- Catholic Review - https://catholicreview.org -

Leftover Halloween treats, autumn trees, limericks, and more (7 Quick Takes)


How was your Halloween? Ours was spooky and fun. The weather was perfect. We trick-or-treated around the neighborhood without any tears or scrapes. Our boys were polite. My husband chatted with a few neighbors whose home improvement projects he has been admiring from afar.

Early in the evening I dropped a rubber hand, when I was carrying two rubber hands and a rubber mask. Mothers need 15 hands on Halloween night so they can also take pictures. Fortunately my husband was carrying the spare scythe.

I’ve learned before that trick-or-treaters will only carry their candy collection bag or pumpkin—if that. And yet somehow I let myself be talked into things like scythes. But who doesn’t love a scythe?


There is so much candy. Imagine the most candy you would want your children to eat in a month, multiply that by 17, and then add in dozens of flavored Tootsie Rolls, and you can probably picture what we’re dealing with here.

The school was collecting extra candy to donate, so our older son separated his into two piles—one to donate and one to keep. Our younger son said, “I worked really hard to earn this candy. I’m keeping all of it.”

I’m not arguing with either. But I am fairly sure there’s a rule that a mother has to make the candy pile disappear bit by bit by bit so it will all be gone before Christmas. And it’s not by eating flavored Tootsie Rolls.


Aren’t fall leaves amazing?

Look at how a tree goes from green to red or orange or yellow or brown and then to bare and then to buds and blossoms and then to green again. Is there anything more creative than the changing beauty of a tree?

When I look at a tree in autumn, I can’t comprehend not believing in God. O God, how great Thou art.


I had the chance to interview Laura Fanucci of Mothering Spirit earlier this week, and I am so excited to type up our conversation. I have been reading Laura’s blog for years, and talking to her felt more like talking to a friend than doing an interview. It was just a delight.

Laura just wrote a book with her husband, Franco, Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey Through Miscarriage, and my copy arrived in the mail on Halloween—the fifth anniversary of the day our nephew Georgie died in utero.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Laura and I happened to connect this week, or that her book arrived the day after we talked. The week of Halloween and All Souls Day is always about Georgie, and this year has been no different.


Sometimes Georgie’s mom, my sister Treasa, and I laugh that I write more about him than I do about my own children. He’s just so important to us. I wrote about him in my column for this month’s Catholic Review, Heaven is not so far away.


One of our boys has had strep twice in a matter of a few weeks. So I did what you do when your child has strep that often. I wrote limericks.

There once was a boy who had strep

And even the doctor said yep.

Tell him to rest

And keep close to the breast

And then soon he’ll have pep in his step.

Now strep may come once, as you know,

And then strep may sometimes just go.

But beware the attack

For it just might come back

And it won’t be tied up with a bow.

Hoping it’s a healthy fall from here on out, though I keep hearing my mother’s voice saying, “Sick in the fall, sick all winter.”


Our boys were invited to a friend’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. It was a perfect way to close the work and school week, and they couldn’t wait.

We had picked out a gift card, and I found a card we could put it in, but it still didn’t seem overly exciting. So I decorated the envelope with candy.

And yet somehow, even after that, we still have candy to spare.