Growing up in a rural community, you'd think it was difficult to trick or treat - not having a neighborhood and all. And you would be right. A gang of us (usually including Jessica John [Matthew's sis and my best friend growing up] would pile into a car (driven by, I'm sure, whichever parent drew the short straw for the night) and make the slow-but-sure trek around not one, not two, but the three towns (the tiny trifecta that it was) that made up our community. That's what happens when towns consist of less than 500 people - they band together to support the neighboring kid's sugar high as well.
Rain, sleet, heat, or snow (well, there was that one year that
Halloween was actually postponed until the snow melted) we would make our way house to house, knowing nearly every person who answered the door. There was no X-raying our candy when we got home that night. There was no questioning who made that homemade ball of carmel corn. Candy was scavenged, devoured, and sometimes secretly stashed away before other siblings could begin bargaining and trading.
At some point during the night, we would need to take a break (okay, let's face it - our parents would force us to stop for one freaking second so they could catch their breath) and so we would go to the John's house for delicious chili - thaw out for a bit - and then hit the road running, hunting down that full-size Snickers that we just knew was out there somewhere.
The high school always ran a fundraiser on Halloween in which they overtook the local fire station and turned it into a haunted house. It. Was. Awesome.
You'd never seen so much black plastic in your whole life. I'm sure my memories are far more grand than reality, but I remember it being rather impressive (and downright frightening) at the time. Thinking about it now, I just have visions of bad wigs, fake blood, and the sound of a chainsaw (shop class anyone?) followed by the screams of little kids far too young to sneak in only to get the snot scared out of them. Good times.
I love those memories. Halloween is like a fall crisp day - covered in chocolate and waxy makeup. How can you top that?
I know. Have your own kids. Create these memories for them. Keep them safe, give them candy, have fun. This is Halloween today. Let's keep it that way.
I just loved dressing my girls up this year. A bunny and a carrot - how does it get any cuter than that? I pray they always keep October 31st as something fun and silly. Something they use their imagination for (and their sixth sense of candy scavenging radar, of course) and not something used to convey darkness or for that matter (being honest here, folks) utter sluttiness.
Apparently, these days, if you hack the legs off of any ole pair of jeans - that's a Halloween costume! If you just wear your underwear in public - that's a costume! Dear me. All that to say, there are a lot of girls out their who need help...and pants.
Now, I couldn't take my girls back in time OR to a small rural community for Halloween. But, we did manage to find some lovely houses in our neighborhood with razor-free candy, and we went to an amazing carnival at a nearby church (I mean unreal, amazing - multiple full scale carnival rides and food trucks kind of amazing). So a grand time was had by all. Afterall, isn't the measure of a good Halloween in the angst and regret of the tummy ache you get by morning? Sure enough - we hit "Berenstain-Bears-Too-Much-Junk-Food" status by late that night.
Totally worth it.