I’m just sitting down for a coffee; hope you can join me.
October brings thoughts of Halloweens past and present. As a little kid I remember Halloween with mixed emotions. There are two things I remember the most. The first one that comes to mind is that of costumes. My mother was a beautiful dressmaker and she always would put a lot of effort into what I wanted to be. Usually, of course, I wanted to be a princess or a bride which was difficult when you are a chubby-cheeked, plump little girl with coke bottle glasses. My mother, however did her best, but she wasn’t a magician and no matter how hard she tried what I pictured in my mind and how I looked in the finished product was never quite the same.
One year, my mom went to a second-hand store and bought a beautiful shiny blue dress; Cinderella here I come! She sewed frantically and the dress became a work of art, except for one thing. It didn’t stand out and for me it wasn’t a princess gown unless it stuck out all around me. Perhaps this was a sign of things to come; make it wide to cover my hips! Her solution was clever even if it wasn’t practical. She got hold of a barrel hoop from somewhere and sewed it into the skirt. Oh, it stuck out alright but I quickly discovered as I struggled down the street in my barrel hoop that going through doorways was not an easy task. I would have to pick up my skirt and turn it sideways and try not to spill my bag of goodies at the same time. Kids would go running by me and my skirt would follow them leaving me trying to catch up with my dress.
Now my second dilemma was I had poor eyesight. This means the much-dreaded eyeglasses along with the many “four eyes” comments. I hated those glasses with a passion but the fact of the matter was that my eyesight really was not very good and going without them could be disastrous. Halloween definitely, when I was a child, was not meant for kids with poor eyesight. Masks at that time were the norm and without one you looked pretty stupid, or so I thought. I couldn’t possibly wear a full face mask but my mother bought me one of the little half masks and even then my lovely thick eyeglasses did not fit. I decided in my princess attire I would get through Halloween without my eyeglasses! Common sense has to tell you that a sweet little princess with very poor eyesight, wearing a barrel hoop around her middle, going out after dark with a shopping bag can only mean disaster.
I could see up close; just not distance so as long as I kept my head down and peered carefully at the ground I would actually, most of the time, get to the door without a trip and fall incident. However, once at the door it was necessary to make eye contact with the giver of the goodies, smile, tip my barrel hoop and hold out my bag of goodies; then turn to leave, remembering to say thank you and trying not to fall down the stairs. Each time I tipped my barrel hoop to see the ground I also tipped my bag of candy. I came home with a partial bag of candy leaving a trail of goodies down the street and a face like a lizard. By the time the evening was over I wanted to set fire to my once beautiful now battered blue dress with the badly bent hoop. I never was a princess again.
Finally the time came when I could just give out candy wearing my own clothes and my glasses stuck on my nose. It was a super evening; you give out one piece of candy and you eat two. My mother said there must have been a large number of trick or treaters that year because she had never run out of candy before. Hmm, can’t imagine how that happened.
Once my children were old enough, I too made Halloween costumes; none with a barrel hoop! The kids would happily set out together going door to door. I would wait patiently at home for their safe arrival and then my one cut and dried rule had to be followed. All three kids must empty their treats into bowls and then the contents checked by the candy police; that was me. The apples were all pulled out and made into a Halloween apple pie the next day. Suspicious candy was removed; the candy police sampled one or two pieces to make sure the candy was fit for consumption. Once all was completed the bowls were returned to their rightful owner.
Each child was different; one would tuck their candy away and eat it a few pieces at a time making it last; another poked in as much as could be eaten without being sick and the last one wisely used it to bribe the other two when she wanted a favour and their treats were long gone.
Years have now passed and I see families rushing to the costume shops to buy the perfect outfit. The houses are decorated beyond belief with ghosts and goblins popping in and out of windows and lights flashing eerily through the night.
I’m not sure what I like the best about Halloween now that I have reached the ripe old age of “senior”. I still will not refuse a few candies if they are offered to me and have over the years baked a few Halloween apple pies for my grandchildren.
Perhaps this year we could have coffee and Halloween apple pie sometime?
Rhyme for the day
Halloween is lots of fun,
Well that is what they say
Kids out trick or treating
It’s a very special day
But if it’s not your favourite thing
That’s really not a crime
Wait a couple months and then
It will be Christmas time!
Thanks for having coffee with me!