Sunday, October 31, 2010


Up and down the streets of our subdivision, neighbors sat on their covered porches, front stoops and driveways, transforming the most spine-chilling night of the year into a pleasant aura of sugary Southern hospitality.

Portable fire pits blazed, illuminating the night sky.

The distinct piano tones of the Halloween melody softly pervaded the cool air.

Dozens of families with small children, and groups of tweens and teens lined the streets, asking for candy from folks who welcomed the costumed youngsters to grab from bowls full of delectable treats.

It was an evening well worth every stressful minute of working the past Friday and Saturday nights to have off this one special Sunday.

Oct. 31 in the Chaney Woods subdivision was a night that exceeded our expectations. We couldn't believe how many kids were out.

Jacob's first official trick-or-treat experience, and our first as homeowners, will go down in Karlin Clan history as one that will be difficult to top.

Perfect weather.
Perfect costumes.
Perfect candy.
Perfect neighborhood.
Perfect memories.

Little lion and his flower

For the final time this year, we donned Jacob in his lion costume - the one that drives women wild and even brings the toughest men to utter the words "ain't that cute."

We wrapped a cloth flower around Dolly's neck, rolled out the wagon and hit the pavement at 5:45 p.m.

We were early. We caught the first few homeowners a little off guard, but we didn't want Jacob to stay out late, and we wanted to get home in time to catch a few trick-or-treaters.

Not long after, as the Titans wrapped up their fifth consecutive loss to the Chargers, people began unfolding their camping chairs and preparing themselves for the frightful evening to commence.

Jacob's costume was a hit, of course, especially when he would growl after we asked him what a lion says, but we think Dolly actually received more compliments. Many kids wanted to pet her, and two police officers patrolling the area stopped to ask what kind of dog she was. We thought they were going to say something about her being part pit bull, but they just wanted to pet her.

The first homeowner we approached let Jacob pick from an assortment of candy. He grabbed Skittles. The man asked if he wanted another piece. He grabbed another bag of Skittles.

Noticing his redundancy in selection, the man asked Jacob if he wanted to grab one more piece. I told Jacob we have a big bag of Skittles at home and tried to guide his hand toward a mini Reese's or Kit Kat.

Just as I thought he was reaching for one of them, his hand followed his eyes right back to the bright red bag of Skittles.

The man gave him the Kit Kat, anyway.

About an hour later, we went home to try to catch the last leg of trick-or-treaters. We followed neighborhood suit and sat on our porch. Jacob, jacked up on sugar, had a blast running back and forth across the porch. He thought it was hilarious running into our fake webbing - until he got tangled up.

Jacob collected enough candy to fill his Elmo bucket to the top.

And not one of those pieces was of those crappy peanut butter kisses.

I love our neighborhood.

Pre-Halloween festivities

We made sure to get our money's worth out of Jacob's costume. By Halloween, Jacob had trick-or-treated three times: twice at the zoo and once at The Avenue, an outdoor shopping center in Murfreesboro.

Ghouls at the Zoo was an after-hours event where parents could take their kids for a safe night of trick-or-treating, go on a hay ride, ride the carousel, play games and see spooky shows.

Here are some pictures from those events:

Trick-or-treating at the zoo

Jacob coloring a lollipop ghost

"Check out my mad colorin' skillz"

Cleaning up the pumpkins at the zoo

Trying to pick up a pumpkin bigger than him

Getting candy at the zoo

Daycare Halloween party

Erin and Jacob with our Clarksville friend, Bri, and her son, Waylon, at the zoo

Riding the deer on the merry-go-round

Our haunted house

What's "Memo" doing in the "nah-nah"?

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