Happy Halloween!

  1. Pumpkin Night 2. Bridgeport in the South Yuba Park, CA 3. Red-tailed hawk

Last week I spent with my grandchildren (ages seven and nine years old) on their fall break. We enjoyed a Halloween store full of masks and decorations, and a fall walk ending at the local candy store. At home, we decorated paper pumpkins and stuffed an ape man—making the dining room into the haunted room. The weekend was the grand finale, however.

Friday night, we headed to our first visit to Pumpkin Nights with everyone dressed in their Halloween costumes. I was a witch who enjoyed all the lighted pumpkin themes including: under the sea, pirates, graveyards, and floating pumpkins with the added touch of apple-spice scented fog. Plus, there was a stop to dance and watch a bit of Harry Potter along the way.

We geared up the next night at a local resident’s house called the Spook Walk. This was another first-time event for us as we hunted on an unfamiliar road for a parking spot–avoiding the cars going the wrong direction. We made it safely to the line to wait, while the family’s bumble bee dog kept watch over us. First stop was climbing into tree house to see how the local zombies lived. Then, we made the quarter mile trek through the darkness illuminated only by flashlights. There were spiders and ghosts guiding us until we ran into real zombies traipsing through the oak and pine trees. Luckily, we were protected by some brave young men from these creatures.

The final event came on Sunday afternoon at the Bridgeport Fall Festival. This was my personal favorite.  We started with some history of the covered bridge built in the 1860s. It’s the longest single-span covered bridge in the United States at 229 feet–still standing. Right now, we are unable to walk across it, because it is unsafe. Our community fought hard to save it from being torn down. I’m happy to say the state granted the funds and work begins this coming spring!

Next, we passed a coffin…of course my grand-kids had to take a “quick” peek. They were rewarded with a “skeleton”.  The rest of the day was spent: learning about our local Indian history and their musical instruments, painting pumpkins, making bird feeders, enjoying a tour on the history of the park, and getting towed by a pink tractor from the 40s.

The part I enjoyed the most was seeing the rescue birds and learning their stories. There was a raven, three types of owls, and my favorite, a red-tailed hawk, Sky. She’d been shot and our local wildlife rescue group took her in and nursed her, but couldn’t release her back into the wild due to her injury. So, for the last 11 years she’s been living with her handlers in her own specialty-built home on their property. Each night the couple sits with Sky and enjoys what they call a “hawktail” while she gets a treat. She has a good life with this couple, but her freedom to soar was taken from her the day someone decided to use her as target practice. (Becoming one of the people who help these injured animals is on my list of things to do.)

It was a wonderful week that I spent looking through children’s eyes again. What I got was a glimpse into their magic: walking through the path of lights, surviving a zombie attack, and taking a stroll through time at our local state park.  Next week, I will be doing more adult-themed activities, but the wonder and magic will linger.

So, with my childlike wonder in place, I’m sharing my only Halloween poem for children from twenty-plus years ago. (I saw a children’s book with a similar theme a few years back, so I retired this until now…):


Big pumpkins

Little pumpkins

Pumpkins in a row.

Glad faces

Mad faces

Pumpkins in a row.

On the tables

In the windows

Pumpkins in a row.

Burning bright

Just one night 

Pumpkins in a row.

I’ll be spending my Halloween in downtown Nevada City, CA. I never miss a chance to walk through the haunted house or hear the kids say trick or treat! This year I’m dressing up as a character from my book This Second ChanceZelina! I’ve shared that picture on Twitter and Facebook!

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Happy Halloween and embrace that inner child, D.L. Finn



16 thoughts on “Happy Halloween!”

  1. What a great week it must have been! Sounds like your inner child had the time of her life! That encourages me to sign up for a one-day trip to Disneyland that I’ve been considering. I really feel like going but was wondering if it wouldn’t be a little weird for an adult with no kids 🙂

    1. Hi Kalin! I did have a blast this Halloween so far 🙂
      My husband and I went to Disneyland last year.. It is a perfect place for adults to have fun, too! I recommend it.

      1. Thanks, now I think I will definitely be going after all (it’s Disneyland Paris in my case) 🙂 I’m sure a day won’t be enough but hopefully I’ll be able to make the most out of it. And there will also be some kind of Christmas parade that’s probably going to be amazing.

  2. Love your stories! Sounds like a week with the grandkids was awesome. I remember when my son was younger I looked at things differently. Now that my daughter is 2 there are things even now that I have to laugh at. Such curious creatures our children 🙂

    1. It was pretty awesome to look at the world through children’s eyes again:) They certainly do bring laughter into our lives! Glad you stopped by:)

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