"Sandy Meets Halloween"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, November 2, 2012

Isn’t the weather terrible? A record-setting storm was the last thing I wanted to deal with this past week. I had my plans all set; finish five columns for various publications, winterize my power equipment and vehicles, set up the outside Halloween displays and get the indoor fun stuff out.

Because of the kids, we so enjoy Halloween; their laughter, squealing and the costumes they show up in are so entertaining. Of course, we stocked up on candy. We like to offer a big variety because that’s what the kids prefer — and we aim to please. We always let them have a handful. “A handful?” they say, as they roll up their sleeves and dig in.

Yes, the last week of October is busy and enjoyable for us. But as we were completing most of our work, the weatherman made his appearance. He introduced “Sandy” and suggested she would wander around the Caribbean a while than run up the East Coast and leave a little mess. Initially, she was not expected to be severe.

Hurricanes that form late in the season are seldom very strong. Most records of strong storms this time of year date to the 1800s. The surprise nor’easter that dumped all the snow in the eastern states last year at this time was called a really strong system. Little did they know what would visit them this year and how bad a fall storm could be?

Our interest in the storm began a week ago when a neighbor in Florida called and told us the tropical storm had visited and we had some minor flooding but no major damage. A couple days later the storm was still off the coast of Florida but showing signs of intensifying. The rest is now history, breaking records going back to 1821.

We all spent the rest of this week watching TV, seeing unbelievable scenes flash across the screen. Here in the Thumb of Michigan, we believed we were all safe until Sunday when the storm reached out to include us. There were incredible forecast of waves reaching over 30 feet on Lake Huron. We were to expect rain and snow to accompany the very high winds that would gust to over 65 mph.

Oh, no – not on Halloween. What will our beggars do if it rains hard and turns cold? What will the parents do that help choose and make costumes that will not fit next year? And what will I do with six giant bags of candy? I had even braved the cold to put in brighter porch lights.

But wait!

Was that a car pulling into my driveway? Yes, it’s a whole family of trick or treaters, some of our favorites — the Zimms. Then came the Jimkowskis and Todd and Casey with their youngsters and soon many more. It had stopped raining. Just a little mist fell and the ghosts, clowns, witches, nurses, sportsmen and angels filled our driveway. Later, it began raining harder but the kids were ready with garbage bags with holes for their heads and arms. Some even had clear plastic ones so you cold see their costumes underneath.

Well it wasn’t the best Halloween and I sure did not mean to diminish the misery that fell upon so many during this time by whining about the loss of an evening’s fun, but we did manage to enjoy it. The good news for me, there are only two bags of candy left and I can handle that.

As I see it, a big thank you should go out to the moms and dads who drove the kids around and kept them safe — especially the ones who came down my street.




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