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

The wind and the rain have given way to a sunny day. It is a bit colder than it has been, 57˚ now and low 40’s tonight for trick or treating. I’m all set for my trick or treaters with candy bars for the bigger kids and Halloween pencils for the smaller.

I remember the excitement of Halloween when I was a kid. School lasted two and a half days or at least it felt that way. The hands of the watched clock moved ever so slowly, and the afternoon dragged on and on until the final bell was rung. We raced home. I’d spend the afternoon putting the final touches on my costume.

It took forever to get dark enough. My mother made supper earlier than usual. It was something quick, no big meal. She knew we didn’t want to eat. We wanted out. I remember driving her crazy by asking over and over if it was time. When she said yes, we bolted out the door.

We had a route based on our hauls from previous years. There were no fun size bars of candy in my day for which I am somewhat thankful. I say somewhat as people did buy bags of things like candy corn or those hard little pumpkins, and they’d divide the candy into individual bags of treats, not my favorites. We’d also get popcorn balls in the little bags. We knew the best houses, the ones with the nickel bars. Even now, when I drive down streets in my home town, I still remember which were the best houses on Halloween.

My mother bought us new masks. They were hard plastic and had an elastic in the back with a little metal piece on both ends which connected to the mask through a hole on each side. The elastics broke easily and got shorter and shorter each time we knotted them. The front of the mask usually had only eye holes. Some kids bought costumes which were worn over clothes and tied in the back. We never did.

My brother and I would stay out until most of the houses had turned their outside lights off. We’d check out our bags and munch a bit as we walked home. Once there, my mother would give each of us a bowl, and we’d sit on the living room rug and sort out the candy. We had piles. Our favorites were in one pile, the candy we’d never eat was in another and in the third was the rest of the candy. The good stuff went in the bowl. My mother never stopped us from eating the candy. I remember keeping my bowl handy under my bed. The candy never lasted too long.

I loved Halloween but not just because of the candy. Deciding the costume was fun. It took a long while even with hints from my mother. I’d choose one then a different one then another and another before finally deciding. We decorated the windows with those cardboard skeletons and witches. We carved pumpkins. We whispered about ghosts and witches and black cats to scare ourselves.

Walking home on Halloween night is one of my favorites memories. The sidewalks were covered with yellow leaves. It was quiet enough to hear our footsteps. The houses’ outside lights had gone dark. Only the streetlights lit our way. We whispered our conversation. It seemed right.

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

  1. olof1 Says:

    I’ve never seen as many Haslloween commercials before as I have this year but they say the it actually has slowed down a bit when it comes to sales. I guess that’s why they had so many commercials 🙂

    People never reallý know when to have the Halloween parties here because no one wants it today in the middle of the working week so some had parties last weekend and some will have them the next one. So I guess I’ll see those commercials until at least Sunday 🙂

    Happy Halloween!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Sales of Halloween costumes, decorations and food have skyrocketed here. Decorating outside has also become far more common. I bought new purple lights but didn’t use them this year.

      I think people here usually have them the weekend before Halloween. There are great foods and drinks just for parties at Halloween.

      Have a great evening!

  2. Bob Says:

    Universal kid world. Everything you mentioned is exactly as how I remember things as when I was a kid.

    In our old neighborhood kids would come from the apartment houses nearby to trick or treat. Their parents drove slowely down the street as their kids walked from one house to the next. Some houses were highly decorated with fake moss hanging from the trees along with spooky lighting and music.

    A little rain today with cooler temperatures. Later this week the highs go back into the ninties which is weird for November.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I think our being contemporaries means we shared the same sort of experiences. We lived in the best of worlds.

      We had no apartment houses and the kids were all from the neighborhood. Only the very youngest had parents with them. The rest of us were on our own. We never had decorated houses in those days, but there are several now. Halloween has become really popular.

      My sister in Colorado had 80’s lat week for a couple of days then the temperature went down to 18˚. We have been in the high 50’s to low 60’s. The house is usually cold in the mornings. Last night I just used a sheet but then needed a blanket as it got cold during the night. We’ll have that same type of weather for a few days.

  3. Birgit Says:

    11 young Halloween kids yesterday, I think it’s a new record. When I was young Halloween only happened in Peanuts cartoons. More traditional dates for kids to dress up and ask for candies are Three Kings’ Day and carnival Tuesday.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I had between fifteen and twenty, also a new record for me. The kids loved the Halloween pencils.

      Interesting that Halloween is spreading.

      Our kids just have Halloween for dress up and candy.

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Yep. Same memories. As I was reading your blog, I suddenly had the memory of pulling all the Necco Wafers out because I liked those best. The regular colored Necco Wafers but not the chocolate only ones. My brothers and I used to sort our hauls into Favorites, Never Will Eat, and Will Eat If Desperate. Then we would check each others’ hauls and see if any trades would be possible.

    I had a fair number of kids last year. This year I made up 12 bags with chattery teeth, 12 bags with bendable zombies and 12 bags with just candy. I also had 6 bags with dog biscuits because there were dogs last year, too. I got 8 kids last night. All small ones, too, so very early. No dogs. Rocky and Piki Dog will be happy. More treats for them. I disassembled the bags and put the toys away for next year. My lights were out by 8:15PM.

    It was cloudy and dull today. I paid bills today so I guess the weather matched my mood. 🙂

    Enjoy the evening.

    • katry Says:

      Caryn,
      We also set up the swap shop with our candy. My father would look over our haul and choose something. He loved his chocolate. I also like Necco Wafers, but I like the chocolate ones. They must have been the favorites of a lot of people has they came out with that chocolate wafer only package.

      I had no dogs either though I did have a few biscuits on hand. I like the idea of bags as I was going to buy one of his cheap plastic sharpeners to go with the pencils but figured it might get lost. Kids do like getting stuff. My last kids were about 7:45, two girls around 10.

      I had blood drawn then went and did some shopping. I finished finding gifts for my friend’s birthday and for her for Christmas. I went to the Italian shop and bought a few goodies for me.

      I found the dampness chilly.

      • Caryn Says:

        I like bags to keep all the things together in some kind of order. I had the best bags this year. Clear plastic zip top ones that were printed with the message Bio Hazard.

      • katry Says:

        I love those bags. I hope the parents were savvy enough to know the meaning.


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