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Those cold, rainy Minnesota Halloweens - Albia Newspapers: Opinion

Those cold, rainy Minnesota Halloweens

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Posted: Friday, October 27, 2017 10:02 am

ON HALLOWEEN as we grew up, we didn’t need the Old Farmer’s Almanac to predict weather for Beggars’ Night. It would be cold, rainy and wet. In Minnesota on Halloween, it always was. It was OK as we watched our dad carve our jack o-lantern. It was just as OK as we dressed for the evening - usual choice was a ghostly sheet with mask, over snowsuit. But then, the fun stopped. Our adult ushers got cold and wet long before we finished our begging rounds; there always was “just one more” house we wanted to visit before we returned to our own. We knew which house had the best stuff, so we planned our route with that in mind, with the chilled, wet grown-ups hurrying us along. (When we were the grown-ups, we remembered. Truth be told, most southern Iowa weather was much more clement, just right for an evening stroll with the kids and chatting with other parent.)

We since have learned that parts of Mexico had a different view of Halloween, the eve of All Saints (Hallows) Day. I was shocked to see skull-shaped candies in Mexican store windows, and learned that families often had graveyard picnics, with the firm belief that the loved ones’ spirits would “attend.” The dear departed’s favorite foods were served, and extra servings were included for the sprits. Halloween there is a celebration, keeping a loving memory alive. It’s ghoulish, with a grin, and that can’t be all bad.

FALL IS DIFFERENT this year. Even our sugar maple isn’t bothering to change color, due to the rain shortage. Travelers returning from California report that the state’s drought is killing trees there.

Doesn’t seem fair: the weather guys claim a miles-long “sky river” of water is headed for this country’s Northeast, promising excessive rain and snow. And California’s trees die.

“FAKE NEWS” may or may not be upon us. The liberal Washington Post reported this week that funding for the salacious “dossier” on GOP Candidate Trump was provided by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

This new scandal - plus the “old news” of Russian uranium, lax computer security, and other scandals - are embarrassing the Democratic “elite” (the party’s most powerful), They are already ticked off because Hillary lost an election they knew she should have won. According to some sources, the elites are planning to abandon the Clinton faction, throwing them under the political bus. The Mainstream Media may already have started, judging by negative stories about the dossier funding.

On the other hand, the “elites” may reconsider, and decide to “kiss and make up.” This would indeed make the whole kerfuffle “fake news.”

A NEW HERO has shown up on my political horizon: Rep. Trey Gowdy, GOP from South Carolina. He conducts himself well on TV interviews (“I don’t have answers; I have questions”), and doesn’t grandstand during Congressional hearings. His questions are intended to elicit information, not show off how smart he is (and he is, a lot). This is a guy to watch (and listen, to).

My other hero - Iowa’s Chuck Grassley - is conducting himself well as chairman of the Senate Judicial Committee. He’s doing us proud.

UNCOMFORTABLE FACT: RefDesk’s Wednesday fact of the day: there are 38,000 known species of spiders. Scary scientists add, there are probably just as many spider species not yet known to us.

That should cause arachnophobes to lose a little sleep!

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