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My sister, Mary Ann, has a favorite holiday, Halloween. She decorates her whole first floor and her yard with Halloween decor. This year she had “ghosts” of people sitting at her dining room table which was all set for dinner. Orange lights were entwined throughout the table decor.

We have gone to Mary Ann’s house for Halloween for many years now. There are great-grandchildren who now come to take the place of the original group of children who are  adults.

Mary Ann’s neighborhood is a great place to trick or treat. Everyone in the large subdivision participates. Lawns are decorated, and groups of people sit around fire pits in their driveways, eating chili and offering some to those who come by.

Mary Ann makes chili and everyone brings a side that goes with chili. We try to stick with healthy sides because there is so much candy available.

Some adults stay at the house to sit on the front porch and hand out candy while enjoying a bowl of chili, while others take the children trick or treating. When the the trick or treating group returns, they have some chili to warm up, while the children go through their candy bags.

This year was very different, because it was so cold. We did not have many children come to the door, and our children did not stay out long. We did not sit on the porch, but stayed inside until a child would ring the door bell. It still was a great time to visit and have indoor fun.

Costumes are mandatory at MaryAnn’s party, and there were some great ideas this year. MaryAnn dressed as Medusa and her husband, Tony, was a man she turned into stone. My sister, Becky, and her husband, Wendell, were Indians. Bryan and I went as peanut butter and jelly. Emily was Tris from the Divergent series, and Charlotte was a Kangaroo. My great niece, Kennedie, was the princess from the movie Frozen. My other great niece, Hannah was a “jailbird” and her parents, Shad and Whitney, were policemen. My niece, Jessica, was identify theft – she had other people’s names all over her legs on name tags. Her husband, Jarrod, was the man from the movie Up. I can’t remember what MaryAnn’s children were because they were in and out of the house so much with their friends!

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My mom was my dad’s girlfriend, in a poodle skirt and cute makeup and a hair accessory.

The best costume of all brought tears to my eyes. My eighty-year-old dad wore his Navy uniform from about sixty years ago. I did not realize he even had his Navy clothing. He has lost a lot of weight in the last few years due to various illnesses, so he fit perfectly into his uniform. He looked so handsome! I think all the sisters shed some tears over my dad’s uniform.

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We took several pictures of him in his uniform and then pictures of him and Mom together. They had some fun reenacting the public kiss in NYC at the end of WWII. If only Mom would have had her nursing uniform on! She was of the era where nurses wore white dresses, caps pinned on heads, white hose and white shoes.

Despite the weather, we had a great time. We always do when our family gets together!

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