The Last Best Halloween
Halloween has had the history of a rousing night with mischief and scary things; but Willow & I don’t see it like that. The stark contrast colors of orange and black adds to the fairy tale of the day and we love the creativity of Halloween flowers, the costume dressing, and the house decor. The old time holiday was a different fun. The vintage decorations I collect (somewhat obsessively) were not of monsters and aliens, but yet of hissy cats, happy witches, and toothless, jack-o-lanterns. The Victorians of the 1800’s sent those distinctive and charming postcards; while crepe paper, cardboard horns & tambourines ruled the 1920’s. Pumpkins are my absolute favorite symbol; no matter how frightful a carver tries-they always look welcoming to me.
And then, the treating. I remember the dark nights walking with my Mom holding her hand for dear life with my big, paper, grocery bag in the other. A bag that I couldn’t see the contents of because of my mask holes–I so identified with Scout (To Kill A Mockingbird). Another year, she & my Dad put me in a sheet metal robot on a rocket tricycle that they made from scrap metal, and pulled me for the Poughkeepsie parade; I couldn’t see out of that either. (the one downside of having artists for parents!) But I loved it-the excitement was overwhelming and… we won 1rst place.
As every year, Willow & I get all excited every time “the knock” comes. After much tail wagging, hellos, and costume accolades we carefully bagged a yummy cupcake for each treater and sent them on their way running down the stairs. Wishing they would visit a little longer, but knowing they were anxious to get to the next treat. As the night went on, the knocking lessened and the temperature dropped to a near bite; we wondered if no one else was coming and… should we maybe eat the last 3 cupcakes.
Then…. we heard another car door open and someone with too much excitement to be contained. Willow & I had heard a lot of excitement tonight, but not the pure glee of what was exiting this car. Who was coming we wondered as we readied for the knock?
As we opened the door, a somewhat grown-up, treater stood with hair high and painted, face whiskers. She immediately backed away to show us the real ‘treater’ at the bottom of the steps. A bubbly, young, girl dressed in a wonderful, homemade, gypsy costume…. held up by her Mom to help her stand. “happppppy Halloooooweeeen” she yelled over & over again. The whiskered one said she could not make it up the stairs so she was doing the knocking for her. After bagging up her cupcake the treater celebrated like no other before her; and of course the last 2 cupcakes we gave to Mom and whiskers.
This happy little girl comes late most every year to see us. Her ever cheerful Mom used to deliver the daily paper every morning until she moved on to now holding 2 other jobs. And here she was, cold, smiling, and proud at the bottom of the steps with her little gypsy. The happiest, and absolutely, most excited group of the night. Willow & I melted; of all the proud parents and happy treaters we opened to, none compared to these three, and we somehow felt lucky that they came to our door again this year. And phew..we were really glad we didn’t eat the last cupcakes.
For the creative aspect we of course love all Holidays; but its the aura and atmosphere at those times that I really love. People evolve to another mindset from their everyday drone of self preservation to “just get through the day”. Holidays bring out a spirit change of selfless, happy, and giving; and I firmly believe humans are at their best when they are giving. There are those that wonder at my own sanity of giving; they see little “return on investment” of being charitable in business except for getting new business. Willow & I don’t understand why they don’t understand.
Our last, happy little treater, her Mom, and Whiskers know; it’s called heart. Just like my Dad who worked many nights creating that robot, and my Mom who every year, cheerfully took the time to parade me out in the night after working all day and still, sits and carves a pumpkin with me. They are the good ghouls & goblins of Halloween. No matter what state of mind, body, or circumstance a person is, giving of yourself uplifts both the recipient and the giver; it’s what being a real human being is. The absolute, best Halloween treat of all.
Boo to you,
Willow & Lynn