I like my holidays to be memorable. But this was pushing it.
Mother Nature seemed determined to get in on Halloween this year, with an emphasis on tricks instead of treats. An early snowstorm on Saturday crashed still-leafy limbs all across North Jersey and left a reported 300,000 still without power here and more than twice that number in the dark in Connecticut on Monday.
At St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Saturday night was supposed to be Haunted House night. Sunday would be our Harvest Festival, in planning for more than a month. The ponies were hired, volunteers lined up, cookies being baked.
And Mother Nature laughed.
Saturday morning, the church decided to move the Harvest Festival to Nov. 13 but to go ahead with the Haunted House on Sunday evening, dovetailing with the town’s pumpkin-lighting event. The youth group gathered late Saturday morning and began decking the halls with spiderwebs and skeletons and making plans for scaring the heck out of patrons. By 2 p.m., the assistant rector, the Rev. Melissa Hall, had shooed everyone out the door as the snow worsened. Plans were to regroup at 4 p.m. the next day to put the finishing touches on the “house” and open for business at 6 p.m.
Mother Nature begged to differ.
My family lives in Flanders, ordinarily a half hour’s drive from Morristown. We arrived home three hours after leaving St. Peter’s to find a downed branch blocking the street leading to our driveway and the power already out several hours. It hasn’t come back on yet, which means no water or phones either.
But the Halloween show must go on. So we trekked back to Morristown on Monday for the annual trick-or-treating downtown. The youth group distributed candy on the steps of St. Peter’s. I powered up my phone and laptop in the parish house. And generous friends with hot running water let us take showers. So, we’re clean and at least momentarily connected.
Here are a few scenes from Monday’s festivities in Morristown.
Rescheduled: The Arts Council of the Morris Area will host its snowed-out pumpkin illumination at 6 pm tonight, Nov. 1, across from St. Peter’s at the Vail Mansion reflecting pool. The Morris County Tourism Bureau will try again with its “Bones, Stones and the Undertaker” walking tour, at St. Peter’s graveyard, on Nov. 5 at 4 pm. Cost: $10, call (973) 631-5151 for reservations. And St. Peter’s has rescheduled its Harvest Festival for Sunday, Nov. 13, from 10 am to 1 pm.