Minnesota State Fair, All-You-Can-Drink Milk and Halloween

Suddenly nostalgia for milk booths at the Minnesota State Fair overcame me tonight, but that has little to do with what really matters now.  Briefly, I got caught up feeling somewhat sad that I had missed the State Fair again this year — it generally kicks off the best time of the year for me — and thought there was no reason to feel too badly about myself.  I could after all do something like drink all the milk I care to drink without the State Fair.  So that’s what I did.  I went home and enjoyed several tall glasses of icy cold whole milk.  Perfect.

I know people say you shouldn’t eat a lot of dairy and so on and blah, blah, blah…but I was born in the 60s and raised in the 70s so these silly food worries do not apply to me.  My sense of sadness matters more, and if a glass of cold milk alleviates some of that all the better.  I like milk.

Next you’ll be telling me to lay off the Brunello.

But anyway, back to this post.  Autumn is a very nostalgic time of the year for me.  I’m sure if you go back through this blog you’ll see that I have written about this before.  I love the season and it seems like all the meaningful things in my life — at least those things that have turned out to be important — happen in the fall.  (I was married in June, for example, and that didn’t turn out to mean so much.)  I wonder if this is normal for a guy born in May.

Tonight is Halloween and I love it.  My neighborhood is very popular with the kids.  I’m not sure where they come from, but they roam in wild little packs up and down the street.  Most of them have parents, which would have shamed me after my fifth birthday when I was a kid, but this is today and not the past.  Plus some of the mothers look pretty good out there on a crispy All Hallows’ Eve.

And if you’re not into mothers, well then you can still enjoy the smell of candles burning in freshly carved pumpkins.  Bonfires — urban style in those iron grate things you can get cheaply at your hardware store — add even more to the sense of autumnal festival.  I don’t even mind the shrill and unnecessary shrieks of kids out of control on Halloween.  It is a perfect holiday during the best time of the year.

I do miss my adult Halloween parties.  I’ll admit that.  My costume never amounted to much.  Black underwear, a few bed sheets, and a mask usually took care of things in a haphazard hurry.  It worked.  I never got to worked up if someone’s holiday punch got spilled in my lap.  But maybe that was just the forgiving happiness of the Halloween season.  It is hard to say.  We do tend to be rather forgiving of pranksters this time of the year.  We even forgive (most) horrible costumes.

But I think it is the Halloween enjoyed by kids that makes me feel most in tune with what I like about the fall season.  I can party in black underwear anytime, but how often does an entire neighborhood light up and open up on a chilly dark night for fun and games?  Exactly once a year.  That’s how often.

I am in for the night now, but really should go for one more stroll around the block.  Yes, maybe one more walk around the block.  I have all that milk to work off.


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