Words & Banter

Witching You Happy Halloween Memories

Photo courtesy of Red

Red assets.rebelmouse.io

Ghosts, goblins, and pumpkins are everywhere you look! Not the ads and not the neighborhood; I’m talking about my decorations. Plus, I indulge in all the Halloween-theme food (OK, really all the pumpkin spice things) because I love Halloween!

But I also love all the Halloween memories, which I’m reminded of every time I look out the window of my “workroom” and see our annual Halloween inflatable. And I’m not the only one who loves it because over the years, whenever it gets “old and tired” (I can relate), my daughters have insisted I replace it with an identical one. At over 6 feet tall, it towers over me, and the three ghosts popping out of a pumpkin are scary but in a friendly way. But the best part? On any given day, I can hear little kids in our neighborhood walking by with their mom or dad and stopping and “squealing” with delight. Which makes me smile because I know it’s becoming a future memory for them.

My other outdoor decoration doesn’t seem to get quite the same attention, although it always makes me smile. As in every single time I pull into my driveway. You’d think, after all these years, this witch would know how to drive, but clearly not. Or maybe she was just distracted by the ghosts.

Black assets.rebelmouse.io

I have always loved Red’s “bad driver” witch, partly because I love all things driving-related (OK, I will ignore the fact she crashed), but also because it originally was my decoration when I was married, and my stepdaughters were young.

People (of all ages) who celebrate Halloween may enjoy the decorations, candy (we all have our favorites), or even trick or treating, but my favorite part was always the candy-swapping negotiations. Originally, when Red and I were growing up, then my stepdaughters, and ultimately Red’s daughters. It is interesting how sibling rivalries and differences are put aside on Halloween and replaced with very business-like trade negotiations. Not to mention strategizing over return visits to houses that have the best candy.

And our Halloween wishes for you? (Guess who wrote “witch” one!)

  • No matter what you choose to do today or how you celebrate, we wish you a happy and safe Halloween and hope you have an opportunity to create wonderful memories for the years to come.
  • Trick or treat? Why not both? Happy Halloween!

Warm and fuzzy? Yes, and proud of it, too. After graduating with a degree in Theater Arts, Tina Pennington (aka “Red”) met an Englishman, fell in love, and traveled the world. His career took them everywhere, with stints in the Netherlands, England, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, until they moved to Texas in the early 2000s.

With two red-headed children, Sawyer and Natasha, and one red labradoodle, Red had the picture-perfect suburban life. That was until … her husband got fired. What had seemed like a fairy tale life soon unraveled to reveal something far from it.

Years later, it ended up having a happy ending, as Red says, “It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

If you think today’s politics are ugly … let’s talk about a man who named himself “dictator for life” of the Roman empire, and is then assassinated by a group of senators, including his best friend. (However, there’s a “pretty” part – Cleopatra was his mistress.) Food trivia and leadership lessons aside, the fact July is named after him is the perfect excuse to rerun one of Red’s favorite Banter Bites

Quick! If someone says "Julius Caesar," what comes to mind?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Almost everyone has heard of Julius Caesar, but how many of us really know much about him, or at least that's what Red starts to wonder when she receives the usual flippant, but still accurate, reply from her sister, after feeling very proud that she knew that July was named after the famous Roman.

Keep Reading ...Show less

Pragmatic and blunt? Yes, with more than a hint of sarcasm. Unlike her sister, Mandy Williams (aka “Black”) is all business. With an MBA in International Finance from NYU and London Business School, Black was a driven executive who retired from the male-dominated oil and gas industry before she was 40. Boredom quickly set in, so she began racing Porsches, then Ferraris, and became the first woman to race the road course at Indianapolis.

Living in Texas, Black has been involved with the local chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation for decades and has raised over $1 million.

Black often says, “You have two choices in life – you can be the passenger along for the ride, or the driver and steer where you want to go.”