Wednesday, March 12, 2008

31 October: Happy Halloween

For a while there it looked like fall was on fast-forward and we were going to have an early winter, but it seems that nature has slowed down to smell the crisp autumn air and we have had a month of gorgeous weather, intermixed with periods of dreary drizzle (which is fine with me because I prefer to write when it is gloomy outside). For the past few weeks we have enjoyed watching the colors change out on the Birkenkopf and I am relishing my long daily walks with Cody. The forest paths are papered with beech and oak leaves in every shade of orange, from apricot to burnt umber, interspersed by the occasional lemon-yellow maple, and a chill nip in the air hints at the winter to come. You’d think that autumn would be a sorrowful time – the lazy warm days of summer have come to an end and it proceeds what will inevitably be a long, cold, wet winter – but I just love these fleeting days, particularly when the sun is shining through the leaves.

There’s been some discussion lately on the Fodor’s internet forum about Halloween and whether it is catching on in Europe, so I decided to do my very own Highly Unscientific Survey of Halloween Activities in Stuttgart. The results are as follows:

· Number of pumpkins artistically arranged on front porches: too many to count

· Number of carved jack-o-lanterns spotted in our neighborhood: 2 (one appeared in late September!)

· Number of jack-o-lanterns actually lit, with a candle, on Halloween night: 1

· Number of trick-or-treaters who rang our doorbell: 1 (sadly, we had no candy to offer aside from the marzipans we just brought back from Lübeck, and we were not willing to part with those)

So, it seems that Stuttgart is safe from the revelry of Halloween – for the time being. Give it another five years or so and it will probably be a different story.

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