Finally, we have a touch of Fall here in New England. The color on the trees is starting to show. We've had a few brisk nights, almost touching the freezing mark. With Halloween just ten days away, memories of past celebrations floating in the back of my mind come forward. |
As children, my sister, brother, and I would scrounge the closets and wrack our brains to figure out what we would be. I somehow always ended up being a hobo. It was not in the budget to buy things like princess dresses, nor were my talents great enough to accomplish such a thing.
During the college years, the memories are different. Trick or treating with a mug to various fraternities usually landed us in some sort of trouble.
Living in small-town America, the Fire Department put on a Halloween party for the children of their members. My husband was a volunteer so we would go yearly. One year we found an audacious blow-up thing that was worn on the head of our oldest child. She was a happy child to standout among the crowd but won no prize. The following year, the costume was handed down to child #2. He won first prize with it. Child #1 was furious.
As young married adults we attended parties of a different kind. The intention was to go and not be recognizable. We accomplished that one year as the husband dressed in army fatigues and I as a mummy – wrapped in layers of torn sheets and gauze. The best part of that gathering was that their near-adult son was incredulous that he could not recognize who was under all that makeup. Mission accomplished.
Not being particularly talented in crafts, I do put in an effort to make the home welcoming to the neighborhood children on Trick or Treat night. Having a reputation for handing out full-sized candy bars has not hurt that. And depending on time and finances, I try to decorate for just the one evening. In the past I have taken days to choose patterns for the carving of pumpkins, always trying for three completely different designs. I also purchase white lunch bags and put a black cutout of either a witch, hissing cat, or a bat on the bag. I weigh it down with sand and place a battery operated tea light in it. I use these to line the walk up to the front door. At the door, the children are greeted with a gruesome witch that cackles – motion activated. She floats just away from the front door and has startled more than one accompanying adult. Fun stuff!!
Of late, we gay divorcees and widows gather at my house. We share a meal and take turns answering the door to pass out treats. We attempt to play cards in between the ringing of the doorbell. It does not always allow us to keep track of who's play it is, but we have fun, eat chocolate, and have a good meal.
October is also the time I start baking for the holidays. I have fruitcakes that I make by the dozen as gifts for friends and family. Fortunately, it is a good recipe. It was brought over on the boat from England when my Mom immigrated. It is a two-day affair and as I make so many, you never know when the kitchen will be filled with their aroma. A favorite memory I have of Halloween is that of one day of Trick or Treat. I was taking fruitcakes out of the oven and passing out candy. As two young men left the door, I overheard one say to the other “Boy. That house sure smelled awesome.”
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