Kermit and the ghost of Halloweens past

Yesterday, the pirate on the bus, a leopard, a Pinterest girl (giant pushpin in hair and large P on chest) at Starbucks, and the witches wandering around town, as well as the lucky children who received a large Kit Kat just for ringing our doorbell, brought back memories of Halloween’s past. These memories ranged from sliding through tunnels of hanging wet noodles at the haunted house my mother and a neighbor cooked up when I was a kid, to the contest I entered and won when I started a job in the school system.

My title was Employee Wellness Coordinator and my job was to spur staff interest in making lifestyle changes through increased exercise, better nutrition, and stress reduction practices. Part of my stress reduction campaign involved emphasizing the importance of humor and laughter. Thus the motivation behind my Halloween costume: if I came to work in a bizarre outfit, people would laugh and feel less stress.

Staff in the administration center held an annual contest for best carved pumpkin, and best single and group costumes. My job was half-time and in those days, before I’d figured out how to make full-time retirement too busy, I had plenty of free hours. I bought a pattern and set to work sewing a costume. I’m a terrible seamstress, which is why I’m still amazed at the work I put into the final and mostly good, albeit ridiculous, results. You can see for yourself in the photo below.  I’m fortunate that two years later my job was eliminated — for budgetary reasons, not my Halloween costume — and I applied for and was hired into a full-time position. No time for enjoying the sun while sitting on my lily pad after that.

frog costume

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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3 Responses to Kermit and the ghost of Halloweens past

  1. Claudia Randle says:

    I remember your costume, Ann! Your Wellness Coordinator position was part of the HR Department where I worked for 28+ years…

  2. Donna Tonella says:

    Ann, I did not remember this costume at all! I do remember when you and I, Jan and Nancy did the four “budget reduction” phases and you (good sport that you always are) dressed as Phase 4, wore a barrel held up with red suspenders, tights, and not much else. We won first prize, a big can of popcorn. Those were the days!

  3. JanO says:

    What fun were those days! I too recall we four as the budget reduction phases…though I can’t recall which ‘phase’ I was.

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