Scary Times Ahead

Today is Halloween, and if you did a quick survey of people you know, you’re likely to find that it’s the favorite holiday of many of them. Most of us harbor plenty of good memories of trick-or-treating amidst the fall leaves, more candy than we could easily consume, and the fun of dressing up and, even for just a few hours, trying to scare ourselves a little. But the day is not about horror, it’s about fun.
Carving pumpkins with scary faces, wearing masks, and posing as witches or superheroes or fairy tale characters – it’s the stuff of good childhood memories. A little shiver of being scared and a lot of laughter and fun.
There will always be people who caution that Halloween can be too scary for kids. But what’s really scary is not the make-believe, it’s some of the real-life events happening all around us.
Want to talk about really scary? Elected officials who operate like 2-year-olds in the sandbox, fighting over their toys – only they’re fighting over the basics of our lives. The potential disaster to retirement plans and everything else that would be part of a federal government default that was averted only at the last possible moment. A furlough for thousands of government workers who did nothing wrong. The almost weekly shooting of children at schools and teachers throughout the country, and more recently, at American military installations – by their fellow Americans.
Here’s more to fear. Town and school district governing bodies that, like the rest of us, are tired of waiting for things to get better and are getting ready to put bonds and other money articles on the March ballot to satisfy their wish lists. Are you really better off financially than you were a couple of years ago? Let your elected officials know what you think before it’s too late and your tax bill leaves you with no alternative than to move away.
So as the winter heating season arrives and the holidays near, take a brief but welcome break from the real and indulge in some Halloween magical thinking. Dress up, carve a pumpkin or two, stock up on candy for trick-or-treaters – yes, we know it’s not healthy, but it’s the season – and as the sky turns dark tonight, celebrate Halloween. And after the recent frosty cold nights, beware – winter, with its snow and ice, will be here before you know it.

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