Thursday, October 20, 2016

Childhood Halloweens

Weeks before Halloween, we looked through drawers and closets searching for things to put together for our costumes. I remember wearing my mom's skirt and being a gypsy laden with ropes of long necklaces. Once I was a black cat, and, as a teen, I wore my Dad's green Navy fatigues (baggy work pants with jacket and boots).  I didn't like looking funny and only wore it because I couldn't wear my favorite costume, my mother's kimono. It was beige with a mountain design on it and had long, long sleeves. My dad had brought back from his cruise Japanese wooden shoes for my brother and I and a wide gold and white brocade Obi belt for me. It had a large bow in the back. I loved dressing up as an oriental lady!

In grade school on Halloween day, we wore our costumes to school. We lined up outside in the warm California sun with our class and all the school paraded around the school yard. Our parents were there to watch and wave to us. Sometimes we had classroom parties, and when I was 14, a girlfriend gave a Halloween Scavenger party at her home. All of us girls dressed up and ran around her neighborhood knocking on doors and trying to be the first to find the small items on our list, such as a paperclip.

We had a few Halloween traditions. One was that Dad helped us carve out pumpkins which we put candles in and set on the front porch. Another, was that we could only have a piece or two of candy at a time. We were not allowed to just gobble up all our candy on Halloween night (which sounded great to me!).  Once when we returned home I couldn't find my bag of Halloween candy. Also, we couldn't find our cocker spaniel dog, Teddy.  Finally, we found a very sheepish Teddy and what was left of our candy under my parent's bed.

Halloween in Rhode Island

Dressed up for Halloween, my brother (8) and I (10) excitedly waited for my girlfriend from school to arrive. Not only was this our first Halloween in Rhode Island, but it was our first time go out Trick-o-treating without any adults. Gleefully, we ran out into a night, crisp and clear. We crunched our way across huge lawns, so we could knock on the doors. Some of the houses were big old mansions that had been divided into apartments. Once we went up to the upper floor in one and knocked on one of the apartment doors. An older woman answered. She was very surprised to have someone come asking treats at her place, but she told us to wait and made us a sandwich.  After that, we Trick-o-treated at a candy store. What fun! I got some wax candy lips, tried them on, then ate them. Finally, we made our way back to our apartment happy, tired, and with full bags of candy.

photo- big old house in Newport Rhode Island