Today is Halloween, of course. So I thought I’d share some fond memories of it across the ages…
As a little girl next to Christmas this was my fav holiday. ALL the houses in our neighborhood gave out candy. Most decorated. And I was in that wonderful generation before the urban myth of razor blades in apples. One house in particular at the end of our side road…one of the few with children (though all were older than me) went all out. They had HOMEMADE carmel/candied apples AND popcorn treat bags. Most of the them we did not have the extra money for costumes but an old sheet turned me into a ghost. Then there was the year that my mother cross-dressed me and my brother. She put him in her dresses and me in my step-fathers clothes. I think this is the experience I have always held as the ideal for my own children…nostalgia.
I am sad to say that my older children did not get to enjoy the wonders of Halloween until they were older. We were in ‘one of those churches’ where Halloween was of the devil. It was not until I began to question things that I allowed them to Trick-or-Treat. That first year, we were in small town Texas. I decorated the whole house and tried my best to recreate those childhood experiences for mine. Of course, I had to go and spoil those awesome goody bags with salvation tracts…but I hope the kids forgave me. I continued this same tradition for the next five years…even when we moved back to Houston. We became THAT house…the one all the kids had to go to first. By the end I had even done away with the tracts.
But I think that JalerDasBirdz, my Mexican-American son had as close to my experience as any of them. East LA is awesome for decorating. You see November 1st, the day after Halloween, is a national holiday in Mexico called Día de Muertos. It is also called All Souls Day. So that culture gets a two day for the price of one holiday. I remember one house even used PVC pipes and old sheets to set up a haunted house in their front yard. Yes, a haunted house! My son always came home loaded down with candy. Heck, a couple of years there even his older brothers went out with him…and they were teens.
I have combined those experiences in my novel Shared Burdens. When the hero Sergeant Mike travels to small town Texas to help the mother of one of his dead Marines to uphold the Halloween traditions that he had heard so much about.
Ironically, the UK with its roots in Samhain has been a bit of a disappointment to us. Though in London at least, it was beginning to catch on. One neighborhood near us was full of fellow Americans. And they went all out too. Last year, we went Trick-or-Treating outside of Swansea with Pineapple and Cookie Jr. It was not too bad. This year I think we are going around here…so I am not hopeful. But we will try.
Besides PanKwake is almost big enough now to enjoy giving out the candy as much as getting them. Well, we need to add the decorations from our basement haunted house back up here. Including our beloved Ralphs. Then I have to make sure there is plenty of candy. With a place like #HomeCrazzyHome…I want to remain THAT house…for decades to come.
Happy Halloween to all!
Oh and lest I forget…
Smell my feet
Give me something good to eat!
The whole family gets into the spirit…