Sunday, October 31, 2010


When I was a kid, Halloween was a lot different than it is today.

In the little up-state New York farm country where I grew up, the houses weren’t close together and most had long driveways and that made going door to door more than most could handle. Anyway. If you did make it to a house, you mostly got an apple for your trouble. This modern kind of Halloween with little candies of every type and a zillion costumes for sale at the mall hadn’t been invented yet. In fact, neither had malls or WalMart or Target.

We had barn parties where we dunked for apples and dug through a pile of hay for nickels and a possible quarter or two. I remember pitching pennies into milk bottles. Lots of pumpkin pies and homemade ice cream. For costumes, we wore our school clothes, the same clothes we wore working in the barn. Lot’s of square dancing for the older folks while we kids just ran around and threw apples at each other.

After we moved to the city, things were never the same. Because I was a poor kid, I went door to door, “Trick or Treating” on Thanksgiving, too. That was great because a lot of them gave me turkey legs and pie.

As the years went on and I married, we loved Halloween and the enjoyed the little kids coming to the front door. I certainly scared a lot of little kids until someone suggested that I wear a Halloween mask or something to mellow things down. Of course, those were the days when I wore an afro.

Now as we live in a retirement development, things have really changed. The “trick or treaters” that come to my door now couldn’t do a trick if they practiced. Last year, we had problems with some of them getting their walkers tangled up at the door and driving their golf carts into the fountain.

We put together a neat bowl of treats. I like to do up the ever popular little baggies of Metamucil and a lot of them go right for the strips of scotch taped Tums. I love to take two lifesavers and hook them together in my own neat way to a rubber band and it is such fun watching them trying to figure that one out.

We have to help a few who forget why they are at our door. We get a lot who knock on the door because they need to use the bathroom and one lady came in and went to bed. We didn’t find her until we were getting ready that night.

I never know what to say about their costumes. It’s just that you just can’t tell. Sure, a lot of them who dress up in their pajamas. But then, I just saw a lady wearing her pajamas at Costco today.

Then there was the lady who would come to the door, get her treat , go out onto the street and forget she had just been here and come back again. We finally brought her in and sat her in front of the TV with a dish of ice cream.. Her son finally came and found her.

The nice part of Halloween in my neighborhood is first, it is a hoot and second, we are all done before darkness even thinks about coming our way.

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