Wednesday, October 30, 2013

'Twas the Night Before Halloween

'Tis the Eve of the Eve.  All Hallows Eve, that is.  Yes, tomorrow is Halloween, the time of ghosts and ghouls, princesses and ballerinas, ninja warriors and transformers.

Halloween has become my favorite holiday.  Usually it's spent watching television and answering the door once or twice.  There aren't many trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood, so a big bag of candy would last for years...if not eaten by my own g-kids.  But a tradition of watching favorite Halloween movies is as good as it gets.

This year I've chosen two movies.  Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic.  After all, it is the season of the witch.

I remember walking through my neighborhood as a child, accompanied by the older next-door-neighbors, collecting a large paper bag of goodies that seemed to last forever.  My mother nearly always made my costumes.  Homemade were always the best.  I was a monkey, a bride, a clown, and more than I can remember.  There are home movies I can watch, if I really wanted to a list.  Maybe next year.  The most
memorable Halloween was the year I was a Pilgrim/Dutch Girl.  Yeah, a bit weird, but the costume resembled that of a Pilgrim, complete with a yellow pig-tail wig, and those older-than-me neighbor's let me borrow their grandmother's wooden shoes for the evening.  They weren't all that comfortable, either.  We stayed within our own block, both across the street and the street behind us.  Two blocks of goodies, and everyone had something to pass out.  As we approached one house, a witch appeared from the side of it, scaring me.  I truly believed it was an old, scary witch, and I took off running for home and screaming.  In the process of trying to run in a pair of too-small wooden shoes, I lost my hat and my wig, arriving home frantic, crying, and shouting that a witch had tried to get us.  My dad looked at me and said, "Looks like you lost your hair and hat, too."  Devastated that I'd lost part of my costume, I begged him to go back for it, but to watch out for the witch.  I waited, afraid the witch would catch him, but he returned some fifteen minutes later, with Pilgrim hat and wig in hand.

I hit the age of twelve, grew up, and had just moved to a small town.  Life changed and so did Halloween.  But life in that particular town was exciting.  Pumpkin patches were raided, and the main street was littered with smashed pumpkins.  An outhouse or two was stolen and placed in the center of town.  Small fires and bales of hay littered the street.  Costumes?  Who needed them?  They'd have only been covered with eggs.  By the Halloween of my senior year in high school, the Sheriff's Department sent officers on horseback to corral the destruction.  But we were smarter and managed to make Halloween memorable.

I married, had children, and found myself creating costumes for my own girls, just as my mother had for me.  We often used items we already had or old fabric left from my childhood.  My youngest's first Halloween was spent as a Gypsy, created from odds and end of clothing we had.

Over time, as more daughters were born and became old enough to knock on doors, we went along with one of their cousins, in the tiny country town near where we lived.  By then they'd become fairly good at minding their manners with "Trick or Treat" and "Thank You," as we visited the homes of friends, family and neighbors.  During all that time, we went through a wide range of costumes.  Devils and angels, a tough kid with a black eye, a cheerleader, a ballerina, and an Indian Princess.  (That's the boy cousin during one of his robot phases).  The last costumes I made were four genies, all in different colors.

My girls grew up and had their own little Trick-or-Treaters, and at times, I was coerced into making a few costumes for them.  There are five to created for, and it can take some time an imagination.  Although we'd planned a Peter Pan theme this year, time got away from us--thanks to that family wedding less than two weeks ago--so we're sticking to face painting only, this year.
2009 with all 5 g-kids and oldest daughter

2011 in full costume and looking great!

2012 and, oh, how they've grown!

Not too bad for a group with different tastes and desires, not to mention from help from Goodwill and anything we found around the house, some years.  Yes, that's my crew, who are here to drive me to cackling.  An almost 12-year-old, an almost 11-year-old, a 9-year-old, 6-year-old, and the youngest is 4. 

I haven't dressed up for Halloween for a long, long time.  I've been too busy with costumes for the others to have time to think about me.  But this year, I was invited and attended a party at the home of a local author friend.  Just dressing up at the last minute, grabbing this and that from my closet and painting my face was fun.  The party proved even more fun!  Maybe next year I'll give more thought to it.  The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Maybe?  It's a thought...

Enjoy your 2013 Halloween, whether you're partying, escorting off-spring or off-spring of your off-spring around the neighborhood, or simply sitting at home, thinking of the times gone by.  Because it's believed by some to be the night the veil is lifted between our world and the world beyond, think of the loved ones you've shared with on some of those past Halloween nights.

But I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner. ~ Evan Peters 


Penny Rader said...

Happy Halloween, Rox! bwahahahahahaha

Rox Delaney said...

Right back at ya, Penny!! cacklecackle