Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

squirrels got to the jack o lanterns before I could photograph them!

Halloween 2013 is done and dusted.  Every year as my kids get older, Halloween gets a little less crazy.  No parties at school, no last-minute changes of mind on costume choice.  My son, at the advanced age of 16, barely acknowledges Halloween any more.  My daughter, age 13, still fully participates.  This year she was the TARDIS.  We bought her this hat and a dress similar to this t-shirt.  We never even considered getting a big cardboard box and painting it because we wanted our lives to be easy, and let me tell you, that dress folds down to nothing, whereas a big cardboard TARDIS would take up valuable real estate in my basement for the next twenty years.

I was thinking about all of the things I was for Halloween throughout my childhood.  My elementary school years happened in the 1970s, the era of cheap flammable polyester costumes that came with a plastic face mask that strapped on to your head with a thin rubber band.  The rubber band tangled in my long hair, and my face would sweat under all that plastic. I remember wearing something like that only once or twice.  Most of the time my mom made my costumes for me, or I cobbled something together myself.  I remember being a princess, a cowgirl, a cheerleader, Raggedy Ann (my all-time favorite costume!), Little Bo-Peep, a strawberry, and, in a rare year of not being girly, a green-faced black-cloaked creature. 

I trick-or-treated for the last time when I was 13.  I dressed up as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.  My dog accompanied me, and I used a picnic basket to collect my candy. Two things I remember about that night: taking my dog trick-or-treating, which I'd never done before, and having a crabby elderly neighbor ask me "Aren't you too old to be trick-or-treating?"  We always approached this woman's house on Halloween with much trepidation.  She'd often have a sign on her front door:  "Use back door."  We would dutifully trot around to the back and shout "Trick or treat!", but then she'd open the back door and say "Go around to the front!"  We would look at each other, shrug, and go back around to the front.  At the front door she'd look us up and down, ask who our mother was, and then say "You're growing too fast.  I'm going to put a brick on your head."   So that year when she told me I was too old to trick-or-treat, I took her comment with a grain of salt and didn't let it bother me.  

A neighbor on our street that we don't know very well told my daughter last night that she was too old to be trick-or-treating.  My daughter took this in much the same spirit as I did when I was 13, which is to say she thought, "Eh, that's your opinion," and didn't give it a second thought.   I hope I'm never that crabby old lady on the street!  I want to grow up to be the sweet little old lady.

I took these photos the day before Halloween.  Halloween itself was windy and rainy.  I didn't even bother lighting the ghost and pumpkin lanterns last night, and the wind kept blowing out the candle in the jack-o-lanterns.  

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