“I sigh. I remember. I laugh. I forget. And I cry. Easy as pie.” ~ Thomas Rabbitt
I went trick or treating only once when I was growing up. Since I lived out in the country, the houses were few and far between, so a night out on Halloween could add up to a lot of walking for a few candy bars. Besides, our family ran a grocery store next to our house and candy was readily available year round. I especially liked the penny candy — Kits and B B Bats and peppermint pillows. There were also Zagnut bars, candy cigarettes, and the sweet, sticky Sugar Daddy. We had Milky Way and 3 Musketeers and Payday, too, but we didn’t sell Hershey’s bars. Once I saved money and bought one of those family-sized mega Hershey’s bars at the local A & P store and ate the whole thing.
On Halloween in sixth grade my sister gave a party for my friends and me. Several girls came, but only three boys as I recall. It was the night I learned about the birds and bees from the handful of girls who came early and congregated in my playhouse. (My playhouse was the cleaned smokehouse that would become a place to hang hams and salt cure the bacon come Thanksgiving.) I was naive for my age, still trying to hang on to the slight possibility that Santa Claus really was a fat man in red from the North Pole, but the girls were eager to fill me in on the facts of life.
Later in the evening, when someone suggested we play a kissing game, I wasn’t sure I wanted any part of something so yucky. But, after awhile, it looked like such fun! And so it goes…
When my son was little, Halloween was the only holiday that vied with Christmas for the best time of year. I loved walking around the neighborhood when the weather was warm and dry with just a slight chill in the air. Kicking up leaves in the street. Smelling the smoke from the wood fires. Being invited in for hot apple cider and cookies. It is such fun to experience all the good stuff a second time around through the eyes of children.
I’ve been working hard this week and am a little late putting on my Halloween face. I bought the pumpkin. It’s big, 28 pounds, and tall, with a long stalk attached. It’s sitting amongst the flowers on the front porch waiting to be carved. I’ve got jack-o-lantern lights somewhere in the basement closet and a battery-operated ghost and two Frankenstein cutouts for the front door. In that stack of old cassette tapes in the living room there are two with freaky, scary sounds. Maybe I’ll rummage around tonight and get it all out. Maybe. But do I really want to have to put it all back into boxes a couple of days from now? Oh well…at least I have the most important stuff ready for Halloween. I’ve got the candy!