Judy R. Hall: 2012 monster storm stole Halloween

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Admiring all the colorful fall decorations and sweet treats in the stores lately made me realize I have no memories of Halloween 2012 -- because there was no Halloween for us last year.I began writing this article on Oct. 31, 2012, and never got around to finishing it. However, with Halloween 2013 drawing ever so close I feel compelled to put pen to paper and try to describe the disappointment of being "tricked" out of Halloween by the Frankenstorm. Here goes ...

• • •In all my many years, I have never experienced a year without Halloween, one of my favorite holidays. This year, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, I am experiencing yet another first in my life -- the utterly unbelievable total absence of Halloween!Our area of West Virginia was hit particularly hard with Sandy's wrath wrapping around and meeting up with a cold front to create one monstrous October snowstorm, of all things. As I sit here on this Halloween night, we are completely without electricity, cellphone service, cable and, worst of all, trick-or-treaters!I've been a big fan of Halloween since my childhood days as a trick-or-treater and have many fond memories of my Halloweens past. I have enjoyed it into adulthood with my own children and grandchildren.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of sewing numerous costumes, carving countless pumpkins, taking the children and grandchildren trick-or-treating and giving treats to the little goblins. From my childhood I can remember to this day which neighbors gave the best treats and also which neighbors gave the tricks instead.I was a more than willing participant of Halloween parties in my children's 4-H Club and also at school. Why I relished it so much growing up is a mystery to me. Maybe it was the time of the year (with fall still being my favorite), or the fact that I got to dress up and pretend to be whoever I wanted to be for the day, or maybe it was getting candy -- don't forget the candy.But on this particular Halloween, while sitting in the chilly, eerie darkness, I am so sad because the weather simply would not allow it to happen this year. There are no decorations, no excited children to treat -- just darkness and lots and lots of snow.I felt better today trying to avenge the "trick" the Frankenstorm played on us. I decided to roll with the punches by making a snowman. But instead of topping it with a Frosty the Snowman head, I carefully but defiantly placed a jack-o'-lantern on top. Take that, Mother Nature!Judy R. Hall is a retired school secretary who lives in Webster Springs. She may be emailed at jrhjwh69@shentel.net.
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