I grew up in the dark ages, back when kids didn’t have all kinds of organized activities to occupy us for 20 of every 24 hours a day, our parents didn’t hover and so we got into all kinds of mischief (like riding bikes behind the bug sprayer of Malathion (and we still grew up!) or sitting around reading comic books), and yes, in late October each year we were actually allowed to go door to door and beg for candy, disguised with the traditional “Trick or treat!” saying. A lot of kids today might think all that sounds old-fashioned, and it is. It was also so much fun.
My parents didn’t have much money—like all of my friends’ parents, too—and so we made up silly costumes with whatever we could find. A rag tied around our head and a striped tee shirt with a cardboard sword in hand made us a pirate. A little rouge (or lipstick when rouge wasn’t available in the house) spread on our cheeks, a pretty full skirt that couldn’t be worn to church anymore, and a tin foil crown held in place with bobby pins made any girl into a princess. A little imagination went a long way back then, and we were always happy with the results, no matter how little we looked like our ideal. The purpose, we all knew, was candy, not fashion shows. Besides, most places we lived, late October was cold, so the costume effects were spoiled by coats, anyway.
Just as much fun was going home and spilling all of the candy out of the pillow cases or paper sacks and seeing all the different kinds people had handed out. We never went far, and most of us lived in neighborhoods where people were friendly and the treats generous. Even with an early evening if Halloween fell on a school day meant we had enough candy to be divvied up for weeks. (Mom might have let me ride behind the Malathion truck but she wouldn’t let me eat too much candy at once. There were limits, lol.) All in all, Halloween marked the opening strains of autumn for me more than the start of school. Thanksgiving followed a few weeks later and then Christmas came, hot on its heels.
I understand why things are different now. Most places have organized Halloween parties to go along with the organized ball games, dance classes, and so on. The world is a different place, a hectic place, a more dangerous place, and I can’t help feeling sorry for that. With so much activity making us hurry more and more, I wish children had the time to enjoy being children. To dress up, use their imaginations more, and to go out into the neighborhoods with leaves swirling at their feet and the sharp scent of wood fires tickling their nostrils as they greet their neighbors with calls of “Trick or treat!”
About the Author
A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex. Writing was so much fun Dee decided to keep at it. That’s how she spends her days. Her nights? Well, she’s lucky that her dream man, childhood sweetheart, and long-time hubby are all the same guy, and nights are their secret. For romance ranging from sweet to historical, contemporary to paranormal and more, join Dee on Nomad Authors, where you can read about her newest book, Only a Good Man Will Do: Seriously ambitious man seeks woman to encourage his goals, support his (hopeful) position as Headmaster of Westover Academy, and be purer than Caesar’s wife in order to set a good example. Good luck with that!