It’s finally Halloween.
For some homeowners, their property has been gaily decorated with freaky or frightening characters since mid-September. As I made my trek down Emmons Boulevard today, I noted many pumpkins, formerly part of harvest displays, have finally been decapitated at the stem, then scooped out and carved with ghoulish grins, and are now sitting on porch steps ready to delight tonight’s trick-or-treaters. Hopefully the squirrels didn’t spy those carved-up gourds, sample the cutouts and destroy them with their sharp teeth and claws, as they are wont to do.
Unfortunately, this long-awaited event is spoiled by rain and that wet weather will put a damper on kids and parents’ enthusiasm for Halloween. Be honest … it’s really hard to look cool or scary in your costume when mom or dad walks alongside you holding an umbrella so you don’t get wet.
The first time I ever went trick-or-treating I was four years old. I wasn’t in school yet and there were no community parties back then, so I was counting the days and very excited to wear my Little Red Riding Hood costume on Halloween to “shell out”. In Canada, we didn’t yell “trick-or-treat”, but instead hollered “shell out, shell out – the witches are out.”
When my father and I left the house for this candy-gathering excursion, it wasn’t raining, but it was chilly, so I was bundled up in a heavy coat under the costume which featured a laced-up bodice, gingham pinafore and a flimsy hooded cape that flared out awkwardly in back due to the coat collar. For some reason the elastic band on the mask broke so I had to hold it in place with one hand and hold onto my father’s hand, as well as my little goody-collecting bag, with the other hand. The costume came with a wicker-look plastic tote bag made to resemble that character’s picnic basket.
But, halfway through our trek through the neighborhood, it started to rain. It was a new subdivision and not paved yet, just a gravel road, so, as we scurried along, my candy bag was dragging onto the road and it split open and I lost my cache of candy. It really didn’t matter much as my parents would have screened all the ooey-gooey and chewy stuff like those black and orange peanut butter kisses and just saved the Smarties, Aero bars and apples.
When my father and I got home, after hearing my tearful tale of woe about my candy that was strewn along Sandmere Place, my mom suggested I get out of my wet clothes and she’d make some hot chocolate and cookies to make it all better. But, unfortunately, my eyes were not the only thing that was red, because the damp material from the costume stained my new wool coat red in big ugly splotches.
So, it was a night of tricks and no treats for young Linda Schaub that Halloween night circa 1959.
Fast forward ahead 50+ years (and I am cringing as I write 50+). Today, for me, Halloween is all about treats and not tricks, because I have reached 565 walking miles this year … my original goal was 500. I could’ve done better in October but had some errands where I had to take the car and we had a few blustery or rainy days that made my walk either short or nonexistent.
To treat myself for an early Christmas present, I have purchased a pair of walking boots made for snow. They have great treads on them, are warm and waterproof, so I hope to wear them a lot once the snow arrives to keep on walking through the Winter season.
So, I’m in high spirits since today was a day of treats, not tricks for this roving ghoul …I patted myself on the back and said “you go ghoul … er girl.”
Happy Halloween everyone.