Monday, October 20, 2008

Sweeping up the Confetti

Whew... It's all said and done (except for Halloween, natch). The party was a smashing success and I would like to think a swell time was had by all. We had some amazing costumes this year, which is always gauged by how terrified the wee ones are. My father-in-law took home the Best Costume trophy as a gorilla, my nephew took home the Best Kid's Costume trophy as a jedi knight, and my co-worker won Best Jack-O-Lantern for her 'Obama' pumpkin. Rest assured there will be plenty of pictures of all this coming shortly...

I dressed up as The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hallow, and I was very pleased with the end result. I got a lot of compliments, which is always nice when you are wearing a homemade costume and not just another flimsy, store-bought 'made in China' get-up. The most horrifying costume of the night, however, was my wife. As you may recall, I had no idea what she was going to be, so when she stepped out of our bedroom in a clown costume it was like she was stepping right out of my worst nightmare. Great costume, sweetie! Now promise me you'll never, ever wear it again.

There were a few set-backs, as all parties will have. Just seconds before I was to start getting my costume on, the over-sized bucket I use for the apple bob sprung a leak. So I had to empty that out and find a replacement at the last second (all the while my birthday girl is tugging at my sleeve, begging and pleading to put on her costume). There were also a few no-shows on our guest list that left us with a TON of left over food and beer. No big deal, but I guarantee you I won't be eating at Subway anytime soon after this week is over.

To make it all the more memorable, I ended the evening by reciting Edgar Allan Poe's classic poem 'The Raven.' I was terribly nervous, as I do not do public speaking at all; but I am proud to say that I made it through the entire poem without a single flub. I had a slight tremor in my voice when I started, but by the end I totally got into the spirit of it, and was told by at least one guest that it raised a few goosebumps. Hmmm, this may be the start of an annual tradition...

After the poem was finished, my niece's future hubby, Brian, and I hustled outside to set up the fireworks show. This was supposed to have been ready to go earlier in the day, so there was a short delay while we got everything in position. The fireworks, of course, were purchased in Missouri (slightly illegal in the Northstar state), so they were the real deal and really lit up the sky. So much so that a friendly police officer was waiting for us as we made our way back to my house. The officer took our names and numbers and then let us off with a warning, so the night ended with a little extra excitement, with my daughter delivering the best line of the night:

"Mom, the cops are here!"

Our most sincere thanks to everyone who made it. With the miserable state of the economy and high gas prices, we know it was a sacrifice for many of you to make the trek to our little neck of the woods. We want you to know that we deeply appreciate it. We hope you had a great time, and we look forward to doing it all over again next year!

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