I knew it was a good Halloween party when I woke up the next morning and my feet had finally stopped throbbing.  Sarah Palin’s be-lipsticked skeleton greeted me toothily from the bathroom tub – still wearing her beauty pageant sash and studying her five pages of Mapquest directions from Wasilla to The White House.

Halloween hauntingSurveying the upstairs, while the kettle refuses to boil, I wonder if people are in the habit of mashing chocolate into their own floors at home, or if by doing so to mine, it was a special celebratory gesture.  I feel vaguely honored, and just a tad queasy.  Mercifully, the tea kettle whistles, setting off the sound-activated spider that drops from the ceiling.  Thank god the screaming bat is motion-activated and I am moving way too slow to get its attention.

At last the tea has brewed and I sit down on the couch (ants have triumphantly conquered the dining room), next to the crawling severed hand, to eat a piece of pumpkin cheesecake that was too frozen last night to serve.  Oops.  Imagine my dismay.

The cats roam cautiously around, sniffing out last night’s debaucheries.  Tootsie rolls litter the living room carpet; I knew it was dangerous when I made them part of my Jane The Plumber’s Helper costume, but I couldn’t resist their subtle scatological cache.  Over on the bookcase, my Darth Tater Mr. Potato Head doll has been violated by some wee guest – no doubt 3-year-old Yoda had his way with him – and his light saber now protrudes from his eyeball.

Escaping the carnage within, I drag my zombie-like self outside.  Candy wrappers blow across the deck as I lean on the railing and look out over my scrubby hillside, most of the sunflowers having withered and gone to seed, when a bright flash of orange catches my eye…  A late blooming daisy?  An early morning butterfly?  No.  A plastic party plate.  Nestled in a lavender bush.  I sip my steamy tea in wonderment and flex my tired toes.  Life is good.