Welcome to our blog! -- the place to be to learn about growing up with pediatric brain injury and a wonderful little girl named Sarah, as told by Sarah's Mom!

Are You Ready To Scream Yet?

H a p p y H a l l o w e e n!

Photo credit: Aunt Sam's and Uncle Mark's cat, "Willy," a truly remarkable and much loved fellow who dressed up for tonight's spook-tac-u-lar!

Mee-ow there, friends!

Let me tell you a wee bit about Halloween that you may not know. It all began in Ireland and Scotland a few hundred years ago when hollowed-out turnips with candles or embers inside became a very popular Halloween decoration. The English used beets which they call "beetroots"). Anyhow, I'm a Scotch-Irish cat who is the namesake of Sarah Bear's great-great-great-great grandfather, William Byron Taneyhill, and I know these things . . . about pumpkins, that is.

Pumpkin carving all began with an Irish legend about a man called "Stingy Jack," who was known for being a cheapskate. Soooo cheap, in fact, that he avoided losing his soul to the Devil by tricking him one night. The night was "All Hallows' Eve." First, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to drink with him, knowing that he didn't want to pay for it, of course. So he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin so that Jack could pay for both of their drinks. Once the Devil had done so, however, Jack took his own drink but pocketed the coin! Eventually, Jack freed the devil, but only after the Devil promised not to take Jack's soul.

At his death, Stingy Jack was turned away from Heaven due to his life of sin. But, because of their bargain, the Devil wouldn't take Jack either. Instead, he was cursed to travel the spirit world forever in limbo. As Jack left the gates of Hell, the Devil threw him a hot ember to light his way in the dark, which Jack placed in a hollowed-out turnip. According to legend, you might see Jack's spirit -- "Jack of the Lantern" (or later just "Jack-o-lantern") -- on "All Hallows' Eve," still carrying his turnip lantern through the darkness.

When Scotch-Irish families emigrated to America (Sarah's and my forebears came in the early 1660s), they brought this tradition with them, using pumpkins instead of turnips to ward off Stingy Jack and other malevolent spirits on Halloween.