Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Grove

October 31, 2011

Being a big ol' fraidy cat, I have avoided Hobbs Grove (recently renamed The Grove) for many years. Just the thought of going out of my way to get scared--paying someone money to scare me--was something I couldn't really wrap my brain around. The Grove has three parts, none of which were particularly appealing to me: The Haunted Hayride, The Haunted Forest, and The Haunted House. In all of these scenarios, creepy crawlies, zombies, mutants, and crazed creatures abound, lurking behind bushes and around corners. No cute black kitties with adorable witch hats set on their fuzzy little heads at jaunty angles. No welcoming and smiling jack-o-lanterns. Just sinister and ominously festooned folks whose only goal is to make you scream.

No thanks. Well, no thanks until this year. Perhaps I've become a little less fraidy-catty since I married Mr. Halloween. He positively revels in this time of year. Perhaps it's just because I wanted to make my daughter happy--the absolute least timid of all my kids. She'd been begging to go for years now, but I always thought she was too young. (It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that the girl is going to be thirteen this month!) Then there was my oldest, a fellow fraidy cat, who went out to Hobbs Grove last year--and made it back relatively unscathed. Whatever the reason, I had a little bit of a change of heart. A little bit. I felt I might be able to manage the Haunted Hayride, but the Forest and the House, which both have reputations for being much scarier, were still too far out of my comfort range. Even Nicholas agreed to join us for the Hayride (he's more like me when it comes to scariness), although at the last minute, he backed out on me. I didn't hold it against him though. In my mind, he was exercising good judgment.

So off we went, me with a great deal of trepidation and Doug and Danielle with a grand sense of adventure and excitement. My plan was to go on the hayride with them first, and then sit and wait in the kiddie pumpkin patch while they went off to the two scarier attractions. What I discovered on the Hayride was two-fold: First--if you scream, you become a magnet for all the other creepy-crawlies to come after. An easy target, so to speak. Second--those creepy-crawlies don't just run up alongside the wagon. They will jump right in beside you. It's possible that my screaming my little fool head off was a great source of amusement for everyone else in the wagon, but most especially for my husband and my darling daughter, who laughed at me hysterically.

This is where I hung out instead of wandering the way-too-dark-and-sinister Haunted Forest with Doug and Danielle.I'm not sure what this guy was. Danielle thought he was a grandfatherly-type bunny. I thought the glowing red eyes and somewhat cloven hooves were a little darker than her interpretation, but for the sake of not having nightmares (me, not her), I decided we'd go with her interpretation.

In the kiddie area (where I spent a little time), there was a sandbox-type area. Instead of sand, it was filled with dried corn kernels. I can't imagine how many ears of corn it took to fill it up! It was pretty cool, although it was a little disturbing to think how many hungry people could have been fed with all that corn. The first picture is Danielle's foot sticking up out of the corn. She thought it looked like a severed foot. That girl has a strange sense of humor....

In the end, with Doug encouraging and Danielle outright cajoling me, they convinced me that I'd be alright going through the Haunted House. Having to walk into rooms where I didn't know what to expect, other than to be sure something was going to jump out at me, was nerve-wracking. Blood, gore, suspense, shock--what was I thinking? I had told Doug I only thought I could go if he let me hold his hand, and by the end I think I had nearly broken his fingers. We got out alive, but I was definitely concerned some of those images would come back to haunt me. Danielle, on the other hand, had a big grin on her face when we were done. If I'd let her, she'd have probably asked to bring the gory fellow creeping up on her in this picture home as a dinner guest.
As for me, I'm glad I went, and I'm glad we all had such a good time. Next year, though, I'm probably going to stick to the Hayride. That's definitely more my speed.

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