“Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, Voices whisper in the trees, ‘Tonight is Halloween!'”

I never understood how there could be school on Halloween. Did the powers that be actually think we could concentrate on arithmetic or geography? Our minds were filled with thoughts of trick or treating not multiplication or the exports of Chile. Time seemed to stretch forever that day. I’d look at the clock and when next I’d look only a few minutes would have passed since the last time. I gave thought to a trick of the clock, even a haunting, but it was just me clock watching and agonizing over the slowness of the hands moving from one number to another. Recess was all about Halloween. We’d be standing in groups talking about the night to come and the costumes we’d wear. The bell would summon us back, and somehow we’d survive the last part of the day without standing on our desks and screaming out of impatience and frustration. We always ran home.

The afternoon seemed the longest part of the day because we were so close. I’d put on and take off my costume like sort of a dress rehearsal. My mother made us eat dinner. We’d beg to go out trick or treating, but my mother said it was too early, not even dark yet. We’d stare out the picture window begging for darkness or hoping to see the first trick or treater so we could be next. Finally my mother gave in and off we went.

We’d do the neighborhood first, up the hill and around the cul-de-sac. That took the most time. Neighbors were chatty. Finally we’d break free and head down the big hill out of the neighborhood. We didn’t follow the same route every year, but we hit some of the same houses, the nickel bar houses and the houses which gave us pennies. We’d avoid the apple houses.

I remember walking on the sidewalks filled with the shadows of trees from the street lights. I remember leaves covering everything and a few falling as we walked. Houses had their outside lights on as a welcome to trick or treaters. We’d walk all over town filling our pillowcases. When the lights started to go out, we headed for home munching as we walked. The walk home was always quiet.

At home, my mother would give each of us a bowl for our candy. I remember the bowls were white and had tulips on them. We’d empty out our candy then we’d trade. We’d eat as much as we could get away with. I remember every Halloween as being glorious.

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14 Comments on ““Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, Voices whisper in the trees, ‘Tonight is Halloween!'””

  1. Hedley Says:

    “The Warmest Halloween on Record” screamed the BBC plonking out a 74F temperature in Kent or something. Since when did they have blooming Halloween anyways I thought, Guy Fawkes is next week. Way too confusing, it was much easier with fireworks, blowing up parliament and ending uncomfortably. Why is this being mixed in

    Meanwhile back in Detroit, snow flurries are promised to mix with rain and high winds. The Prince will be elsewhere dressed in army stuff including goggles. I am hoping for a picture,

    Maggie the Westie cares little for the door ringing tonight and will be retired to the boudoir until it is all over.

    Elsewhere im6 is fussing over Bette, I am fussing over Bob and KatPat is getting ready to get whacked by a Manning

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      That I can’t answer.

      I always think Halloween is an American creation from an amalgamation of several traditions especially the Celtic festival of Samhain.

      I think as a kid I’d prefer candy over fireworks but as an adult, bring on the fireworks.

      Colder than the last few days here but not even close to snow. The 30’s, however, will be here over the weekend.

      Gracie greets everyone. I have to hold her or she’d join all of them.

      No, No, No whacking by a Manning!!!!

      • Hedley Says:

        KatPat, how exactly are you going to balance distributing candy with this week’s exciting episode of the amazing Race ?

      • katry Says:

        Usually the kids are finished by 8 as the ones around here are young. If not, out go the lights.

  2. olof1 Says:

    No trick or treating in this village but I guess the kids are going on as best right now in the bigger cities, dressed in rain cots because it has started to rain in big parts of the country.

    If it had been tradition to celebrate Halloween here most people would have been free from work and school today, it’s always the eve’s that is the big days here. None of the big holiday eve’s here ais a holiday but we are all free from work with pay 🙂 I’ve always wondered why but won’t complain about it 🙂

    Happy Halloween!

    • katry Says:

      Nothing is worse than rain on Halloween. Even snow is better. Kids will carry umbrellas of they have to but we don’t expect rain tonight.

      I always had Christmas Eve off anyway as the schools were closed. New Year’s Eve was also within the school vacation. I bet, though, all the other people working would have loved those days off from work.

      Have a great evening,

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I remember fidgeting and impatiently waiting for the first porch light on the street to go on. The Halloween trick or treat start signal! Out the door with the pillow case and up and down all the streets. The neighbors would try to guess who we were. They always knew but they always guessed wrong anyway. The best Halloweens were the ones with a moon in the sky. It just made it all that much better.

    Nowadays I fidget and wait impatiently for the first porch light to go off. The Halloween trick or treat finish signal. I can close the door, let the dog out of confinement and relax. All my dogs except Rocky have hated Halloween. This year I might be the first light to go out. 🙂

    Enjoy the Hallow evening.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I agree about the moon. Seeing it hanging heavy in the sky made the night eerie and had me looking for ghosts and ghouls. I thought the time to go out would never come.

      My dogs have loved Halloween. Gracie would like nothing better than to go outside with all the kids. She’d knock all of them down in her exuberance. I just turned my light on even though it is still early. Gracie is sitting there looking out the door hoping to see something, anything.

      Happy Halloween!!!

      • Caryn Says:

        Halloween went very well and very quickly. Apparently most of the kids from last year have aged out of the trick or treating phase. I put the light on at 6PM and it was all over by quarter to eight. The two bags of candy I put out are still mostly there.
        I got a super solution to the problem of Piki Dog wanting to bite all the feet. I put two baby gates in the open porch doorway, staggered one above the other but overlapping. It was an impromptu Dutch screen door. 🙂 He couldn’t reach the feet or jump high enough to get out. I could hold the candy bowl for the kids and Rocky could still greet them. Once PD figured it out, he calmed down and listened. I was very pleased with him.

      • katry Says:

        I had about 18 or 20 kids and my light went out about 7:30. The Necco Wafers went but the chocolate didn’t, by choice.

        I’m glad that Piki Dog got through his first Halloween with flying colors. That was a brilliant solution. Gracie greeted everyone as I kept a tight hold on her collar. She allowed herself to be patted and adored.

  4. Birgit Says:

    8 pm, dark and quite warm outside, a candle lights my front door.
    Kids so far: 0 🙁
    More candies for me 🙂
    Happy Halloween!

    • katry Says:

      Yup, we all choose candies we like in case we have leftovers.

      It is a bit damp here but not that cold. I expect my first trick or treaters soon.

      Happy Halloween to you too!!

  5. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Ha! Birgit made me laugh…of course you buy the candy you love…I know I some people who are on diets and buy the stuff they HATE so they won’t eat it. Sorry, I do not subscribe to such an idea… 🙂

    Trick or treat has become different since I was young…now we seem to get fewer kids…municipalities around here seem to have group activities versus going from house to house…for safety reasons, I guess.

    Wanna share a couple Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? Mmmmmm…



    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I agree totally with you. Nothing is better than your favorite candy left over just for you.

      I had about 18 kids which in my neighborhood is a good number. Where my sister lives the square had all the stores set for trick or treating. I don’t think that happened around here. Parents were with the kids. They waiting on the street wile the kids came to the door.

      I love Reese’s!!


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