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Happy Halloween!

The styrofoam pumpkin has seen better days, which I suppose isn't surprising since it's more than 20 years old and wasn't made to last more than a handful of All Hallows Eves. To prolong its life, I don't put it out with the other fall decor, waiting instead until a day or two before the big night to plug it in and set it in front of the big planter that hides the porch electric outlet. 

It's odd that old Jack o' Lantern has become such a cherished part of our Halloween revelry since it was an impulse-panic buy from a Walmart in a small town I don't think I've been back to since. 

I was driving home from a meeting in another part of the state back in my days as a consultant for R.S. Byrnes when I realized it was 4 P.M. on Halloween, and I hadn't bought any treats or a pumpkin to carve.

I ducked off the Highway at the next retail center, ran in, and grabbed a couple of bags of candy and just about the only piece of spooky decor left in the store, the styrofoam Jack o' Lantern. 

I didn't intend for it to become a holiday tradition, of course. I just wanted something quick I could put on my porch to let the neighborhood kids know I was dealing Snickers. But over the years, it has evolved from an easy bit of Halloween decorating to a not-so-subtle reminder of a time in my life when my priorities were very different, and something as trivial as neighborhood trick-or-treating was given little thought.

These days, I put out a lot more seasonal decor, scarecrows and real pumpkins, and the like. I am more present in the moment and that's a great place to be.

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