Can’t, Mustn’t, Will Not let another day go by without a blog entry!
It is Halloween, though it doesn’t feel like Halloween. Whether I am out at Ocean Shores or at the condo in Seattle, we never get Trick-or-Treaters. We are simply too isolated out at the coast and I don’t think a single child lives on our street in Seattle. And if they did, would a child come knocking on a condominium door? Every year, I buy a bag of chocolates, just in case, and every year, I get stuck with the bag of chocolates.
Halloween was one of my favorite evenings when I was a kid. We had a boxful of old clothing. It was filled with frilly slips and sparkly dresses, tiaras and costume jewelry. Who knows where these things came from? I think my mom collected them over the years. We rummaged through the box and put our own costumes together. Each year, we bought masks to go with our costumes. The masks were made of plastic and had little holes cut out for our eyes and noses and were held in place by an elastic band. The masks were terribly hot and mine always steamed up on the inside, but I didn’t dare take it off because the mask was so much a part of my costume. You may think it strange that I still remember what I was over the years: an Indian princess, Cinderella, a Queen, Lilian Munster, Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz, a mummy. Halloween was always one of the coldest nights of the year and much to my horror, my mom made me put on a coat before going out! That meant covering my entire carefully chosen/put together costume! There was no arguing with her. She always won. I left the house miserably bundled up, out into the frosty night.
We had one dentist in the neighborhood and he always handed out toothbrushes and toothpaste! As he handed them out, he’d always remind us, “And don’t forget to brush your teeth after eating all that candy!!” We’d giggle uncontrollably as he said that to us. We liked him a lot! Much to our horror, toward the end of my trick-or-treating days, he shot himself one year shortly before Halloween. Halloween became all the more scarier for us children! Adrenaline shot through our frightened bodies as we ran past his dark empty house that year. Sadly, I think I was too young to consider his suicide a tragedy.
Then there was Karen and Ted’s house, a few doors down from the dentist’s house. Karen always dressed as a witch and Ted became Svengoolie for the night! If you don’t know who Svengoolie was, you probably didn’t grow up in the Chicago area! Have a look at this link to see what Ted looked like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svengoolie Ted made the perfect Svengoolie, looked JUST like him, and scared the crap out of us on Halloween night. He would have greenish strobe lights that flickered on and off in his front yard, and he played scary tapes of ghosts moaning! Before you got to his door, you had to pass ghosts hanging from the trees. If you were brave, and only if you were brave, you got to the door to see Ted and Karen handing out the best of the best candy, bundles of it that made your pillow case (yes, we used pillow cases for candy collecting) heavy! Bravery paid off on Halloween night.
I hate to say the next part, but this was part of my Halloween: after we went to bed, mom hid our candy! Can you believe it?? Every year, after we went to bed, she would put all of our candy together and divvy it up. She put only a little out each week. It lasted until around Christmas! I guess she didn’t want us to overdose on candy. Still, it irritated me to no end. I don’t know anyone else whose mother hid their candy and rationed it out little by little over the weeks following Halloween, but that’s what my mamma did!
Hope you got lots of kids coming to your door tonight! Happy Halloween.