Oh, how I wish I had taken my relatively new and unused camera with me on a walk I took late yesterday afternoon, right before sunset on Halloween. One of these days I will even learn how to reliably transfer photos from said camera to my computer, and put them on this blog. (I know, I know, it's not that difficult, but trust me when I say that I'm very technically challenged.) Till then I'll have to make do with word pictures.
It was unusually warm for Halloween--always a wonderful thing, as I recall from my childhood when Halloween was pretty much my favorite holiday. Nothing seemed worse back then than having to wear a heavy coat over a carefully-planned costume--nothing, that is, other than rain. Rain necessitated going over to my grandmother's apartment building instead, to trick or treat with all the residents there who hadn't even bought candy for the occasion and who might end up giving you a mealy old apple--ugh!
In the Fifties, Halloween meant being out in the dark with all the other spookily-dressed children and no adults in sight, the possibility of getting huge candy bars rather than today's tiny ones, and even sometimes a homemade treat. We went out for hours, till 9 PM or even later, and visited the houses of strangers as well as friends, with little or no fear.
Well, those days are gone, like many things. But what remains is the trick-or-treating children, and last night brought its full complement to my door, as well as the wonderful fact that finally, after decades of trying, I managed to buy the correct amount of candy. Only seven bite-sized pieces were left at the end of the festivities.
There were dogs dressed as pumpkins, and cute and polite kids--even the teenagers. Every now and then one of the children would exclaim that my selection of candy contained "OOO, my favorite! Wow!" This year's favorite favorite seemed to be Skittles, a candy I detest; but there's no accounting for taste, especially that of children.
But back to that neighborhood walk at dusk. The sense of anticipation was in the air, kids still playing in the streets but talking excitedly about the upcoming night, parents out on their porches and front lawns, putting the finishing touches on decorations. The decorations are the one thing about Halloween that's much better that I remember from when I was young.
Some seen on that walk, and not at all atypical: a lineup of smallish pumpkins placed in two window boxes, nestled in straw and colorful fallen leaves; a harvest figure featuring a stuffed moosehead (not real) and dressed in lumberjack clothes, lounging on a deck chair with an empty beer bottle next to it; a huge sprawling old-fashioned porch entirely draped in fake cobwebs and laden with pumpkins and lights, with a recording of spooky music and maniacal laughter playing in the background.
I managed to eat a bit of candy myself, and am suffering from a sugar hangover today. Hope you all enjoyed your Halloween, too, despite the possibility of similar indiscretions.