I'M MISSING at least two genes, I think. One is the Football Gene, which makes some people believe that freezing their hands, feet and noses in the rain or snow while watching others try to run but mostly wrestle in the mud is fun. The other is the Halloween Gene, which delights in the mystery, creativity and freedom of this annual observance. I tend to get grumpy about what I call institutionalized gimme.
I work, however, with a young woman who loves Halloween even more than Christmas. She costumes herself as well as her two young children for their annual coverage of the neighborhood. This year, she has spread her infectious attitude to some other young mothers, spearheading a shopping expedition for creative costumes, and encouraging parental participation in the trek, not just grudging supervision.
I envy her for having held on to the innocence that lets her cherish and create whimsy in this world.
If you are going out with your children tomorrow, or sending them out, the necessary words of caution don't change: Clothing should be reflective, flashlights should be used, strangers should not be courted, and sadly, the offerings of candy and fruits should not be trusted without examination.
Lecture on Machiavelli
St. John's College offers a lecture titled "Niccolo Machiavelli: Images of City Life." The lecture, free and open to the public, is at 8:15 p.m. Friday in Frances Scott Key Auditorium.
Abraham Schoener, a St. John's graduate and tutor since 1989, will focus on "the necessary role of images in [Machiavelli's] political writing, and the particular character of those images. They are, for the most part, not fun," according to a college news release.
There's no doubt of the fun Sunday, when the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra's Family Concert presents Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals" with the help of the Bob Brown Puppets. The first movement of Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," Holst's "St. Paul Suite" and Strauss' "Pizzicato Polka" also are on the program.
The Maryland Hall performances are at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for children and $10 for adults. Call 263-0907 for more information.
Christmas ornament in stock
Christmas decorations, of course, come before Christmas presents, and the Shady Side Rural Heritage Society is ready. The 1995 Collector's Series Christmas Ornament is in stock at the Captain Salem Avery House Museum, in time for Christmas decorating and gift-giving.
The museum itself is the model for this year's ornament, crafted and hand-painted by artist Kelly Richard. The ornaments are $10 and may be purchased at the Museum Gift Shop, 1418 E. W. Shady Side Road, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sundays or by calling the museum at 867-4486.