01 November 2009

Photoless, Creative Halloween

It is a rainy Sunday morning. We are all in our pajamas, except Mark and Sam. It would be a perfectly cozy day IF- 1) We did not have to WALK to Mass. 2) We could watch the NFL on TV even though the Saints aren't playing 3) We had more groceries on hand.

Mark and Sam are dressed and gone because Sam is playing the organ today. I am so disappointed that I won't be there to hear his first public attempt at the instrument. We decided that seven people and one small umbrella wasn't a pretty picture. The girls and I will go this evening. Hopefully, Sam will do well enough that they will have him play again so I can be beaming with pride in the pew.

Our life here is very simple- no school, outside commitments, no car, not even much TV. In some ways, it is fabulous. We spend more time together, read more, get more exercise and are more creative. Sometimes it is really hard for exactly the same reasons- no school, etc. I do enjoy walking everywhere but after a while our pleasant little town can seem claustrophobic. Mark thought about renting a car for the day. When he compared the price of a family bus pass for a week, we decided it would be a good option. We are now the proud bearers of a "Freedom Bus Pass". Actually, we have two passes because their definition of a family is 2 adults and 3 kids. Guess we are more of a tribe! For seven glorious days we can visit lots of places on the island and shop in the bigger towns.

On Friday, we went to Ryde to shop at the UK equivalent of Walmart. We picked out Halloween treats and supplies for our party. We had to keep to the bare necessities because everything is expensive and we had to carry it home with us on the bus and up a hill. We ate at McDonald's and were served by a lady from Kentucky. That took me by surprise. We took the scenic route home just to see some of the island.

Saturday, we took the bus to Newport, the largest city on the island. We shopped until we were starving then had to walk to three restaurants before we found one that took credit cards. We ended up back at the Pizza Hut where we spend about $65 on lunch last month. We decided with prices like that it is not a hut. We are calling it "Pizza Manor". We were much smarter in our choices this time. Almost a third of the bill last time was the drinks! We opted for water this time.

At home later that afternoon, we prepared for our little Halloween party. I figured the kids would miss our New Orleans traditions and I wanted to make it fun for them. They do celebrate here but we are on a street with few homes which are all set back from the street. The newspaper even had a sign you could cut out and put in the window saying- No trick or treating here. Not knowing many people, we opted for a night of family fun. Emme decided we should trick or treat at each others' bedroom doors. Splendid! We let the kids decorate their rooms with cobwebs, rubber rats and the like. They were quite creative with few supplies and it was great to see how resourceful they were. The girls took bottles from the bathroom and made fake labels for lizard blood, moth tears and other potions. Sam played creepy music on his keyboard when we entered the boys' room. They were even creative with their costumes or "fancy dress" as they call it here. They pulled out scarves, belts and other accessories as well as my make-up bag to become a pirate, zombie, vampire and witch. Mark and I wanted to dress up too and wanted it to be something the kids would love. I decided we should dress up as each other. I looked pretty silly in Mark's shoes, shirt and tie with jacket and pocket hankie but Mark stole the show in my skirt and MAKE-UP. I think the only reason he was so willing is because he knew the camera is broken and there could be no evidence. The kids thought it was hilarious, especially Elise who kept giggling and saying, "Daddy is Mama and Mama has Daddy's shirt!". We played a rousing game of Halloween charades and ended the evening with a silly scary movie.

It is a challenge to do without things like Walmart, Target, cheap stuff, a car, family and friends but amazing to see just how resourceful we can be!

Hope you had a fun Halloween, too. Here's hoping for a fixed camera soon. We can't possibly go on without one. :-(



  1. A special memory that none of you will ever forget. How sweet. ....but I am so disappointed not to see the pictures.

  2. You all amaze me on how creative you can be. Jenny