You can hear the hum in the cooling air, the excited laughter of children picking out costumes, the nervous coughs of parents hoping they choose wisely (neither too scary or fresh).
But it's the same sound wherever the west wind blows.
Halloween is almost here!
To fill the time between the "great choosing" of a costume and the first trick-or-treat, we spend time at local pumpkin patches, "not-too-scary" haunted houses, and weekend fall festivals at the local nurseries.
The best garden centers offer hot cider, popcorn balls, and caramel apples, along with mums and other fall decorations.
But since one of the favorite things to do at our house every year is to carve pumpkins, a large selection is essential.
Except the weather can be iffy, hot one day, freezing the next. So we usually wait until a few nights before Halloween to do the carving.
In the meantime, the children hunt for the most unusual pumpkins and gourds,
scariest Halloween decorations,
and things we can't name.
But when darkness falls and the hot cider is gone, we carry our choice home, the children whispering in the back seat, "Did we pick the right one?"