Monday, October 31

Halloween has had many different meanings to me since I was a little kid through today. I met my husband at a club on Halloween in 1997 - the one time I ever went to a Halloween party, and one of the few times I ever went to a club. I have made it through trick or treating in snow and fending off drunks and vandals. And now, I have a little boy who wants to be a cowboy this year.

I could not wait for trick or treating when I was little and Mom would always make my brother and I some great costumes for our night out. The volunteer fire department would have doughnuts and cider and we would walk around town with Mom and Dad in tow, begging for candy and treats at each house.

Years when the weather was bad were horrible - we had to ride in the car from house to house and all that sliding over the back seat to let our cousins in and out at each house was not easy on the costumes. One house occupied by an elderly couple, who seemed ancient to me and my brother, always gave out home made cookies in little plastic bags. i don;t remember is we ever actually ate them. This was the 80's during the candy poisoning and razor blade scares, and even though this was a very small town where everyone knew everyone else, I still don;t think we ever ate them.

One year everything was ruined when Grandma hit a deer on the way home from work - who works at night on Halloween? I remember thinking - and trick or treating was over after three houses. My brother and I spent the rest of the evening in the back seat of the car parked in someones driveway up the road from when the deer had met its Halloween fate, but father and others clearing it out of the road and assessing the damage to Grandma's Oldsmobile.

Teenage years meant no more candy, and being a small town, there was not a lot going on as far as parties or mischief. Mostly we spent the evening at the fire hall helping out with the cider and doughnuts and looked at all the lucky little kids in costumes and their bags of candy.

After I was married and we were still living in our first house in a not-very-nice-area, Halloween turned into something I dreaded every year. I prayed each year for rain or very cold temperatures or even snow. It would keep some of the vandals and thieves at bay and we could have a semi-peaceful night with all the outdoor lights on, the dogs inside and the doors locked. One year, our car windows were broken, another year, the cars broken into and things stolen. One year the house next door had a party and we had a very drunk college student fall through a section of our wooden privacy fence, scattering wood pieces everywhere and setting the dogs off for an hour or so of barking.

Needless to say, we never got any trick or treaters.

Now at the new house, we still don;t get any trick or treaters due to the rural setting, but I have never really embraced Halloween again. Costumes get on my nerves now and the smell of those rubber masks turns me to coughing. And don;t even get me started on how gross all that oily face paint is. I have a plastic pumpkin on the front porch with a face that lights up at night and that is about it.

This year - the first year little man can actually understand the aspects of trick or treating - he still can not go out. He has a respiratory infection and ear infection so we are going to spend the evening watching Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin and maybe participating in the local mall's trick or treat from store to store this weekend, if he feels better.

I guess I have to get used to the costumes again.

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