Cardie in October
October brought two things for my aunt - shorter days and Halloween.
I remember driving with her one day and she turned to me and said "Thank god for seasons because I can't wait for a full wardrobe change. Bring on the sweaters, boots and long pants!"
There was a lot to be said about her love of the summer but the extended light of day drove her nuts! She would roll her eyes and tap her nails on the side of her chair waiting for night to come. "It should be dark by now. Why is it still light out?!" So when fall finally came around, you can imagine her excitement about night arriving much earlier.
I think for her night symbolized a mix of relaxation and entertainment. She got to put up the dogs (her feet), stir up a cocktail (plenty of ice) and tune into a good show (Barefoot Contessa, anything HGTV, or travel - duh!).
The decorations through the house were of course Halloween themed. Out with the fall, in with the black votives, creepy cat, angry jack-o-lanterns and tall pointy witch hats. There was a tub full of decorations for every season and this one was certainly a highlight (but definitely did not hold a candle to Christmas - more on that in December). Even in the condo, it took her a good few hours to take down and set up the Halloween decor.
Everything had a special place. I often remember her standing back, staring, muling over her options and then moving pieces to across the room or over an inch or two. My mom and I used to help but we noticed that after setting something up, we would turn our backs and it would be in a completely new location. It was her thing and she loved it. We would clap and cheer when she was done - pointing out our favorite things.
No spot was left undecorated. Thought your bathroom was going to be missed? Nope. She added a little touch in there too. That meant that sometimes we forgot to pack up decorations when it was time for a new theme - sorry nutcracker! He hung out in the closet for quite awhile until his trip back to our off site storage.
There was always a good excuse for dressing up in Aunt Cardie's mind and Halloween was no exception. I don't really remember her discussing her costume ideas, she just jumped out of her room and TA-DA! After what seemed like hours and hours of work, she would present herself in the most outstanding costume ensemble. The one that sticks in my mind most strongly is her spider woman costume. The main outfit was a long black dress with a shear black overlay. The sleeves and the bottom of the dress weren't cut straight along the bottom - oh no. They had triangle shape cutouts all around the edge.
She was famous for "ratting" her hair but instead of combing it out to smooth out the fuzz, she kept the texture and did a fabulous, witch-like up-do. Fake spiders weaved themselves in and out of her hair.
Oh yeah, if that wasn't all just over the top amazing - she added a painted on spiderweb to her chest. It grew of from her dress and up her neck. I know. I was impressed too.
She was fit for a Martha Stewart Halloween gala but loved all the fuss even just to trundle down the street to a neighborhood halloween party.
October was the start of three straight months of serious decorating, cooking, celebrating and entertaining for her.
Next up is November and nobody hit Thanksgiving on the mark like my aunt. I have a lot of strong memories of this time of year with her. Stay tuned.