Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween - Treats & Terrors

It's Halloween! It's a time to dress up in costume and go Trick or Treating! Here are some of my favorite and/or often-remembered Halloween recollections. 

My Early Memories
I grew up always looking forward to Halloween. I loved to dress up and see others in costumes, and it was so much fun walking door to door and saying, “Trick or Treat” for candy. My mom was quite a seamstress, so she sometimes sewed our costumes. More often, however, we just went through our "stuff" and came up with our own costume, usually adding a purchased mask. One year I decided to be “Zorro”, and I used mascara to paint a “handlebar” mustache on my face. BAD decision!! My face broke out in a rash in the shape of the mustache!  To my dismay, the rash was still on my face the next day as I went to school, rather embarrassed!! 

Another memory when I was a little older is walking around with friends on Halloween, when they suggested we visit a small local cemetery, or "Graveyard" as it is commonly called. I didn't like the idea, but I went anyway. There was a fence around it, supported by wooden posts, and as I leaned against the it, the post broke, sending me flying until I landed on top of a grave! Believe me, I came out as fast as I went it! 

Growing up in our secluded rural area, I never heard of any of the bad stuff associated with Halloween. As I got a little older, however, I heard about a boy “soaping” windows at the local grocery store, and even witnessed a girl throwing corn on someone’s porch. I was shocked! After I was married and moved to the "other side of the mountain", I learned firsthand about the destructive side of Halloween, when people use this day as an excuse to break the law: blocking roads, setting fires to abandoned buildings and even building fires in the roads. 

One year on October 30, my brother Randy was driving his 1975 VW Beetle on a 2-lane main road (speed limit - 55 mph) into a "blind curve" when he suddenly saw branches in his path. He quickly put on the brakes, but it was too late! A large tree had been cut down with a chain saw as a Halloween prank and was blocking the highway. Fortunately, the tree's branches shielded him from hitting the tree trunk full-force, and the only damage to his car was the fenders. The back lights were broken and spoiler damaged as he backed out of the tree! The next morning when he and my dad surveyed the damage, they also discovered that the brake lining had burst when Randy slammed on the brake. It is amazing that not only was his car not "totaled", but Randy was not even injured! Miracles still happen!

Halloween Prep
As a mom, I loved creating costumes for my 3 boys and baking homemade goodies for their school parties. I would sometimes stay up until 12:00 midnight and get up at 4:00 a.m. sewing and baking before school. My sister and mother-in-law said it was great – I did all the work, and while I was at my school, they would walk into my boys’ classrooms with the homemade goodies and get smiles, thank-yous, and hugs! 

“Trick or Treating” 
Halloween when my boys were small always began "Pumpkin Pancakes" for breakfast, and dinner was "Pumpkin Burgers" (hamburgers with cheese cut with a jack o'lantern cookie cutter) and "Bloody Fingers" (french fries and ketchup). After dinner, my friend Nancy A. and I would walk with our boys to the nearby homes in our small community for "Trick or Treating". My mother-in-law lived nearby, and she would always have special treats such as homemade popcorn balls, cookies, and sometimes candied and/or caramel apples for those she knew well, adults included. Depending on the weather, the boys had to "layer" under the costumes or add a jacket. During one cold fall, we walked on snow at Halloween! After the Moms walked with the boys, the dads would walk the older boys on the “back road”, where the homes were farther apart, and I would stay home with the younger boys. 

My Terror

On one such Halloween night, I was holding baby Jacob when there was a knock at the door. Joshua, who was then 3 1/2, ran to the door with the candy bowl and opened it - just as I got to the door with the baby in my arms. There stood a very tall male, well over 6 ft. tall, in a scary-looking costume with a machete which was dripping blood! Who knows or cares if the blood was fake? It looked real to me! I said, "Who are you?", but he would not answer; he only gestured with the machete, put out his other hand, palm up and grunted. I was terrified! It felt like my heart was thumping triple time! I tried to get Joshua behind me, but of course he wasn't scared, so he tried to get closer to this person who was standing just inside my door! I asked again who he was, and again he grunted! At this point, I grabbed a handful of candy and put it into his open hand, and surprisingly he turned and left! I quickly padlocked the door and didn't open it again until I heard a knock and recognized my husband's voice. The next day, I heard that a young man laughingly told the story at the local grocery about how he had "scared a mom and her kids half to death"! I laugh about this incident now, but not then!

Halloween Today 

This year I attended "Boo at the Zoo" with 3 of my grandchildren, and it was fun walking around the Acadiana Zoo seeing all the kids in costume as we viewed the animals. Of course, the kids enjoyed the "Treat Stations" that were scattered throughout the zoo.

At Boo at the Zoo

At Home Home decorations include a skeleton and glow in the dark spiders, bats, and scorpions on large webs.

My only sewing project this year was a red cape for granddaughter Mia as "Red Riding Hood". She also likes to wear the cape and pretend she is Super Girl!

Little Red Riding Hood

I helped daughter-in-law Heejin make these cute Spooky Monster Treats for the kids' school parties. She found the recipe in All You magazine.

In true family tradition, Halloween dinner includes "Bat Burgers" and the famous "Bloody Fingers".

A great kids' meal at Halloween

Spraying the cookie cutter with Pam
makes removal of the bat a snap!

Today I am reading a Halloween story to Mia's Preschool class. I am taking my Witch puppet with me, and I am not scared! Boo!

Ghost pops, anyone?

My first, and one of my favorite, puppets!

No comments :

Post a Comment