Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wanderlust : Hillsville, VA 10.30.13 - 11.2.13 - Day 2 Halloween Festivities

Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn't you like to see something strange

Come with us and you will see
This our town of Halloween

-"This Is Halloween" by Danny Elfman 

I don't like being scared.  I don't like watching scary movies or people dressed in horror costumes jumping out at me from dark shadows.  I get nauseous when I don't know what is going to happen and I will still, to this day, have nightmares about whatever I watched or heard. While I don't believe in ghosts and so am not even remotely afraid that one is going to come and haunt me, it is still creepy when images are created in movies or pictures. You would think, then, that I wouldn't like Halloween as a holiday at all.

You couldn't be further from the truth.

I love Halloween because dressing up and pretending to be someone {or something} else for a day is exhilarating! Trick-or-treating is a time to visit people that you may not normally see and to laugh and play with your family. It's a fun tradition in a long line of traditions that I am trying to build with my family. I love seeing all of the children dressed as their favorite superhero or princess. You will never see someone in our family dressed as a demon or ax-wielding psycho, but in past years Canon has been a mouse, a lion, and a pirate.  This year, I started asking him months in advance in the hopes that we would, after such a long time, finally settle on a costume for him. I thought about what I suspected he would like and gave him some ideas like an astronaut or a knight.  From day one, though, he knew what he wanted.

Do you want to be a superhero?  No, I want to be a red dragon that breathes real fire. What about a ninja?  Nope, a dragon.  Oooh, how about Buzz Lightyear?  I said, a dragon!   

This went on for months. I wasn't trying to sway him one way or the other.  I just wanted to be sure that once I got his costume he wasn't going to change his mind. He never faltered.We knew in August that he was going to be a red, fire-breathing dragon on October 31st.  He got his wish.

When his costume came in, he excitedly asked me if it had real fire.  Um, no. He was devastated. How could he possibly be a real dragon if he didn't have real fire?! I calmly explained to him that if he had real fire "they" wouldn't allow him to go trick-or-treating because it may burn someone.   That made sense.  Hoo hoo, I win.  I win - one to nothing! 

Very important parenting rule:

When it comes to battles you cannot win, like having real fire for Halloween, always make it "their" fault. That way your child doesn't blame you for spoiling their pyrotechnic fun. 


{Sidenote: The fact that I was able to quote Tenacious D in a blog post about my child's Halloween costume should get me a Pulitzer, right?  Or at the very least, a free coffee from Starbucks.  I'll wait.}

So we set out to make pretend fire for him to breathe.   One small golden arches cup, tissue paper, tape and a straw later, we had fire. It only took three adults and a couple of hours to make.  In our defense, we actually made about three different "prototypes" to see which one worked best. Oh, the perks of having an engineering mind for a dad.

Forgive the bad quality shot, please. This photo was added simply for showing you how the "fire" worked. See the straw? He blew into it so that the fire would move. 

Before we made this trip, my dad informed me that the town was going to shut down their main street and have trick-or-treating for the kids.  I was excited for Canon, but honestly didn't hold out too much hope for it being really amazing. Let me tell you - Hillsville, VA did it right. It wasn't just trick-or-treating. It was a full-on festival. There were games and activities for the children and the businesses handed out really cool treats - from candy to flashlights to yogurt-covered gourmet apples. The police department even had a treat for adults - gun locks for the parents to ensure their child's safety.  To say that I was impressed would be an understatement.

Canon had a ball and I learned a few things about dragons in the process.

1. Dragons quickly catch on to new tasks and environments. You must never take your eyes off of them, as they will evolve faster than you think.

2. Dragons are committed to following through once they begin a task - no matter what. They do not follow the rules of the game man.  Sneaky creatures, they are.

3. Dragons have stellar eye coordination.  They can hit a target with amazing accuracy, even when it is far from their line of sight. 

4. Dragons can fly, even without their wings. This is especially scary, as it means it is that much harder to defeat them.

In short, don't let the video games fool you. These not-so-mythical creatures can be extremely dangerous and are very resilient, so it is best to befriend them by giving them treasures that they cherish, like swords...

Brave {and smart} woman. Apparently, she has encountered dragons before.

...and taking them on journeys of the hay sort {whilst gently reminding them that they may not set the hay on fire}.

Thanks, Hillsville, for showing my dragon {and the rest of us} a good time.

More?  You want more? I will be back tomorrow with more from our trip!

P.S. - 

I mean, really.  The D and Oliver Twist?! Somebody give this girl a book deal!


  1. He made the sweetest little dragon!!! And the fire is genious! :D

    1. I can't take credit for it. I got the idea from Pinterest, of course, but he loved it! Thanks!