His Name is Elmer

Our neighborhood has a hopping Buy, Sell, Trade site, which may be a slight addiction for me.  George and I check it frequently for the latest deals.  We’ve scored everything from free moving boxes to board books, and sold our share of goodies too.  Several months ago we removed the builder grade mirror from the quad’s bathroom and replaced it with an ornately framed version.  Once the old mirror was removed, we posted it as free on our Buy, Sell, Trade site.  A firefighter snatched it up for the firehouse workout room, and George set it out for porch pick up.  Unbeknownst to me, the same firefighter posted a Halloween decoration for sale at $10.  Being a Halloween aficionado, George asked if this particular item was still available, and naturally it was.  However, instead of charging $10 for the gem, the altruistic firefighter decided it was a fair trade for the mirror.  Worst trade ever!

When I came home from work one evening, I was greeted by a life-sized skeleton dangling in a cage.  This guy was a grisly, unwelcome sight!  Not only was it realistic and enormous, but it also lights up and chatters spooky things.  I was certain it would terrify the quads and therefore be unacceptable at our house.  The next day, I ushered them into the foyer were our new resident perched, fully expecting shrieks of terror.  Instead, all four squealed “pirate!” as they inspected this guy, going right up to the cage and poking him with their little fingers.  Apparently all the preparations for their Pirates & Princesses birthday party created an immunity to skeletons.  Ugh.  Over the years, I’ve accepted the fact that in October George will put out an array of kitschy decorations that I don’t prefer, but this one really made me cringe.  I’d do about anything to banish him from our home, but I knew it wasn’t happening.  George’s eyes glistened like a child on Christmas morning.  As much as I loathed this decoration, I knew he would stay.  However, he could only stay under a few conditions 1. He would be banished to the attic 364 days of the year 2. He could only post on the porch Halloween night 3. We could dress him in pirate attire to make him a bit more kid friendly.  Against my demands, George kept his new friend in our study for several weeks, and became so attached he named him Elmer.  I’d cringe every time I entered the study and laid eyes on the wretched beast so I eventually heaved him upstairs myself.  Instead of stuffing him deep into the attic, George placed him directly at the entry of the attic so whenever anyone opens the attic, Elmer is staring back with his empty eye sockets.  It’s horrific!

Halloween decoration, life size caged skeleton

Even though I despise old Elmer perching in my attic, I’ve settled with the fact that he’s a permanent family member. Last weekend, George and I began hauling our fall boxes from the attic, and against George’s wishes Elmer stayed up. We didn’t have time to begin decorating so the boxes stayed in our dining room. The next day was like any other, George changed the quads while I prepared breakfast, he set off to work as we nibbled our meal, yada yada yada. After breakfast, I began tidying up while the quads entertained each other. After a few minutes, all four ran into the breakfast nook proclaiming there was a monster upstairs. I recalled reading a Halloween book before bed and thought their imaginations were really running wild. I made a futile attempt to convince them we were monster free upstairs. Eventually, they led me by the hand to the foot of the stairs as they pointed to a tall dark silhouette of a witch.  I had to conceal my laughter because I knew they were genuinely scared.  Harper refused to step foot out of the kitchen and instead peered at the witch from around a corner.  The others were only slightly more brave and approached the witch with fingers covering their eyes.

Halloween decoration, witch siholette

quads reaction to finding Halloween decorations

I spent the remainder of the day trying to prove that the black figure was only made of wood. I turned her over to show the wood grain, laid her on the floor, and even walked along the surface of it. Rylin, Mason, and Sydney eventually believed it was no monster, but Harper could not shake the fear. Even after I moved the witch out of sight, Harper fearfully inquired about her all day and shielded his eyes.

That evening, George and I situated our witch in the bushes outside and adorned our porch with friendlier fall decor including warm orange lights and grinning pumpkins. Harper still isn’t a fan of the witch, but he tolerates her the way I tolerate Elmer.

fall porch decor: orange lights plastic bats


fall porch decor

Fall wreath with burlap ribbon and monogram

What are your favorite fall decorations? Do you appreciate the grisly variety or prefer subdued, friendlier fare?



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11 thoughts on “His Name is Elmer

  1. When you were moving, I went to the attic to see how much stuff was up there. Elmer scared the heck out of me causing me to try and stand up- banging the snot out of my head. Needless to say Elmer and I are not close. Dad


  2. That reminds me of our twins’ experiences of the flying screaming monkey (remember Dr. Parker’s little meeting visual aid?). We got two of them from a relative at a get-together, and the twins were PETRIFIED of them. Finally I stuffed them into a box for about two YEARS before they resurfaced–the twins were three. They were STILL scared of them, and have only recently begun to tolerate them!! Those early fears are tenacious–Harper may never like witches!!


    • Oh I remember those monkeys! I think one us still circulating in the department. So true about lingering fears- I think my Dad is fearful of monkeys because of the Wizard of Oz.


    • I think Kory is partially responsible for George’s love of Halloween, with the epic parties you used to have. 🙂 you do need to meet Elmer…hope y’all can make it to our family dinner next month. We miss you!


  3. I love the idea to make it a pirate. Makes it more “appropriate”! Great! With those orange lights in the window – you could put the witch in the wondow to make it look like shes inside. 🙂 Also good job on compromising – shows quads how to. 😉


  4. […] As we cruised the aisles of Costco, George stopped in his tracks. “Skelly dog is FIVE DOLLARS!!!”, he proclaimed with delight. I sighed, knowing exactly what he was thinking. He added, “It was $10, but now it’s only $5. I NEED this.” I could have sworn this was one of my children clamoring over a new toy instead of my husband. Sarcastically, I remarked, “Need? Really?!?!” This Halloween decoration, a skeleton mutt, was as unappealing to me as George’s prized Halloween decoration, Elmer. […]


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