, 22, 2017 Hawk Ridge Winery, Watertown, CT.

Sunday, October, 22, 2017 Hawk Ridge Winery, Watertown, CT.

About 5 years ago, my New Year’s Resolution was to visit every winery in CT. At that time, there were 30. So every weekend or so, a friend or two would join me and off we would go to a winery or two or three!  We would do a  flight of samples and then a glass of our favorites! THEN, I bought a bottle from each winery and tucked it away safely at home. In January, once the year was complete, I had a wine tasting of those 30 bottles at my home. I only invited the people who came with me on one of the tours and their spouses. It was a blast!!

So, when Wendy D. called me to tell me about a new winery not far from our lake house and the fact that her friend would be singing and playing the guitar, it only took a second to say YES!

Twenty minutes after leaving our home, we had driven through Watertown to a little side road that looked like a long driveway. At the end of the driveway was a 20 year old parking attendant who pointed us to the right. We parked our car near the big wooden , barn-looking structure and a huge white tent. Hawk Ridge Winery in Watertown, CT was gorgeous!!! On that Sunday afternoon, the outdoor music was under the tent, the views were spectacular and the wine was pretty tasty!! I liked a white one called SKY HIGH WHITE!  Very light and just right!

Because they just opened in June, I had never heard of it, but you can be sure …..I will go back!!

As I pulled out of the driveway, my mind jumped ahead. I am sure that view will only be better as the snow trickles down outside the big glass windows, a fire burns slowly inside, and we gather a table in the corner with a spectacular view sipping a little wine, blessed, again, to be with great friends!