October brings with it so many memories of past Autumns, when our kids were small and life revolved around decorating the house for Halloween, finding just the right pumpkins, and carving them into look-alike Jack-O-Lanterns of each of us. The one of their dad was always the largest with the scariest face and biggest teeth. Of course, the one of me was usually pretty silly looking, as it’s hard to make a “mom” pumpkin look very scary, even if their dad said it should look like a witch! Then we had the girl and boy pumpkins with their own sweet or goofy faces according to what the kids thought they should be. We’d sit them all in a row on the front porch from the Dad pumpkin all the way down to the baby pumpkin, each with their own candle inside to light up every evening as dusk began to fall. We’d buy those cheap vinyl cling decorations to put on the windows, licking the backs to make them stick to the glass. The characters were always cute little witches, ghosts, and vampires with some pumpkins and candy corn or scarecrows thrown in, nothing like the ugly zombies and horror story photos they sell in the stores these days. Then we either made an outfit or bought one of the cartoon character ones at the local discount store. Our daughter was usually an animal of some kind. I remember dressing her like a black cat one year with a rope tail, and stepping on it all night while I followed her around town trick-or-treating. My son was every super hero that ever lived, but he liked Spiderman and Batman the best. When they got too old to make the rounds for candy, we started having a “Halloweenie Roast” in our yard, sitting around the fire pit, roasting hot dogs & making S’mores along with a big pot of chili for Frito pies and another of hot spiced apple cider. Family and friends stop by with their kids to show us their costumes and sit around the fire to visit awhile. We’ll hear the geese flying over on their way south for the winter and the rustle of the wind thru the corn stalks in the field where the combines have just picked the last of the crops for the year. As the sky darkens and the stars pop out overhead, we watch for falling stars and make wishes for life to stay this way, with all the ones we love nearby and safe until the next Fall brings us round the campfire once again. However, we all know that ultimately some will leave us and new ones will be born. Although they don’t replace the ones we lose, they give us hope for the future, and sometimes in just the right light, you will see their image in the faces of the young ones who will carry the traditions and memories forward to their own children someday. We just need to keep telling them the stories of our parents, grandparents, siblings, and the ones who died too soon, sharing our faith in a God who is always in control, until we are all reunited one day. There is a better world waiting up ahead if you follow His way, where life on the back roads will be a wondrous eternal experience.