Witch’s Rot

Last night I donned my favorite witch’s hat and cloak.  I wiggled my red painted nails as they slipped past the breach of my black Victorian fingerless gloves.  The crescent moon sparkled and danced from a long silver chain around my neck as I slipped a red striped sock onto one foot and then the other, followed promptly by black pointy shoes.  I added a silver bracelet engraved with the phrase, “be magical,” as I made my way to the door, pausing only briefly to grab my best traveling broom from its resting place by the mantel.  Halloween had officially arrived!

To the casual observer it may have appeared as if I was no more than a fun-loving mom enjoying the spirit of trick-or-treating.  They could not know as my youngest daughter made her way from house to house in her Red Riding Hood costume showing off the baby stuffed wolf she had in her basket, that there was something very sinister indeed brewing behind closed doors at my house that very moment.

Lying in wait at our family home, just beyond the happy pumpkins all aglow and the “wipe your witchy feet” welcome mat, bubbled a brew that would frighten the senses of even the most avid fan of horror.  For just inside our door, right by the black cauldron and the motion activated dancing broom rested a rancid pool of rotting flesh, colored blackberry red from the drip, drip, dripping of life’s fruit melting into the stinking ruin of death.

Ok, this is probably where I should ask you not to call the police or children’s services.  Although I really do have a closet full of witch hats and cloaks as well as brooms aplenty, I have never murdered anyone beyond the space of my keyboard.  That being said, there was a very real stinking pile of rot at my house yesterday, but the sin of which I speak was not committed by my hand…

While getting ready for the Halloween palooza, I experienced the most stink-filled tragedy imaginable by any average stay-at-home-mom, and let forth a shriek of madness known by meal planners far and wide as the flesh dripping swan song of a dead freezer!

It’s a sad tale as old as time…

For several days this past week, every time I entered the utility room I found myself assaulted by the reminder to change the cat box – don’t judge.  It was strange, because my little black witch’s companion doesn’t usually have tummy troubles, but that room had a definite odor about it that I was going to have to deal with as soon as time would allow.

Well, the litter really hit the fan yesterday when my husband lifted the lid on our chest freezer to deposit our after-Halloween-frozen-pizzas – again, don’t judge.  The mild odor that had been permeating around the edges of that room blew through the entire house with the speed of a gale force wind!  The horror!  The humanity!  The chicken thighs!!!

As a mom do you ever have one of those epic fail moments when you wonder how something could have been going so wrong right under your nose??  Well, apparently my freezer had lost life support at least a week ago.  It had not been gone long enough for everything to be completely rotted, but well long enough for everything to be cool to touch yet dripping with melted stink!  It was a nightmare…

The inventory taken at the time of death was one whole turkey, one family pack of chicken thighs and legs, one large pack of ground beef, several packs of cookies, ten gallon size bags of apples, three gallon size bags of chopped cabbage with peppers, four full heads of cabbage, three large grocery bags of fresh garden corn, two gallon size bags of chopped green peppers, three gallon size bags of chicken stock, two bags of chopped pecans, and about forty cups of fresh blackberries…harvest season indeed…

On the upside, I had been feeling lazy all month and had not done any meal prepping.  I usually make several freeze ahead meals for the crockpot as well as casseroles for the oven, so it is not unusual for my freezer to contain around twenty meals or more.  I guess my saving grace is that I’ve been such a slacker all month!

So today the freezer is on the porch airing out after being cleaned, and the house is back to smelling like the domain of the living once more.  My sweet little black cat has been exonerated as the creator of the rancid odor, and life is returning to normal.  Only the feeling of grief in regard to my harvested fruits and veggies remain.  I’m sure we will think of them with private sighs of regret each time we don’t have fried apples from our trees on the stove in the wake of fresh fallen snow, or momentarily wish we could see warm sugar crystals glistening on the crust of my homemade blackberry cobbler as the days grow cold…but I’m sure that pain will fade in time…

Today’s photo has been brought to you courtesy of my back porch steps.

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