Another summer has come and gone, and, thankfully, cooler weather has arrived. The leaves are changing from green to lovely shades of orange, yellow, pink and red, and one of my favorite months is coming to a close – but not before the celebration of one of my favorite childhood holidays. It’s Halloween tomorrow, and my town has the good sense to follow tradition and let the kids dress up and trek for candy on the holiday itself.
I grew up a few hundred miles north of here, and if my memory is right, it always seemed to snow at least once before the big night. I don’t remember trick-or-treating through the white stuff, but it did rain on us a few times. Never mind that, we would suit up excitedly and walk up and down the hills that formed the circle road we lived on. Then we branched out and spent probably at least an hour on a short side street which included accessible houses on the right, a few steps down from the road itself, and houses high on the hill on the left, which meant we had to climb hundreds and hundreds of stair steps before stopping at each colorful doorway and shouting, “Trick-or-Treat!”
I was always terribly unimaginative in coming up with costume ideas, and usually pulled something together at the last minute. One year, though, my sister had a clown mask fringed with carrot-orange “hair” made of paper, and I talked her into letting me borrow it. (My apologies to my youngest daughter – yes, I admit, I have masqueraded as a clown twice in my life. Please forgive me.)
That was one of the rainy nights. I remember water drizzling down inside of my jacket all evening, but we walked so long and hard, and were so intent on collecting candy, that it was easy to ignore. I must’ve looked pretty frightful, even for a clown, though, because that frizzy paper “hair” was a sodden mess by the time we got back home. Unfortunately, my sister’s mask would not live to see another October 31st.
It’s been a while since I was able to really see Halloween through the eyes of a child. Our kids are all grown, and for the past five years, I nearly always had to work on Halloween night. This year, I will be home, and welcoming four of our passel of grand kids, before they and their moms head out to impress the neighbors. I have no idea what any of them will dress up as. But sometimes, this Nana likes surprises.