*

Samantha Jones

Reporter's Notebook

Samantha Jones is a reporter for the Carroll County News. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com

Ready for fall

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Dust off your boots and throw on a sweater, because fall is upon us. Like most basic white women, I love this season. I’ve been known to scour trees for a bushel of dead leaves. You might have seen me skulking around searching for the remnants of a bonfire. I need a sign that fall is here, and I finally have it: September has arrived!

I can’t tell you how psyched I am for cool nights, cozy hikes and big mugs of hot cocoa. I’ll take a pumpkin spice latte, too, if you’re offering. Of course, this is the time of the year when you can find pumpkin spice everywhere. Pumpkin spice muffin? I’ll eat it! Pumpkin spice Pop Tarts? Hand ’em over! Pumpkin spice toilet paper? I’ll take a roll or two! (You never know until you try, people!)

For me, fall is a season of bittersweet memories. I’ll never forget all the Halloweens I spent at my nana’s house handing out candy to costumed kids. Nana used to love Halloween so much she’d wear elaborate costumes every year. She has been a witch, the devil and a particularly snarky cow. She hasn’t dressed up for Halloween in years, but I’ve got the pictures to prove how extra she can be.

Then there’s all the activities you can do in the fall … pumpkin patches, corn mazes, haunted houses and bonfires. One year, my friend Kasey’s mom took us to a haunted house on 7th Street. It was the most popular haunted house in town and I considered myself a bit of a daredevil. But once we got there, I froze up. I loved horror movies, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in one.

“Come on, Samantha!” Kasey said, trying to nudge me along.

I could not be nudged. Even though I had already paid my ticket and there were no returns, I turned and ran out of the haunted house the same way I came in. Kasey’s mom calmed me down even though she thought I was being ridiculous. We watched for my group at the exit for what felt like hours. Finally, I saw everyone walking out. Then a person dressed as Leatherface jumped behind them, cranked up a chainsaw and chased them the rest of the way.

“I can’t believe you didn’t do it,” Kasey said, her face red as blood. “It wasn’t even scary.”

To be fair, it’s not hard to scare me. I got spooked last week walking to my door, because someone was doing electrical work beneath the stairs. One time, Gideon woke me up with a kiss and scared me so much I screamed, “Get away!” in the kind of voice you only expect to come out of a possessed doll. I am skittish by nature. It’s a fact.

Fortunately, that doesn’t stop me from loving Halloween and all the fun that comes along with it. Over the next few months, you’ll find me plopped in front of the TV watching a classic horror film, or purchasing some kind of skeleton decor at Dollar General. The skeletons stay up until Jan. 1, and sometimes later than that.

The beginning of September means the beginning of fall, and I am ecstatic. Maybe if I drink enough pumpkin spice lattes, I’ll gain the courage to try out another haunted house this year. And if that doesn’t happen, I’ll wipe away my tears with pumpkin spice Kleenex.

It’s a win win, you see?

• • •

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com