“Trick or treat …

Who is that masked man, er … squirrel?

… smell my feet …

Parker makes no bones about sniffing my shoe.
My favorite peanut pal … always sweet, sometimes spooky.

… gimme something good to eat!”

M&Ms: They melt in your mouth, not in your paw.

The phrase above was the cry uttered by my childhood friends and me, circa late 50s/early 60s, as we crowded together “begging” at homeowners’ doors along Sandmere Place, in Oakville, Ontario, where I spent my formative years.

The alternative call for candy was “shell out, shell out – the witches are out!”

I may have used the latter phrase, though I don’t recall donning a witch costume for Halloween. I vaguely remember those hard plastic masks accompanied by flimsy, satiny-type costumes, usually worn over heavy coats as climates were chilly, if not frosty, in Southeast Ontario by October 31st. I remember wearing costumes for Casper the Friendly Ghost and Snow White. One year I went as Little Red Riding Hood and it rained buckets – my red satin cape stained my new Winter coat and I dragged the plastic tote bag along the gravel road, creating a massive hole in the bottom, resulting in NO goodies that year.

Once I reached school age, our teachers passed out UNICEF collection canisters in the hope that our Halloween begging for candy also resulted in those same neighbors dropping coins into the canister to benefit the United National International Children’s Emergency Fund, which organization helped provide emergency aid to children around the world.

Mom stayed home to pass out candy on our porch. As a youngster I went out trick-or-treating with my father. We always stayed in the ‘hood as it was a large circular street. The houses were fairly close together, but had lots of property out front, so Dad would wait at the end of each driveway and I’d run up to each house.

Sometimes I’d see my neighborhood pals and we’d peer into one another’s plastic tote bags to check out the “loot” such as Smarties (similar to M&Ms), bags of Maltesers (malted milk balls) and yummy-tasting Coffee Crisp or Kit Kat bars. These delicious wafer bars always made the “cut” though Mackintosh’s Toffee, sticky and guaranteed to pull out your baby teeth, was always apprehended by the “Candy Police” a/k/a Mom.

Some neighbors were purists who handed out Jersey Milk chocolate bars. In Canada, we call them “chocolate bars” not “candy bars” and Jersey Milks are milk chocolate, devoid of nuts or fruit and comparable to the American Hershey’s candy bar. Jersey Milk also came in bite-sized swirly kisses called Jersey Buds. Jersey Milk anything were keepers. There were popcorn balls and apples too. Mom went through my “haul” and any apples were set aside for apple pie if there were enough. Those sticky peanut butter kisses encased in orange or black waxy wrappers were tossed out, as were candy cigarettes. My parents were strict about eating candy, so I got to pick a few treats that night and the rest were put away to be doled out in small increments.

Through the years, I’ve lamented that no photos were taken of me on Halloween, despite the fact my parents documented me posing at every holiday and tons of times in between holidays. Because I was an only child, many images fill the family albums, ranging from black-and-white to Kodachrome, thanks to Mom’s Baby Brownie, then Dad’s Leica 35mm camera respectively.

Ahh – not all memories were captured on film, but those memories in my head, just like the goodies, hearken back to sweeter and simpler times.

Flash forward more than a few decades.

As I wrote in Monday’s post “Autumn: Amble on!” I went to Council Point Park on October 17th to walk and also celebrate Halloween with my furry pals. This is an annual event for us and I am not sure who enjoys it more – them or me. However, I usually buy a few net bags of mini pumpkins, wait for the trees to turn vibrant shades, then take the camera for some (hopefully) cute shots. Well, I hesitated placing the pumpkins and peanuts along the Park perimeter path because of the hawks circling above, plus Mother Nature’s timeline for leaf loveliness was all off. So, I made trail mix instead and didn’t hear any complaints.

So, sit back and enjoy a little frivolity with my furry friends – the world needs to have more fun and frivolity these days and this gives me an opportunity to fulfill the “WHIMSY” portion of my blog’s title. At the end of the photos you’ll find a special greeting.

You don’t have to be a sleuth to know squirrels do have a sweet tooth.

I made up my trail mix and you may recall I treated the squirrels and birds to some trail mix last Winter and they loved it. So, I gathered my ingredients and made two batches – one for them, one for me. I added almonds and pistachios to their trail mix. I find whole almonds too hard for my teeth so I use slivered almonds for me instead of whole almonds.

The ingredients.
Some for me; some for my furry friends.

Once at the Park I scattered half the mother lode of goodies under the Safe Haven Tree where they could nibble to their heart’s content while the weeping branches help protect them from predators. But the huge leaves made it too dark beneath the tree.

They discovered the goodies later.
“The Safe Haven Tree” at Council Point Park.

Under the pavilion are picnic tables. In the early Fall of 2020 the City removed the tables from all parks due to COVID protocol. I hope they keep them there all Winter this year as I’ve fed the squirrels and birds here throughout the Winter in the past. I laid everything out on the picnic table.

Droppings … something for everyone.
What will be the biggest draw?

At this time, a pair of Mallards (that you met in my last post) saw me and wandered up the Ecorse Creek banks, but they had no space to fly over/up, so they turned around and left (with much disdain for me – trust me). I already had the camera out, so let the watch party begin!

Gotta give the goodies the sniff test first!

Sometimes you feel like a nut

sometimes you don’t.

Candy is dandy, but nuts rule! Here’s a Halloween greeting for you – just click here.

[M&M snack pack image f/Pinterest]

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
This entry was posted in Halloween, holiday, nature, walk, walking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to “Trick or treat …

  1. Marvelous fun in the park, Linda. I enjoyed reading about Halloweens of your childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Anne. The squirrels were scrambling around to get their favorite treats in the mix – they probably remembered it from last time. You wouldn’t think the sayings were that different from here would you?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the pictures of Parker sniffing your shoe. 😊 That’s great how you celebrate with the squirrels by making a batch of trail mix for yourself as well. Love the pictures of them sniffing, choosing, and stuffing their cheeks. Lucky little creatures.

    I never heard “shell out, shell out – the witches are out!” before. My most memorable Halloween was when I went as a witch and my father got me some dry ice from the lab to create a fog pouring out of my cauldron, which I carried from door to door to great effect. I know what you mean that not all memories were captured on film.

    Thank you for the Halloween greeting card! The black kitten is adorable. Hope your Halloween is sweet, too, my friend! 👻 🎃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, I try to do something fun with them every Fall Barbara. In the pre-hawk days we did a couple of bags of apples in September and a couple of bags of mini pumpkins in October. I was going to send you the link to the last pumpkins post, but looks like I sent it to you already. On that day the Blue Jays kept coming down and swiping peanuts from the squirrels. The squirrels examine everything, even peanuts, unless there is just one peanut, then they are not picky. 🙂

      We did things just a little different in Canada. That was such an innovative idea for your witch cauldron. How clever of your dad to come up with that idea. Too bad you don’t have photos either.

      Glad you liked the Halloween card – her cards are so sweet. Hope your Halloween was nice. We had nice weather today after two days of rain, so I went to Heritage Park to see the leaves. It was gorgeous with the red and yellow blaze of Maple leaves. They said on the news today, that all the huge pumpkins usually grown in Connecticut were not available this year due to all the rain there and Christmas trees might be in peril as well. What a year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • So happy you had a gorgeous day with the red and yellow blaze of maple leaves! Hope you got some pictures!

        Yes, after the drought last year we had too much rain this year and a lot of the pumpkin fields flooded. It was slim pickings and the gourds we got rotted after a week. Oh dear, I hope we can still get a Christmas tree this year — I didn’t realize there was a shortage of those. Although we go to a tree farm instead of buying one pre-cut at a store or roadside stand. Keeping my fingers crossed!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, I did, from close-up and also across Coan Lake. They had some Halloween activities there the day before and was hoping for some gourd shots like last year, but the Botanical Gardens had been cleared out, probably right after the last event.

        It’s a shame about the pumpkins rotting in the fields – what a disappointment this weather has been in 2021. I remember you told me last year about going to the Christmas tree farm and I think you did a post about it if I remember correctly. Since you go there all the time, do you think you can reserve a tree in advance of going there? I hope so, so you can continue your tradition.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I did a post about the tree farm. How scary it was going there during the pandemic before vaccinations. They don’t allow people to tag trees (to reserve them) until the day after Thanksgiving. But we’ll probably just get the tree that day anyway as I like to enjoy it for the month leading up to the holiday. 🙂 Last year we waited until mid-week after Thanksgiving so we would encounter fewer people and every time we saw a tree we thought we’d like it was already tagged. Hopefully we won’t have that problem this year.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        You’ll feel a little more confident this year going with at least two shots under your belt. I got my third shot last Saturday (Moderna) and am glad for that, plus a flu shot and also in September my part two of my pneumonia shot. I get allergy shots once a month, so I feel like a pincushion. You might be able to go on Thanksgiving Day this year – get there when they open unless you are needed at home to prepare dinner. When I used to be in a blogging group for Patch.com, there was a blogger who lived in New York and every year he and his wife used to drive to a tree farm out of state to get their tree. He’d take pictures of them going out to pick a tree, then while they wrapped it and put it on their vehicle, they’d have hot chocolate and donuts by a big fire. It always sounded so cozy and I can see how it would put you in a Christmas spirit.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Eilene Lyon says:

    I loved doing Halloween in costume until about my 40s. I wish I had more photos, too. You’re so good to those lucky rodents!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Eilene – I have a handful of Halloween photos taken when I worked at the ad agency from 1978 to 1980. We had a big party in the Creative Department and a co-worker and I each went as cars. I am tall so went as a Mercury Cougar; she was petite and went as a Mercury Bobcat. We did Lincoln-Mercury advertising. We put a lot of effort into our costumes and even played the commercials as we walked around. I had a pocket camera and always used to have it with me through the years, even at work. I wore it out as I used so many rolls of film, the camera door would no longer stay shut. They are lucky and I see others in the Park seeing me interact with them and have started bringing along peanuts as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can just see you as a child dressed as Little Red Riding Hood walking in the rain dragging your candy bag with the candy falling out like bread crumbs! A sugary trail indeed!
    Yes,It is a shame your parents didn’t take any pictures of you in your seasonal garb!
    Your furry friends certainly love the seasonal treats! I wonder If they take the loot back and have it doled out bit by bit over the winter like you had to endure?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Oh Wayne, my mom was so upset at my dad for not coming home after it started to rain. And then the tote bag bumping along the gravel road the entire evening. We may have salvaged one popcorn ball, but I wasn’t allowed to eat the popcorn balls anyway. I wish I had pictures as I have a lot of photos – none as a kid on Halloween. Do you remember saying those phrases? After all, we didn’t grow up all that far from each other.

      Like

      • That must be the worst Halloween you ever had Linda! I mean,….you’d have to have some major bad stuff happening to beat that!
        What year do you think that was?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        We moved to Oakville from Toronto in the Spring of 1959, so I’d guess it was Halloween 1959 or 1960. Because everything is on the internet, it appears that there was rainy weather Halloween 1959. I know I was young – I remember holding onto his hand and I guess dragging the bag behind me as I walked. Interestingly, I tried to go to the same site for 1960, put in “1960” and it gives me 1961 … no data for 1960. Also, it seems the whole month of October it rained. Sounds like now!
        https://weatherspark.com/h/s/19853/1959/2/Historical-Weather-Fall-1959-in-Oakville-Canada

        Like

      • 1960 eh,I was 4 years old. Too young to go out. I have zero recollection about my childhood? Some people say they can remember being born!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I think I’ve read people can remember back to age 3 or 4, but nothing before that. That is unbelievable remembering being a baby. And I wonder how many memories from an age such as four years old is stirred from seeing pictures. I can remember a dress I had one time – only B&W pics of me in Christmas in that turquoise velvet dress. And one day I said to my mom that I remembered that dress distinctly, though we only had B&W film (maybe color film was no around yet) (not to make myself too ancient). I only went out with my father and he grumbled about it as he worked in Toronto at the time, so a 25-mile trip each way and started work at 7:00 a.m. and so came home and had to take me out.

        Like

      • we have many false memories they say.
        It would have been great to have some Halloween pictures but now that I think about it,I do not have any as well!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I remember on your birthday one year you posted a sepia-toned pic of you as a baby. You said your mom asked you what you’d like and you said the box of photos. So you lucked out, as did I. No one else to “inherit” all the family albums. My mom’s albums have some photos of her mom from almost a century ago. One photo of my grandparents holding my mom as a baby (circa 1926) was very clear, not faded or damaged in any way.

        Like

      • Yes,but what ended up happening was my brothers and sisters believed that because they were in the picture that they owned it! So they all raided my inheritance!

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Well that wasn’t so great then. I thought you ended up with all of them. Now people can all the photos digitally – there are even share sites where all the family photo albums are uploaded and everyone can access them there and do what they want with them. That is a fair situation, but it likely wasn’t available to you and your siblings at the time.

        Like

      • No, they were sibling locust.

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Descending on were treasures for you. Well, that makes me glad I was an only child on many levels.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pam Lazos says:

    Wow, Linda, did they actually eat the M&Ms?! I know chocolate isn’t good for dogs, so better check out whether squirrels are the same. Wouldn’t want your furry friends freaking out on chocolate! ;0)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The squirrel seems to prefer nuts first!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow – those lucky squirrels! You’ve treated them so well. It was interesting to read about your childhood Halloweens. I’m with you in some of those same outfits. My parents didn’t take pictures either. I’m thankful we even got costumes on time to go trick or treating. We did have lots of fun though and did the Unicef boxes too. Thanks for sharing your Halloween fun with us! And the cute card too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rebecca says:

    Sweet childhood memories! I like the way you dressed Parker up for Halloween. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, they were Rebecca and some things I remember vividly. Too bad there were no photos taken. I have so many photos of me taken over the years but Halloween memories will remain in my head, so that’s fine too. Parker seems willing when there is food involved. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sandra J says:

    That is quite the treat bag, glad you kept some for your self as well. The almonds looked like the choise pic. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, I made a double batch Sandra. I like to put some in my yogurt for a snack. I was tempted to keep the Goldfish crackers for me, but was a good sport about it. Yes, did you detect a smile when munching on almonds and pecans too? I like stuffing two almonds in your mouth at once. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Michael says:

    what a treat indeed! they have quite the
    life you know…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ally Bean says:

    “They melt in your mouth, not in your paw.” No doubt this was an alternative marketing slogan. I love the last pic, that yellow M&M in a squirrel’s mouth is so fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, a great alternative slogan Ally, especially if you have light-colored fur. That squirrel was a little more adventurous than the others and gave it a whirl. He went back and polished off a few more before the rest of the crowd caught on. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Joni says:

    What great memories you have Linda, even if you don’t have any pictures. I remember the hard plastic masks, and the flimsy costumes, although mostly we had homemade costumes like tramps/hobos and ghosts and witches etc and empty pillowcases, although my brother had a plastic pumpkin as he was younger. I’ve never heard of either of those rhymes but they’re cute. Jersey Milk chocolate bars were always my favorite (they still make them) and I think we threw out those chewy molasses things too, as they are always left to last and no one was that desperate for candy by then! But because we went up and down our country road and knew everyone we were allowed to eat the popcorn balls and fudge and candy apples.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I forgot you grew up in the country – yes, it would be fun as everyone knew you and their treats were safe. I can remember people holding a tray of caramel apples or candy apples and offering one to trick-or-treaters. In those days we didn’t worry about razor blades in apples or candy. I still had to bring it home to have my mom look through it that it was completely wrapped. I know over here, they never said those phrases, just saying “trick-or-treat” when they went to the door. I remember the Casper especially as I had a puppet too.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. ruthsoaper says:

    Whimsy Indeed! You got some really great shots! It does seem that the leaves are slower to fall this year. We saw some beautiful ones over the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Ruth – those little furry pals were happy with all their treats, so I was lucky to get some close-ups of them. They like to eat and run! I went to Heritage Park yesterday and the trees were really gorgeous … they have mostly maples, all gold and red. I am hearing a few snowflakes mixed with rain tonight and maybe tomorrow. Weren’t we wearing light coats (or no coats), just two weeks ago?

      Like

  14. I remember that rhyme! We used to trick or treat as a gang up one side of a street about 3/4 mile to the school carnival, then when we were done, we’d trick or treat all the way back home on the other side of the street. I have a few photos of me and my brothers in our outfits.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      So, it wasn’t just a Canadian chant for candy – that’s interesting Janis. See, it was more about the era, as we’re the same age. It was safe as a gang to go that far – I’m sure you had quite a haul when you were done. I don’t know why there were no photos taken on Halloween. My parents took some pictures of me during what I’ll term “the awkward and gawky years” which are downright cringeworthy!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. What in the world would all these cuties do if not for you Linda? I can’t believe how close Parker gets to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It’s funny Diane because I see new people in the park, a couple a bit older than me, and they walk on the path and have a huge bags and scatter peanuts. I met them on a weekend as they get there after I leave weekdays. They said this was something they enjoy doing with their newfound time (I’m thinking they are recently retired). I think the squirrels know a good thing and likely race over to see them like they haven’t eaten in days with the pleading face and swishing tail. 🙂 Parker has a thing about climbing on my shoe and he is the only squirrel that has ever done that. He doesn’t do it all the time – I said “wait a minute, hold that pose!” I had a similar photo of him looking up at me and begging and also sniffing my shoe tops.

      Like

  16. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Those squirrel pics make me smile–you captured some great poses! My favorite is probably the one where the squirrel is not bothering with polite paws, just going head first into the treats–with mouth open! You brought back lots of memories of Halloween in the 50s and 60s. My mom took us around the neighborhood too; Dad passed out treats at home. Worst year: I was sick for Halloween. Had to settle for sitting in the big over-stuffed chair–in my costume–and watching the trick-or-treaters come and go! Don’t even remember what that costume was!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Nancy – those squirrels really do love their treats. I like watching them survey what’s there and sniffing to see what to have first. Yes, their manners are not the greatest sometimes, taking more than one “to go” – they make me smile too. Halloween back then was an event and highly anticipated, between coming to school in your costume and having a little party there with treats, then going out at night, all the build-up, then it was all over too quickly. That’s too bad and you probably said to yourself “I’ll never forget this Halloween, looking great in my costume and sick!” And years later, you don’t remember the costume – guess we not only have selective hearing, but selective recall of memories as well.

      Like

  17. I was eating raw almonds as i read this! 😊 (Not to lecture, but candy is bad for any animals… including humans.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I have it with my yogurt every day and put sunflower seeds in my oatmeal every morning. I do love nuts. I gave up candy for Lent in 2010 and haven’t had a piece since, although I make a disclaimer that I started eating one piece of 92% cacoa chocolate for good health. It is very bitter, so it’s not a treat in the least. I did not have one M&M in their trail mix and there were a lot of squirrels eating – I just took pictures of the ones I got up close. I don’t make a habit of it, in fact I had not done it in about four years. I’m concerned about putting apples and pumpkins out on the trail due to the hawks trolling above.

      Like

  18. bekitschig says:

    O
    M
    G
    !!!
    Linda, that was the best post all year. 😉 Thank you so much for this feast

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Hi Jeanine – I am sorry – I am terribly behind in Reader and Comments and missed this comment. I knew you would get a kick out of the mask and my little pals gobbling up the goodies. 🙂 I have a post for this Wordless Wednesday of a faerie garden with a gnome in it. A fellow blogger went to a big event of faerie gardens in a wooded area and I told her I had taken pictures of one at the Botanical Gardens (though I confess mine will look lame next to hers).

      Liked by 1 person

  19. So lovely to hear about your Halloweens during childhood and to finally get around to catching up with your animated walks ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Dave says:

    The hard-plastic masks are a fond memory I haven’t recalled in a long, long time. I remember how your face would get hot behind them because the nose/mouth openings didn’t allow for full breathing. And the UNICEF cans, there’s another good one. They’d show up at school on the days around Halloween. I guess all of us kids carried a few coins in our pocket back then, because the collection effort always seemed a success. Thanks for the memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      And Dave – do you remember the mask irritating you so much, you’d flip it off your face to breathe for a few minutes and that skinny elastic band that went around your head would either snap or come untethered from the mask? The masks were more popular than face painting back in the day. Today, the UNICEF cans wouldn’t get filled much – I don’t think coins are readily available in people’s pockets anymore, especially since the pandemic began. We’d be jiggling our UNICEF canisters to get them filled up and I believe my mom and dad put in a few coins to get me started/inspired. Glad you savored the memories.

      Like

  21. Thank you for the beautiful Halloween greeting card!
    Squirrel whisperer. You know exactly how to befriend these squirrels and they love their treats.
    We love our Halloween treats except for Almond Joy. lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Esther. I love those Jacquie Lawson cards and hope she is around for a long time. Those squirrels do come running and boy are they getting fat, just the last two or three weeks. I am not big on Almond Joy either. I don’t mind coconut, but they are too sweet from all the coconut.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s